Blake LaMagna, a junior at Herricks High School, has been taking pictures since she was 9. Forget Fisher-Price -- her childhood camera was a Nikon F100.

LaMagna, 16, recently won a battle against her school district after administrators tried to deny her a chance to submit her photographs to the College Board for Advanced Placement credit consideration.

LaMagna said the trouble started when she tried to enroll in an AP photography course earlier this school year.

The course wasn't open to juniors, so LaMagna asked her school to allow her to submit her work for evaluation without taking the class. She wanted to use the credit to bolster her college applications.

Her request was denied.

"I was hurt and upset by it," she said. "I thought my school would be happy that I wanted to push my work forward. They weren't."

LaMagna's mother, Sheri, a professional photographer, asked the school to reconsider, but officials stood firm, she said.

She was baffled.

"I received three different arbitrary reasons from three different administrators for not allowing Blake to show her portfolio," her mother said. "If a child wants to challenge themselves, they should be encouraged, not discouraged."

Among the reasons was that taking the test would not matter to college admissions officers, Sheri LaMagna said.

School officials declined to comment.

The family called a lawyer and expedited the case through the Nassau County courts. The district reversed its decision just before the case went to trial.

Mike Borrelli, a Carle Place attorney for the family, said the school should never have stood in his client's way. Borrelli said the district has previously allowed students -- including those who are home schooled -- to sit for AP exams for which they did not complete the course.

"We all know how competitive the application process is," into school or not."

Sheri LaMagna said school officials told her they called a few colleges and that admissions officials said they would not particularly value the AP credit.

She didn't buy it.

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