ACS recognized for high graduation rate
“Avery County Schools is very proud of having the fourth highest graduation rate in North Carolina. Many people throughout the school system and the Avery community deserve credit for their contributions to this first time ever top 10 result. It was not too long ago that our graduation rate stood at a much, much lower percentage. The improved, higher graduation rate comes as a result of the dedication of our students and hard work of adults who surround the students with support. It is amazing what thinking differently, opening up curricular offerings and making things relevant to students can do for a school. However, we cannot be satisfied nor shift into cruise control because the ultimate target is to have 100 percent of our students graduate from high school with their peers,” said Mark Garrett, principal of Avery County High School.
At a recent awards ceremony, State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson recognized 11 school districts and 35 high schools including Avery County for having the highest graduation rates among all districts and schools in the state for the 2010-11 school year.
“North Carolina reached an all-time high school graduation rate of 80.4 percent last year, the highest ever for our state. I commend all superintendents, principals and teachers who worked so hard to make sure more students than ever are graduating high school prepared for college, career and citizenship,” Atkinson said.
ACS Superintendent David Burleson said that the most importance focus is the students the school system serves and not programs.
“The key is to develop relationships while fostering trust and communication with students, families and professional staff. Many teachers, staff and support personnel dedicate hours of personal time to ensure that each student has what they need to complete a school day and ultimately a school year. We must reach out to all students and focus on what is best for each one, enabling them to complete high school and to graduate. Whether students are prepared for a career or college, it is imperative to successfully lead students to graduate with a high school diploma. Our ultimate goal is to help students to be prepared for college, career and life after high school,” Burleson said.