Yadkin County was among the 11 school districts recently honored by State Superintendent June Atkinson for having the highest four-year cohort graduation rates among all districts and schools in the state in 2014-15.
“I am so proud of the teachers, school counselors, coaches, principals and district leaders, and others who have worked tirelessly to make sure more students are graduating from North Carolina’s public schools than ever before. Their dedication and tenacity enabled the state to reach the all-time high graduation rate of 85.6 in 2014-15,” said Atkinson. “As we honor the schools and districts that do an exceptional job keeping students in school and on track for graduation, I am hopeful that these award winners will continue to share best practices and serve as models for districts and schools across the state.”
Representatives from the districts and schools were honored and received plaques at a luncheon held in Durham. To receive an award, schools must have been open for at least four years.
“We are pleased with the progress we are making in our graduation rates,” said Yadkin County School Superindentent Dr. Todd Martin. “Starmount High School and Forbush High School had their highest individual graduation rates ever. Starmount had a graduation rate of 91.7 percent and Forbush had a rate of 93.4 percent. Additionally, our Early College High School had a graduation rate of 100 percent for the second year in a row. This is a tremendous accomplishment and our folks working at the Early College should be proud. We are also happy with our results as a system. Overall, the graduation rate for Yadkin County Schools was 89.9 percent, which is higher than its ever been.
“A lot of people play a significant role in a system having such a high graduation rate,” Martin continued. “It begins in elementary school where our teachers engage our students. It continues when students enter middle school and they start to explore areas of academic and career interests. In our high schools, we try to offer as many courses as we can to keep students engaged. We have a great partnership with Surry Community College and they offer courses for our students to take free of charge. Additionally, we have folks who meet students where they are at academically and work with them to keep them focused and in school. We also have great parent and community support. By putting all these things together and working with students to set goals and to focus on not just graduating, but on their lives beyond high school, we have been able to steadily increase our graduation rates over the past few years.”