Friday, July 25, 2014
   
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Graduation rate higher than state, nation

GHS principal says teachers, administrators don’t give up

Persistency is what one Gothenburg High School administrator attributes to the district’s high graduation rate.

In 2013, more than 96.5% of students in the senior class received a diploma.

The rate is significant because it’s 8% higher than the state average of nearly 88.5% and 21.5% more than the nation’s average of 75%.

GHS principal Randy Evans said the local rate is the highest since the Nebraska Department of Education started keeping track of data through a four-year method that has been used since 2011.

“It was a very good year,” Evans said. “The senior class really came around and matured over the course of the year.”

For the last three years, GHS’s graduation rates have been consistently higher than the state average.

Evans said there are reasons for the school’s graduation success.

At the beginning of the school year, each GHS senior meets individually with high school guidance counselor Jerry Wiggins.

Together, they plan what courses students need to pass both semesters of their senior year.

“We always believe in our students and our staff is terrific,” he said. “They go above the call of duty in giving our students opportunities.”

Evans said it’s also his priority to insure that every opportunity is exhausted so seniors graduate.

“We talk to parents and give them the needed information to help their son or daughter make positive choices,” he said. “Improved communication with all parties is very important.”

Evans said he also sits down with seniors at risk of not graduating to see what is needed to help them graduate.

I try not to judge them on why they messed up but what they need to do to graduate,” he explained. “We make a path and take it a step at a time.”

One of those steps may mean summer school as was the case for Jacob Williams who graduated in June of 2013 after passing a computerized math test.

Evans added that Gothenburg tied with Valentine for having the highest graduation rate in the Southwest Conference.

“This is just another example of what makes Gothenburg High School special,” he said.

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