With the beginning of the school year approaching, new data released by the state indicates Ashe County High School is making significant progress in graduating its students.
ACHS had a graduation rate this year of 84.8 percent, which is above the state average and higher than last year.
“That’s the highest it has been since I have been (at ACHS),” Jason Krider, principal of Ashe County High School said. “We have made quite a jump and are certainly glad to be well above the state average this year.”
According to the North Carolina Public Schools’ Newsroom, the percentage of students who graduated high school in the state reached its highest numbers this year, with 82.5 percent of North Carolina students graduating in four years. That is an increase from 80.4 percent in 2012 and 68.3 percent in 2006.
Last year, Ashe County had a graduation rate of 80.6 percent, just above the state average.
Krider said there are multiple factors to what he believes helped raise the graduation rate in Ashe County. One is the addition of a graduation coach to help students stay on track to finish high school.
The other factor involves the dedication of teachers and staff .
“The biggest strength here is the teachers we have at Ashe County High School,” Krider said. “We have great and caring teachers and they are willing to put in the time to work with the kids.”
Though the teachers and staff are willing to help, students must be willing to learn.
“Every student has the opportunity to get the help they need,” Krider said. “It’s a matter of those kids getting in (school) and wanting to put in the time.”
ACHS also scored above the state average for children with disabilities who graduate. The state average is 65.5 percent while Ashe County graduated 77.3 percent of its disabled students in 2013.
“The main thing is that every kid has someone looking out for them,” Krider said. “Our counselors and teachers do a great job of that, so we’re under the impression that we’re not going to let kids fail.”
ACHS is looking to continue improving the graduation rate for years to come.
“I think that focus has paid off for three years now,” Krider said. “Hopefully, it will continue year after year.”