10/13/09 — Eastern Wayne honored for graduation rate

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Eastern Wayne honored for graduation rate

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 13, 2009 1:46 PM

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Eastern Wayne High School and Wayne County School District officials were on hand in Raleigh Monday to accept an award recognizing the school's high graduation rate. The school boasted a 91.1 percent rate for 2008-09.

A Wayne County high school has been recognized by the state for its graduation rate.

Eastern Wayne High School is one of two schools its size recognized during ceremonies in Raleigh Monday afternoon.

Recipients were determined by cohort rate, tracking students from the day they entered ninth grade until completion of 12th grade.

This past year, the school had a graduation rate of 91.1 percent, officials said.

Eastern Wayne was the only area high school named to the list. The category, schools having between 300 and 399 students, was shared by Weddington High in Union County.

This is the second year for the recognition, introduced by State Superintendent June Atkinson to acknowledge schools and districts with impressive graduation results.

Gene Byrd, principal of Eastern Wayne, and Dr. Steven Taylor, superintendent of schools, traveled to Raleigh for the award ceremony. The accomplishment is something to be proud of, each said, praising the efforts of many in the district.

"It's the hard work and dedication of people, everybody that works here -- secretaries, teacher assistants, bus drivers. It's the total effort," Byrd said. "We work hard every day for them out here and put things in place to make them successful."

"We certainly have put in place strategies aggressively the last few years to improve our graduation rate," Taylor said. "We are really proud of our administrators, staff, students and parents' support regarding this rate."

While a 91 percent graduation rate is impressive, the superintendent said he realized "it's not 100 percent."

"We want to move forward and hopefully all of our schools will one day be at 100 percent," he said. "We want to try to increase as much as possible."

In only the second year for the recognition, Taylor said he is pleased to have at least one of the county's schools on the list.

"It is certainly positive news for this district and certainly for the individual school," he said. "It's always great to be recognized and to receive statewide recognition. That's positive news for the district and something that looks good for Wayne County."

Other "Top Two" schools by cohort rate, categorized by number of students, included Highland School of Technology in Gaston County and Hendersonville High in Henderson County, with 100-199 students; White Oak High in Onslow County and Fred T. Foard High in Catawba County, between 200 and 299 students; Lake Norman High in Iredell County and Jack Britt High in Cumberland County, 400-499 students; and Northwest Guilford High in Guilford County and Green Hope High in Wake County, 500+ students.

The top 10 districts with the highest graduation rates, including several tied for the slots, were Dare County, Elkin City, Clay County, Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Catawba County, Carteret County, Currituck County, Polk County, Mount Airy City, Orange County, Camden County and Pamlico County.

Schools having 100 percent graduation rate included Anson County Early College High, Early College at Guilford, Weaver Academy and GTCC Middle College High in Guilford County, Ocracoke School in Hyde County, Nantahala School in Macon County and Newton-Conover Health/Science in Newton-Conover City.