CHARLESTON – In the 2015 to 2016 school year, Tucker County High School had a graduation rate of 92.94 percent, putting it in the top 70 schools in West Virginia with graduation rates of 90 percent and above.
On February 10, the West Virginia Department of Education recognized Tucker County High School and other West Virginia high schools obtaining the 90 percent threshold.
Tucker County High School Principal Jay Hamric was slated to attend the recognition ceremony, however, inclement weather prohibited his traveling to Charleston that day.
“The award was given by West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano,” Tucker County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Eddie Campbell said. “He has had a big push for increasing the graduation rate in the state. As part of that, during the last two years, he began recognizing any high school that has a graduation rate that exceeds 90 percent.”
During the 2015-2016 school year, Tucker County High School achieved a graduation rate of 92.94 percent.
“I know Tucker County High School is very proud of that,” Campbell said. “Principal Jay Hamric is very proud of that. He has worked very hard. The staff has been very diligent in improving the graduation rate. Graduation rate in a school the size of Tucker County High School can fluctuate with one or two students.”
Campbell said Hamric really pays attention to every student that is showing signs of a possible dropout and looking at that on an individual student-by-student basis.
“For us, that means a lot. It means a lot for Hamric and his staff,” Campbell said. “To me it is a county-wide accomplishment. I know the high school is normally attached to graduation rates because that is where you finish our school career but there is tons of research that indicates decisions about whether a student is going to finish high school are usually made in late elementary and middle school. So for us to be able to achieve those high graduation rates certainly extends well below high school to the work we do in elementary schools and in our middle schools as well to get those kids engaged in school. By the time they get to high school they see the importance of staying in school and finishing school on time.”
Campbell said there is a lot of work that goes on before the students get to high school.
“I feel those folks should be recognized as well,” Campbell said. “So for us, this is a county-wide achievement for to achieve that. I go down to the level at pre-k. We run close to 100 percent of the eligible four-year-olds in our county actually attend pre-school. We are one of the top in the state. For us to get kids in school at that early age and to be able to engage them and help them build the basic skills as they move through elementary and middle school so they are fully engaged in their education during high school is truly a county-wide effort. We are happy about this.”
The 70 high schools obtaining a 90 percent graduation rate represent 60.3 percent of the 116 high schools in West Virginia. The average graduation rate in West Virginia high schools in the 2015-16 school year is 89.81 percent which places West Virginia high schools in the top 20 states in terms of graduation. In the 2014-15 school year only 47 West Virginia high schools obtained a 90 percent or higher graduation rate.