Elkin City Schools awarded for top graduation rate in state

Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter

September 27, 2013

Elkin City Schools has officially been recognized for being having the highest graduation rate of any school system in the state.

Representatives from the school system traveled to Raleigh Sept. 23 for a luncheon and recognition ceremony.

Elkin High’s Kali Teague and Joel Hoyle, and Elkin City Schools’ Dr. Randy Bledsoe and Foley Norman made the trip to accept awards on the school system’s behalf. The plaques will be displayed in Elkin High School.

State Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson spoke during the lunch, followed by the awards presentation by Dr. Rebecca Garland and Debora Williams.

Awards were given for the highest graduation rate by district size. “Large” districts had more than 2,000 students in a graduating class or cohort, “medium” ones had 1,000-1,999 students, and small were districts with less than 1,000 in a cohort.

ECS won for the highest graduation rate in the small school district category.

It also won for the highest graduation rate of any school district. Their graduation rate was 94.1 percent, higher than any other school system in North Carolina.

ECS had 85 students in its cohort for 2012-13, the year awarded for.

The second place finisher was Mooresville Graded School District with 93.4 percent.

School Superintendent Dr. Bledsoe said the key to Elkin City Schools’ success was the caring and encouraging staff and the importance it places on academic achievement.

“I have long stated that students do not begin the thoughts of being a “drop out” in high school, they begin getting discouraged and disengaged in elementary school, it multiplies in middle school with the self-realization stage of being unsuccessful in academics and no one there who identifies with his/her problems, and then manifests itself in high schools as students become 16 and officially can leave public education,” Bledsoe said.

He added, “Our school staffs are caring, encouraging, supportive and professional. We understand the importance of academic achievement but also understand that relationships and helping young people to understand the connectivity between education and his/her future in a college or a career is vital to all of our futures.”

Elkin has been named the highest graduation rate for a school system for two of the last three years.