Thursday, June 7, 2012
Schools receive national honor
By SUE WATSON
H.W. Byers, Potts Camp and Holly Springs are in a group of 76 Mississippi high schools recognized nationally as bronze medal schools in the U.S. News Best High Schools 2012 rankings.
Pass Christian High School ranked nationally as a silver medal school, the only school in the state to do so.
For these 76 to be recognized, at least one state school must receive either the gold or silver medal. Pass Christian opened the door for the rest of the state’s public schools to be considered.
The recognition is based largely on gains in state test scores, plus teacher/student ratio, accreditation standards and other areas.
Marshall County Superintendent of Education Jerry Moore said the school district is very excited that two of its schools (H.W. Byers and Potts Camp) were included on the U.S. News & World Report’s prestigious list.
“I know they evaluate close to 22,000 high schools nationwide each year and of the 261 Mississippi high schools, only 77 were recognized,” he said. “I was proud to see our scores at H.W. Byers and Potts Camp were comparable to other public and private schools across the nation.”
He said the Mississippi accountability model is one of the 10 most stringent ones in the nation, according to the United States Department of Education.
“So, our gains do not always show, per se, here at home,” he said. “That’s why it was great to see a national comparison. The H.W. Byers and Potts Camp administration and staff are to be commended for their gains in achievement.”
He said gains in achievement at both high schools in algebra were significant.
“That made us feel really good about the math programs we’ve put into place over the past several years,” Moore said. “It’s always good to see a plan actually come together.”
Irene Walton-Turnage, superintendent of the Holly Springs School District, said she, too, is excited about the positive publicity from U.S. News and World Report.
“Holly Springs School District is honored to have Holly Springs High School recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s Best High Schools,” she said. “To receive state recognition is awesome, but to be nationally recognized out of 21,776 public high schools in the United States motivates us tremendously as we strive to fulfill our mission to educate students who can compete in the global community.
“The board of trustees, administration and staff hope the national recognition inspires students, parents and community to continue to work with us to make Holly Springs School District one of the best in the nation.”
Some other nearby high schools recognized nationally as bronze medal schools included Hickory Flat, Myrtle, Blue Mountain, Booneville, East Union, West Union, Horn Lake, Ingomar, Lewisburg and Falkner.
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