One local high school was awarded for having the highest graduation rate in the state of West Virginia.
Seventy high schools in West Virginia had graduation rates of at least 90 percent during the 2015-2016 school year. At the top of that list, Wheeling Park High School.
“We all know that a student who gets a high school diploma is going to be more successful in life, and that’s what our goal is,” said WPHS Principal Amy Minch.
For the Patriots, that goal was met. Last year the school graduated 97.83% of their students, one of the highest rates in the state. Friday, they were recognized in Charleston for their success.
“All of that hard work, all rolled up into what we were able to achieve,” WPHS Asst. Principal Katrina Lewis told 7News Reporter Nick Conigliaro. “Today was a celebration of that terrific graduation rate.”
In the state of West Virginia the overall graduation rate for last year was 89.81%, but that number represents more than just the students receiving diplomas their senior year.
“When you’re talking graduation rate, you’re looking at four years. These students come to us as freshman. It’s not what we do with their freshman year, it’s not what we do their sophomore year, and each year there after,” said Minch. “It’s what we do from the day one to the end of their four years.”
As for what it means to receive such a prestigious honor, one word represented it all.
“I couldn’t be prouder of this school system,” Ohio County Schools Superintendent Dr. Kim Miller told 7News. “It’s great to be in a place where people work hard to do their best at every angle.”
“Truly, I’m extremely proud of that, and I’m proud to brag about it. That’s where I work, that’s my school and I love my school,” said Lewis.
While the entire school receives the award, it represents one group more than any other.
“It may sound corny, it may sound cheesy, but I really think it’s the students,” said WPHS Broadcast Technology Teacher Caroline Dillon. “If the students didn’t want to be here, they wouldn’t. They’re our customer, and if we didn’t have the students, then we wouldn’t be here.”
Wheeling Park High School Broadcast Technology teacher Caroline Dillon, being a teacher isn’t always the easiest job, but, “Seeing when there are good results, and seeing the good things makes it very worth it; makes it all worth while.”
This year Wheeling Park High School has approximately 385 seniors. Which, as the numbers show, means around 376 will graduate.