NCHS Earns High Marks

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An academic study entitled "On Course for Success" was released Wednesday.

The study conducted by ACT, Inc. and the education trust looked at what it takes to make the cut in high academic standards.

Newton County High School in Decatur, Miss. is one of only ten schools to earn academic recognition from the study.

The study looked at schools that have a culturally and socio-economically diverse student body and are showing extra success at preparing students for college level studies based on ACT's college readiness standards.

"That's what we're supposed to do. We're supposed to prepare students for the work force, but also to be successful in education as it continues," said Rodney Tadlock, principal of Newton County High.

If the experts are right, that's something that Tadlock and the administration at Newton County High seem to be doing very well.

"They specifically looked at our English department. We scored higher than the national average or at the national average on the ACT in English, so we like to think that we're bucking the norm," Tadlock said.

Officials said academic excellence is always a matter of extreme importance and focus, but there is a formula for going beyond expectations.

"We have a three day workshop that we offer each spring to students free of charge here at school," said the principal. "It's important enough to our students and parents, financially."

Financially, because increasing your ACT test scores even a couple of points can mean thousands of dollars in financial aid for college, and on average 55 percent of students who practice and retake their ACTs improve their composite score.

Principal Tadlock attributes the school's success to community support, parents taking pride in academic excellence, and teachers going above and beyond to instruct their students.

"I would just like to thank our students, and our teachers, especially our community for the support that they've given us," said Tadlock.