Livingston, Ala. Faculty, staff and students at Sumter Central High school are celebrating a major milestone. The district's graduation rate has outpaced the state average. Last year the state of Alabama reached a record 80% graduation rate. For Sumter County, its rate increased in 2013 by almost 8 points to 90-percent.
Superintendent Katie Jones Powell says much of this accomplishment is due to the efforts of hard working teachers.
"Our children come from varying backgrounds, and we have to reach the children where they are, and we have some outstanding teachers who do an outstanding job in working with children, with afterschool tutoring, morning tutoring, and just sitting them down and getting them what they need," says Superintendent Katie Jones Powell.
"It's a steady diet of checking," says SCHS Principal Eric Hines. "Even in one of our advisory sessions we allow our students to look at their transcripts to see what classes they are missing, and to see where they stand as a senior, and not only as a senior but our 9th, 10th and 11th graders take part in that process also. So, it's a steady diet of just looking, checking and monitoring just to let the students know that we're watching."
"Every student at Sumter Central has a profile plan that starts in the 9th grade," says SCHS Math teacher Audrey Speight. "They set their career goals. They write down what they need to do to reach those career goals, and that plan follows them from 9th grade to 12th grade. So, they continue to write on that plan, and work on that plan. So, they know what they need by the time they graduate."
"Our plan is that every child that leaves Sumter Central High School leaves with a plan," says Supt. Powell. "It's either for a 4 year institution, a two year institution, the workforce ready to walk into work, or the military."