County’s high school graduation rate at a record high

Published 10:43 am Tuesday, December 23, 2014

As part of his last report to the Chilton County Board of Education, Superintendent Dave Hayden said high school graduation rates in the county are higher than they’ve ever been.

Eighty-five percent of the total number of students county-wide graduated in 2014, according to information recently released by the Alabama Department of Education.

“They’re higher than they’ve ever been,” Hayden said about graduation rates in the county. “We’re pleased with that.”

Maplesville had the county’s highest graduation rate, at 97 percent. Isabella was next at 89 percent, followed by Verbena (88 percent), Thorsby (85 percent), Chilton County High School (84 percent) and Jemison (79 percent).

Last year, the county’s graduation rate was 74 percent. Thorsby had the high graduation rate among county schools at 77 percent, followed by CCHS (76 percent), Isabella (76 percent), Jemison (70 percent), Maplesville (70 percent) and Verbena (66 percent).

Hayden credited central office employee Pam Harris and, of course, students and teachers in the county.

If a student moves away from the Chilton County School System, Harris has to verify the student is enrolled elsewhere or the student counts as a dropout.

“She’s very good at running those things down,” Hayden said. “It’s an effort on everybody’s part.

“We just want to keep working. There’s always room for improvement.”

There were about 450 seniors county-wide in the class of 2014.

The state graduation rate is a record high 86 percent.

Hayden presented the information at a regular board meeting Dec. 16.

Chilton County schools and the central education office closed Dec. 19 for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, so unless there’s an emergency that requires immediate attention, Hayden is effectively transitioning his position to incoming superintendent Tommy Glasscock.

In addition to graduation rates, Hayden said he’s proud of the fact that he leaves office with all county teachers being certified.

Also, Hayden said he considers the fact that the county school system has been able to maintain a financial reserve robust enough to cover an entire month of expenses an accomplishment, especially given the country’s current economic state.

Hayden said he’s considering practicing law and/or opportunities in continuing education for professionals.

“I appreciate everyone working with us,” Hayden said about his time as superintendent. “I just like to see our schools do the best we can.”