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20 receive Award of Education Achievement

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By Jesef Williams

Nearly 20 graduates at two Lancaster County high schools were recognized this past school year with the Award of Educational Achievement.

The award is given to high school seniors who score high enough on an exam affiliated with the Southern Regional Education Board, an interstate entity that helps governments and school leaders advance education.

Over the last few years, Indian Land High and Lancaster High schools have participated in the board's High Schools That Work program, an improvement network that encourages schools to provide more rigorous curricula and stronger guidance for students.

Lancaster High Assistant Principal Rosalyn Mood said their school ensures that every student has an advisor. The school has also been conducting Drop Everything and Read, in which everyone in the school takes about 15 minutes for continuous reading one period each day.

Through the program, Lancaster High makes sure it:

u Raises the level of course rigor

u Provides coursework that is relevant to one's career goals

u Stresses relationships between students and teachers.

"I think everything we've done has gone back to that," Mood said.

During the year, a random sample of 60 seniors are pulled from each school and given an exam. Those who fare well enough are given a certificate and a letter of congratulations from the SREB. That accolade can be included on resumes and college entrance applications.

Seven students at Lancaster High and 11 at Indian Land High received certificates.

Indian Land High Principal Kathy Faris said participation in High Schools That Work is beneficial for students and the school as a whole.

Some of the recently added initiatives at ILHS include increasing the amount of required writing and adding co-ops to the career and technical classes, which give students on-the-site experience.

Faris said the information school personnel get back from the exams gives them a snapshot of how well their programs are working.

"It's a good way to see where we are versus everybody else in the nation, and how we can be the best at what we do," Faris said.

Andrew Jackson High and Buford High schools will begin working with High Schools That Work this upcoming school year.

These are the students who received the Award of Educational Achievement this year through the Southern Regional Education Board's High Schools That Work initiative.

Indian Land High

u Mitchell Ayers

- Eric Brathe

- Jacquelyn Delaune

u Joshua Dillon

- Adam Howard

- Tina Morgan

u Marjorie Rowe

u Nichole Shelly

- Jennifer Sweeney

u Carolyn Turbeville

Lancaster High

- Jennifer Awbrey

u Laura Caskey

- William Cauthen

- Kathryn Cloninger

u Christian Crenshaw

- Jeffery Donahue

- Randolph Hayes

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or (803) 283-1152