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Officials with Surry County Schools are celebrating the system hitting an all-time-high graduation rate this year, while Mount Airy City Schools officials are likewise pleased graduation rates there have exceeded 90%.

“Surry County Schools hit another milestone with the highest graduation rate in (its) history at 93.8%,” said Dr. Tracey Lewis, director of communications/teacher recruitment and retention for the county schools. That mark is 0.8 percentage points above last year, when the county hit what had been its all-time high at 93.0%.

In Mount Airy, the graduation rate is 90.4%, a 1.8 percentage point improvement over the previous year’s 88.6%.

Statewide, the average four-year cohort graduation rate for the 2016-2019 classes was 87.6%. All local and state percentages are taken from figures reported by Public Schools of North Carolina.

“For several years the Surry County school system has made steady gains in the graduation rate,” Lewis said in a written statement announcing the county milestone.

“I am so proud and hope all of Surry County will join me in celebrating the hard work, effort and dedication of our students, educators and schools. As we continue to reach new heights in achievement, I hope it becomes a source of pride for our community,” said Dr. Travis Reeves, SCS superintendent.

“This is just another example of how the Surry County Schools system is collectively engaged and committed to equipping all of our students for success in college and careers.”

“We work on this every year and want to make sure all of our students graduate either in four or five years,” said Dr. Kim Morrison, Mount Airy superintendent.

“In our strategic plan we have as our vision for the district that every single child graduate. We also believe that they need as many credits as possible, not just the minimum the state requires. This allows them to be successful after graduation without inflating our graduation rate. We are proud of the fact that our graduation rate is above state average and climbing.”

In the county, all four of the schools were above the 90% mark. The graduation rates for the individual schools were:

 East Surry High School graduated greater than 95% of students;

 North Surry High School graduated 91.1% of students;

 Surry Central High School graduated 92.4% of students;

 Surry Early College High School graduated greater than 95% of students.

“Increasing graduation rates are one measure of how well our schools are serving students. While graduation rates are touted by high schools, we know this success begins in pre-K and kindergarten,” said Reeves.

“Reaching this important milestone is so important for the future of Surry County. High levels of student achievement and graduation rates attract business and industry, and a well-equipped workforce in our county fosters economic growth and development. I look forward to our working together throughout this school year to continue building on this outstanding foundation to ensure even more students are prepared for life after high school.”