We applaud graduating seniors, and the people who helped them get there

Published 5:00 pm Friday, April 29, 2022

As high school graduation dates tick closer by the day, we find it encouraging how many students are actually able to celebrate this accomplishment.

By the time seniors have reached the day they walk with caps and gowns across a stage and receive a diploma, they have completed years of work that brought them there. 

Earlier this year the Mississippi State Department of Education released a report of graduation rates across the past four years.

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Of the state’s 146 public school districts, 55 schools reported at least 90 percent of seniors as completing requirements for graduation. Three districts reported a less than 60 percent graduation rate, and 14 districts fell between 70 and 79 percent.

The largest number of districts — 74, or 51 percent — had graduation rates of 80 to 89 percent. Brookhaven, Lawrence County and Copiah County all fell within this grouping. Brookhaven School District had an 86.6 percent graduation rate, while the other two districts had 83.2 and 83.3, respectively. 

Lincoln County School District topped these, coming in with an average of 91.7 percent of its seniors graduating over the prior four years. 

The area school that topped them all — along with its sister school in Columbus that focuses on math and science — was the Mississippi School of the Arts, with a 100 percent success rate for graduations. No doubt smaller class sizes and more specialized attention helped MSA, and their students competed to be accepted for the two-year program. Still, this does not detract from the remarkable accomplishment.

Our teachers and administrators are to be congratulated along with our students. Dedication to their own education and consistent, caring teaching and guiding of children and teenagers is vital to the students’ understanding and growth. Without it, few would be able to get past the rigorous requirements of completing high school.

Parents and families who support their children’s education are to be celebrated, as well. Most students are in class fewer than 38 hours per week, leaving 130-plus hours elsewhere. When families encourage and provide positive motivation to their children, the students benefit emotionally and mentally, as well as in their educations.

We also think the people who prepare and serve school food, those who keep the facilities cleaned and those who provide transportation and security should not be ignored. We’re also certain there are people even we have neglected to mention.

So as students receive their well-deserved diplomas very soon, we applaud them — and those who helped them get there.