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LCHS named a bronze level school

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By Ron Benningfield

 U.S. News and World Report has named LaRue County High School a bronze level school in the 2014 Best High School Rankings.

Those rankings, released last week, are meant to help parents identify standout schools in their state, as well as those that excel nationally. The award is based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.

“We are honored and proud that our students and staff have been given such an honor,” said Kyle Goodlett, LCHS principal. “I attribute the recognition to the hard work and dedication of every student and staff member in our school. They have been challenged to raise the bar every single day, and seeing them rewarded for their hard work is great.”

The magazine and American Institutes for Research studied more than 31,200 public high schools from throughout the nation. LCHS was one of 19,411 schools to be named among the best.

The process to be called a gold, silver or bronze school began by determining whether each school's students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state, using reading and math results for all students on each state's high school proficiency tests.

The analysis factored in the percentage of economically and least advantaged students who were performing better than statistical expectations.

Schools meeting the criteria became eligible to be judged nationally on their college-readiness performance. They used advanced placement test data for LaRue County as the benchmarks for success.

Paul Mullins, who served as LCHS principal for eight years before leaving to become superintendent of Garrard County Schools this school year, praised LaRue County’s staff, students, board of education, and community for the support they give to promoting academic excellence.

“The award is another testament to the dedication of the staff at LCHS to do whatever’s best for students of LaRue,” Mullins said. “You receive the award because you earned it.”

He noted how LCHS has moved up consistently compared to other schools in the state in several areas, noting he has been impressed that the growth has been significant and sustained, not only in  performing better on assessments, but also in closing gaps among special needs and in other areas.

“As we’ve grown, student and parent ownership has grown as well,” Mullins said. “We’ve had strong district support as well as the board of education has given us support staff to help us help our teachers.”

Mullins also praised Goodlett’s leadership.

“I know the kind of person he is and the high expectations he has for himself and for those around him,” he said. “He is only going to take the school to new and higher levels.”