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Success Academy lives up to its name

WINTON – The Ninth Grade Success Academy is living up to its name.

Keisha Peele, the assistant principal who leads the academy, gave a report to the Hertford County Board of Education Monday trumpeting the early success of this year’s ninth grade class.

During the summer, the Hertford County Board of Education decided to move the Ninth Grade Success Academy to the campus of Hertford County Middle School in Murfreesboro.

The academy takes up 16 classrooms and one mobile unit on the campus, though the mobile unit is not being used at this time.

There are 24 classroom teachers assigned to the academy along with one secretary, one counselor and an administrator. There are 246 students.

“I think we’ve gotten off to a really good start this year,” Peele said.

According to her figures, 71 students had perfect attendance over the first grading period and an additional 58 students missed only one day.

In addition, 53 students achieved Honor Roll status for the grading period.

A total of 41 students only failed one course, Peele said. She added that many of those failing grades were in a range in which students could bring them up and still pass the course.

Peele said the staff was working diligently to keep students on pace to advance to the tenth grade because that was an important milestone for them to reach.

“Statistics show that students who get to the tenth grade are more likely to graduate,” she said.

Peele also said the staff was working to have some sort of parent involvement each month. Thus far they’ve hosted an open house, a parent information session and a Parent P.E.P. Rally during report card pickup.

After her presentation, several members of the board expressed their appreciation for how smoothly the transition has been thus far.

“I, as a board member, am so pleased to hear these things,” J. Wendell Hall said. “Mr. (John) Horton, I appreciate your vision as chairman as to what could be done with this academy. It seems the staff is really pleased with being there so far. I didn’t expect that.

“At this point, it looks like the Success Academy is a success,” he added.

Board member Dennis M. Deloatch said freshman academies overwhelmingly succeed.

“I’m glad it is going well,” he said. “It is a tribute to the attitude of leadership in the school and the teachers.”

David L. Shields, another member of the board, said he was pleased with the numbers that reflected positive student achievement.

“Anytime you help students start on the right foot, they stay on the right foot,” he said.