On Monday, Sonoraville’s graduation coach Trace Vaughn presented the Gordon Board of Education with a progress report providing statistics and results from the GACHE (Georgia Appalachian Center for Higher Education) grant.
“What’s really neat about it is getting them to visit a college,” Vaughn said. “Their interest will peak and then they can see themselves on a college campus.”
Vaughn said the school has seen success from the graduation tours, and the graduation rates have almost doubled from 2003 to 2009.
In a countywide look at graduation, the graduation rate climbed from 44.8 percent in 2003 up to 81.3 percent in 2009, Vaughn said.
What’s more, the GACHE grant has already resulted in many students completing graduation requirements, as well as setting career goals through spin off programs like the Reality Store, Vaughn said.
Reality Store is designed as a career exploration tool, helping students develop learning skills for goal planning, decision-making, attitudes about careers and learning, and improving the quality of life.
Reality Store serves as a great catalyst to get students thinking about their futures, explained Vaughn.
The next Reality Store is planned for Feb. 24-25.
Sonoraville and Gordon Central High School are among 29 high schools in North Georgia to receive grants totaling $194,975 recently from GACHE during a check presentation. Gordon County Schools have been GACHE partners for a total of five years.
Superintendent Bill McCown thanked Trace Vaughn and Charlie Walraven, graduation coach at Gordon Central, for their efforts and said he was excited to see that the results were so positive.
“Thank you for being a catalyst and setting us in the right direction,” McCown said.
Also during the meeting, the board had a second read-through of a tobacco policy revision that they considering approving for the 2011 school year.
McCown explained that the revision of the student policy would be more flexible to students who are caught smoking or with tobacco products at school and less flexible with adults.
The board also honored its Team Gordon award winners for November. They are teachers Sara Clark and Jason Spoon of Sonoraville High School.
McCown thanked the teacher duo for making the FFA chapter at Sonoraville a success, mentioning that two SHS students have been recognized as national FFA winners.
There will be a called meeting on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. to discuss the adoption of a final budget.
The next regular board meeting is Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Gordon County Board of Education office.