Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityAs school year winds down, John Glenn High School aims for another perfect graduation rate | WSBT
Close Alert

As school year winds down, John Glenn High School aims for another perfect graduation rate

A sign outside John Glenn High School in Walkerton encourages students. The school earned a 100% graduation rate in 2022 . (WSBT Photo)
A sign outside John Glenn High School in Walkerton encourages students. The school earned a 100% graduation rate in 2022 . (WSBT Photo)
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

A local school corporation is one of only a handful of districts in the state that saw a 100% graduation rate last year.

John Glenn School Corporation is hoping to do it again this year.

In 2022, all of John Glenn High School's seniors graduated.

It was one of only nine high schools in the state in 2022 to accomplish the perfect graduation rate, and the largest of those high schools.

School leaders at John Glenn say it is still too early to know if it will happen again this year.

"It was one of those things I kind of saw early," says John Glenn High School Principal Chris Manering, "I was like, hey this is going to happen."

It was around this time last year that Manering was keeping his eye on the numbers.

Because seniors have until the fall to complete their high school graduation requirements, Manering and Superintendent Christopher Winchell remained hopeful throughout the summer.

"The diploma is really the gateway to success beyond high school," says Winchell.

The school corporation submitted their graduation data to the Department of Education in the fall.

It showed all 146 John Glenn seniors met graduation requirements in 2022.

"That is 13 years of your life from kindergarten through 12th grade, it is a big accomplishment not only for the student but also for the families," says Manering.

John Glenn School Corporation has enjoyed a graduation rate in the 90th percentage for the last several years.

In 2021, 95.03% of seniors graduated.

Pre-pandemic, in 2019 John Glenn High School saw 94.89% of seniors graduate.

School leaders are hoping they can reach 100% again this year.

"I think we got a shot but let's see how it ends. We are going to keep working at it the whole way there. We will see how it pans out," says Manering.

John Glenn's success is exciting, but unusual.

The Department of Education says many students are continuing to recover from the academic impacts of pandemic-related learning disruptions.

In St. Joseph County in 2022, graduation rates were mixed, and some schools saw declines from 2021.

Statewide, the graduation rate held steady at 86 percent -- but was still below the pre-pandemic rate.

"We know all kids learn differently," says Winchell, "what we really pride ourselves on here at John Glenn is we meet kids where they are, and we put a plan in place for them to meet that crowning achievement of a high school diploma."

So, what sets John Glenn apart? How did they do it?

If you ask school leaders at John Glenn, they will say it is a combination of individual attention, community support and the work ethic of students.

The district offers challenging coursework and intervention instruction along with lots of sports, clubs and organizations that kids can be a part of.

Plus, the high school is in its 3rd year of student resource time which allows teachers to keep track and mentor students.

"We really believe in our special elixir here of looking after every single kid, challenging them to do their very best, while also providing them the resources that we have," says Winchell.

Many students would agree.

Julian McMahan will be a Junior next year.

"They will sit down with you, talk one on one, make sure you completely understand the assignment," says McMahan of his teachers.

He is taking a lot of advanced classes right now but still needs help from time to time.

"Definitely chemistry," says McMahan, "I like to have a little sit-down talk with (the teacher) and he will help me understand it."

That one-on-one attention has made a difference for McMahan and for others -- including the seniors who will be graduating in less than a month.

"It is a little bit bittersweet, but I am excited about what is to come," says Sophie McLochlin, a senior.

Comment bubble

McLochlin and her fellow seniors will determine this year's graduation rate.

Loading ...