Ben­ton re­ports high­est grad­u­a­tion rate in 5 years

Over $8 mil­lion awarded in schol­ar­ships to se­niors

The Saline Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By Dana Guthrie [email protected]­ton­

The Ben­ton School Dis­trict pre­sented its an­nual report to the pub­lic on Mon­day high­light­ing the achieve­ments of its stu­dents, fac­ulty and staff.

“Ben­ton is well known and ad­mired for the qual­ity of its ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem,” said Dr. Mike Skel­ton, su­per­in­ten­dent. “Be­cause of this, our school dis­trict has won the niche, ‘Best School Dis­trict in the Lit­tle Rock Area’ award for three years in a row, as well as, be­ing rated one of the top school dis­tricts in Arkansas over this time.

The cur­rent vi­sion and mis­sion state­ment for the BSD states that the dis­trict strives to pro­vide stu­dents with a world-class ed­u­ca­tion that will pre­pare them for a global so­ci­ety, de­velop those stu­dents to be­come life­long learn­ers and in­still the de­sire for eth­i­cal be­hav­ior, in­tegrity and good cit­i­zen­ship.

“We are cur­rently work­ing on go­ing back and re­vis­ing the vi­sion and mis­sion state­ment for the dis­trict,” Smith said.

Smith also spoke about some of the highlights from the 2018-2019 school year.

“Over $8 mil­lion in schol­ar­ships was awarded to our se­nior class,” Smith said.

Ben­ton High School had two Na­tion Merit Fi­nal­ists, 10 AP Schol­ars with Dis­tinc­tion, eight AP Schol­ars with Hon­ors and 39 AP Schol­ars for the most re­cent school year.

Some of the other ac­com­plish­ments shared for the pre­vi­ous school year in­clude:

•Con­fer­ence co-cham­pi­ons for BHS Vol­ley­ball.

•State run­ner-up for BHS foot­ball.

•Class 6A State March­ing Band con­test run­ner-up for BHS band.

• Over­all state weightlift­ing cham­pi­ons for BHS.

• Over­all state cham­pion choir ensemble for BHS.

• Con­fer­ence co-cham­pi­ons for BHS soft­ball.

• Con­fer­ence cham­pi­ons for BHS girls soc­cer.

• State and con­fer­ence cham­pi­ons for BHS boys Bowl­ing.

• State run­ner-up for BHS base­ball.

• Con­fer­ence cham­pi­ons for BHS girls swim­ming.

• Brandy Chum­ley was named

as the Arkansas Bowl­ing Coach of the year.

•42 All-state ath­letes.

•Nine All-state Choir mem­bers.

•Five All-state Band mem­bers.

•Two All-state Jazz Band mem­bers.

The BSD has 26 teach­ers with Na­tional Board Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, up from 23 from the pre­vi­ous school year. More than 46 per­cent of teach­ers have at least a bach­e­lor’s de­gree and 52 per­cent have a mas­ter’s de­gree. One per­cent of teach­ers have an ad­vanced de­gree.

The dis­trict also boasts a 17:1 stu­dent/teacher ra­tio and has main­tained a ra­tio of at least 16:1 since 2014.

Stu­dent en­roll­ment has been in­creas­ing in the dis­trict ev­ery year since 2014. Grad­u­a­tion rates have also re­mained con­sis­tent with last years 95 per­cent rate be­ing the high­est in five years.

All meet­ings are open to the pub­lic and at­ten­dance is en­cour­aged.

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