Lee County graduates them, sends them off to college - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee County graduates them, sends them off to college

By Len Kiese - bio | email

LEE COUNTY, GA (WALB) - When it comes to sending students off to college, two South Georgia school systems are at the top of the list. Last year less than 65-percent of Georgia high school graduates went to college the following Fall. Only two systems topped 80-percent and they're both in our area.

When it comes to sending kids to college, Schley County has the highest rate in the state at 80.26%. Lee County is a close second at 80% on an annual report by the Governor's Office of Student Achievement. School leaders say it's all about a big focus on life after high school.

It's after-school play time at Lee County High School and drama students are full of laughs as they get ready for their next big production. "It's just a great environment," said student Shelby Hancock.

But with the afternoon theater comes a reality check for high school senior Shelby Hancock. It's already time to start preparing for college and the big task of deciding which one. "I don't know. It changes a lot," said Hancock, "I guess right now I'm looking to apply to a bunch of colleges."

It appears she's in good hands as she makes those preparations. The Lee County School System is high on the list when it comes to students heading to college. "I think we're constantly striving to reach higher," said Lee County High School Instructional Supervisor Karen Hancock.

Last year Lee County had an 80-percent post-secondary enrollment rate. that's well above the state average of 64.7%. School leaders stress the importance of life-long education to students. "We do a large variety of things," said Hancock,  "We push it. We have monthly things that take place. We don't want anyone to walk across the stage at graduation and not have a plan in place."

When it comes to actually walking across the stage, the Lee County system has a graduation rate of nearly 80-percent.  That's also above the state average of 75.4%.

"A high school diploma is opening the door to wherever you want to go and that's what we try to do. We try to make sure wherever they want to go that we have prepared them for that journey," said Hancock.

"I'm excited about that," said Shelby.

For students like Shelby, it's good to know her school isn't slacking when it comes to her education. She says, "Feels awesome you know? I'm on track! I'm ready. Colleges aren't going to look at my application and say 'ohhh she went to that school'."

She has big plans of becoming an ecologist after college but the first step is graduating from high school.

Lee County High School also works closely with Albany Tech for students who want to go straight into technology fields. Each year they also hold a college fair where several schools come in so students can check them out to see what's out there for them.    

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