High school graduation rates are on the upswing across the nation, and nowhere is that more evident than right here at Powell High School.
With the national graduation rate hovering at around 84 percent, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, more than four out of five kids are earning a four year diploma.
In Powell, that rate is six points higher. For the 2017-18 school year, students at PHS and the Shoshone Learning Center hit a graduation rate of 90.5 percent, up from a low of 80.2 percent just four years ago. This far exceeds the statewide average of 81.7 percent and ranks the district in the top 15 in Wyoming.
“There is no other way to put it — this is phenomenal,” PCSD No. 1 Superintendent Jay Curtis told the school board recently.
We wholeheartedly agree.
Earning a high school diploma or its equivalent has become a crucial component for success for any young person looking to enter the work force following high school. Students without one find themselves denied basic opportunities, including enlistment in the military, if one is so inclined. Many employers across a broad range of jobs won’t even consider an applicant without a diploma, and those students who decide, further down the road, to continue their education at a university, community college or trade school will often have to get their GED first before they can even consider applying.
Simply stated, finishing high school and earning a diploma affords a student opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t be theirs. And the fact that our local high school is churning out graduates at a high rate is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone at PHS and the SLC, from the administration on down. PHS Principal Jim Kuhn said teachers are constantly striving to “better define what the real world will expect students to know when they leave the classroom,” and that is reflected by these recent graduation numbers.
There is always more work to be done, but we would be remiss if we didn’t congratulate everyone in the Powell school district who has worked tirelessly to keep kids in school and help them in any way they can as they work toward a diploma. And students deserve recognition as well, for putting in the work and doing their part to ensure their futures will be successful ones in whatever they choose to pursue.
Congratulations on a job well done, PHS and SLC students, teachers, administrators and staff. Your efforts are appreciated.