Seventy West Virginia high schools, including Clay, were recognized for achieving exemplary graduation rates of 90 percent or greater during the 2015-16 school year.

Schools were honored by Governor Jim Justice’s Chief of Staff, Nick Casey, State Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano and the West Virginia Board of Education.

“Our state becomes stronger with each student that graduates high school,” Martirano said. “The high schools here today deserve the praise they are receiving for achieving a 90 percent or higher graduation rate. Our schools see the potential that a high school graduate holds for our state and they, along with the Department of Education and Board of Education, have made it a top priority to ensure our students show up, work hard, and earn a diploma.”

Recent data show more students in West Virginia are graduating from high school when compared to previous years. Several statewide initiatives contributed to the steady increase in the graduation rate. Most notably the creation of the state’s Early Warning System, which tracks 45 different indicators – the most important being attendance, behavior and grades – to identify students at risk of dropping out.

West Virginia’s graduation rate has continued to rise throughout the last several years. Data from the U.S. Department of Education placed West Virginia among the top 20 states for graduation rates in 2014-15, with a rate of 86.5 percent. The average graduation rate in the Mountain State for the 2015-16 school year increased even more to 89.81 percent.

Of the 70 schools recognized, four schools achieved a graduation rate of 100 percent. Those schools include; Union Educational Complex, Harman High School, Pickens High School and Paden City High School. Clay County High School placed 65th out of 70 with a 90.77 percent graduation rate.

The 70 schools recognized represent 60.3 percent of the 116 high schools in West Virginia. The overall graduation rate for all West Virginia high schools was 89.81 percent.