As graduation season comes to an end, Philomath High School has special reason to celebrate. Every senior who started the school year earned their high school diploma.
Principal Mike Bussard has story after story of students who might not have made it to graduation if it weren’t for a community of people supporting them. In one case, a student only needed one course to finish, so the school contacted his employer and explained the situation.
“And the boss even said, ‘Oh, there’s no way. I’m getting him down there.’ And we were able to do that,” said Bussard.
The high school also saw an increase in students staying the whole year in the lower grades. Bussard says this success is about the culture of the school.
“You know at graduation there was a number of students. I had one shakes my hand goes and gets his diploma, he says, ‘betcha never thought I’d be here.’ And I said no, that’s not true,” said Bussard. “I said you had to do your part, but we were always betting on you.”
As Oregon struggles with graduation rates, Bussard is already working on ways to build on this years’ success.