CUSHING, TX (KTRE) - Within the last week, three Deep East Texas high schools landed on U.S. News and World Report's annual list for achievements in college readiness. East Texas News visited with one of the recipients in Cushing.
The recognition has boosted the morale of both educators and students.
Although Gold Star is the highest, officials with Cushing Independent School District are perfectly pleased with its Silver Star ranking from U.S. News and World Report. It shows the nation the district is serious about preparing students for college or a vocation.
Advanced Placement and dual-credit college participation classes are in high regards. In Cushing, It's called the Bearkat Leadership Plan. Three adjunct professors teach the university courses. Pass, and the district reimburses some of the tuition. It's 100 percent for an A.
"Eight out of 10 of my students in the one class are all making A's, so they've focused their mind on it and realize what it will take to pass," Andy Ferrell, a teacher at Cushing High School, said.
Up for the challenge is Clay Beavers. The junior is on his way to state in the UIL Number Sense competition.
"Eighty problems in 10 minutes, it's all math, completely mental," Beavers said. "Can't write anything down, can't erase."
Sammi Jo Brashears, a freshman at Cushing High School, is on her way to state in the 300 hurdle. She's also ready to jump into college prep.
"Then I'll have all my college mapped out before I get there so I don't have to rush and freak out, and then I can just have my four years mapped out," Brashears said.
Cushing ISD puts in a conscience effort to go after those state recognitions, such as exemplary campuses, but when it comes to this national recognition, they didn't do anything other than what they do every single day.
"If there were no STAR test, if there were no end of course exam, if there were no TAKS test and so to speak if we just had school every day, there wouldn't be much we would change," James Moore, the principal of Cushing High School, said. "It's just nice to be able to given this recognition for the job we were hired to do."
Two Angelina County high schools also got recognition on the list. East Texas News talked to the Lufkin and Hudson high school principals about the recognition.