Mar. 12—Cold Springs High School has been named Cullman County's School of Excellence for the 2019-2020 school year.
In a belated celebration of the honor during Thursday afternoon's meeting of the Cullman County School Board, Superintendent Shane Barnette presented the trophy to Cold Springs High School Principal Eric Dickerson.
The award is typically given out before the school year at the system's Teacher Institute, but COVID-19 meant many of the usual meetings were unable to happen and caused some delays with the state's data, Barnette said.
Out of all the of high schools in the county, Cold Springs High School had the highest senior ACT scores, the highest student attendance rate, was tied for the highest graduation rate, was one of two high schools to receive an "A" on the state report card, had the second highest percentage of students passing the ACT WorkKeys test and the faculty and staff had the second highest attendance rate, Barnette said.
Cold Springs also saw success outside of the classroom, with county championships in boys and girls cross country, a state championship in cross country, area and regional championships in girls basketball and won the county sportsmanship award, he said.
This marks the fifth time that the system has given the School of Excellence Award, and is the third time that Cold Springs High School has received the honor, Barnette said.
Dickerson said Cold Springs had a great year last year and he is happy to see the work of its students and teachers be recognized.
"It's just what can be accomplished when you have great students and a great faculty," he said. "When you're all working together you can accomplish great things."
Dickerson said having such success in the classroom and athletically in the same year doesn't happen very often, and he credited the school's 2020 graduating class for leading the rest of the student body and providing a good example to follow.
"It was almost like a perfect storm of a year when everything just comes together," he said. "When you have a great senior class, a lot of the time the rest of the school falls in line and the younger kids follow their lead."
While Cold Springs High School received the top honor, the rest of the county's high schools and their principals were also recognized at the meeting for their successes.
In 2020, the Cullman County School System had the highest graduation rate in its history at 94.58 percent, with Cold Springs High School and Vinemont High School having graduation rates of 100 percent, Barnette said.
He said another indicator that the state uses in determining the success of a school is the number of students who graduate and are going to college or are ready to join the workforce, and Cullman County had an all-time high 99.4 percent of its graduates who were college or career ready.
Good Hope High School, Holly Pond High School, Vinemont High School and West Point High School all had a 100 percent rate of college and career ready students, Barnette said.
"That is a monumental achievement," he said.