Innovative principal honored for outstanding contributions toward college readiness
AUSTIN, TX, – Principal Ben Clinton was one of a handful of students to graduate from Raymondville High School in 1998. Today, as part of an effort to tackle the school’s persistent college readiness challenge and dropout rate, he is focused on having 100% of seniors graduate.
After studying diminishing college and workforce readiness levels of their graduating seniors, Raymondville High School in southern Texas partnered with SureScore, the leading provider of college readiness solutions, to create a culture full of hope and postsecondary activity.
In a school where over 70% of students are considered at-risk, Principal Clinton has committed to providing all students opportunities to be successful beyond high school. Raymondville’s graduation rate has climbed from 68% in 2009 to 84% currently, while the annual dropout rate has plummeted to 1.7%, down from 8% in 2008-2009. These numbers reflect extraordinary improvement in student success following Principal Clinton’s initiatives.
“Students at Raymondville High are achieving greater academic success because we use SureScore’s programs in our board-approved college readiness courses,” Clinton said. “SureScore programs provide every child with the additional tools and support they need to build confidence and develop a college-going mindset.”
Since SureScore’s College Readiness Course was added to the curriculum, all seniors take full advantage of myriad opportunities to help them prepare for postsecondary educations. College entrance exam preparation is the first course component, giving students the skills and support to perform well on the SAT or ACT. The second course element, Fundamentals of College Admissions, includes goal-setting, college and career exploration, college applications, essay writing, letters of recommendation, résumé-building, interview skills, and scholarship and financial aid research.
Clinton is so committed to his student’s success that he added a full-time SureScore teacher to his staff.
“We were experiencing a significant college readiness gap and I knew that with SureScore we could play a key role in guiding early preparation for postsecondary education,” he says. “SureScore fosters academic preparation and achievement, supports parent involvement, provides college and career planning information, and helps students through the many steps in postsecondary planning.”
Parental encouragement is often the strongest factor in helping students develop educational plans. Toward this end, SureScore and Clinton provide students and parents with information about workplace and college admission requirements, high school classes, and postsecondary options.
“Regardless of socio-economic background, all students should be provided with quality college preparation opportunities,” stated Andrew Vreeke, President and CEO of SureScore. “We are proud to partner with Principal Clinton to provide the tools, information, and resources to guide these students and their parents through the postsecondary planning process to ensure they experience a successful educational transition.”
SureScore provides a support system to improve academic achievement and increase the number of college-ready students by increasing college readiness in public schools, particularly those serving economically disadvantaged students. Founded on the principle that college preparation should be accessible to all students—regardless of socio-economic background—SureScore’s cost-effective educational model allows districts to reach more students through large-scale implementation.
About Raymondville I.S.D.
At Raymondville I.S.D., the mission is to deliver a superior academic and technological education so that 100% of students graduate and become productive citizens with a strong sense of social and civic responsibility in a multicultural society while integrating the agricultural, historical, recreational, and cultural aspects of South Texas and northern Mexico that are unique to the Gateway of the Rio Grande Valley.