West Alabama school receives national honor

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 5:01 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - One West Alabama high school is starting the new year off on the right foot in a very big way. Central High School in Tuscaloosa was recently given the Model School Award for a major turnaround.

School leaders will be the first tell you they battled a “perception” problem about six years ago; the academics were not where they needed to be, behavioral issues and the just an overall sense something wasn’t working. Not anymore.

Just inside the lobby at Central High School, you’ll notice a sign declaring Central High School a Model School for 2022. This is an enormous recognition for people like Jennifer Hines and the teachers who made it happen. Hines is a 13-year veteran at at the school.

“Oh my goodness. It’s a morale booster. It gives us confidence. What they have been doing has been paying off,” said Hines.

The Tuscaloosa City School Board plans to formally recognize Central High School during its regular meeting on Tuesday.

“They presented their work over the summer at the Model School Conference Committee, and for us, we look at this as a precursor of greater things to come for Central High School,” said Tuscaloosa City Public School Superintendent Dr. Mike Daria.

Central High has around 800 students in grades 9 through 12. Principal Dr. Teresha Jones says the turnaround was six years in the making.

“To get this designation, you had to show progress where the school gave every student an opportunity to be successful, not just graduate, but when they leave here have a foundation behind it - get involved more in academics, extracurricular activities,” said Jones.

The turnaround school, the comeback kid - no matter what metaphor you use, Central High School believes it has turn the page to something better.

With this national recognition, school officials say this is the equivalent of winning the southeastern conference.


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