Boca Ciega High's turnaround touted in Education Week
Boca Ciega High School was featured this month in Education Week, with fun portraits of this year's valedictorian and other graduates.
The Gulfport school has made a lot of strides under the leadership of Michael Vigue, who took over as principal about five years ago. Vigue and his team built a computer system to track students in better time than the Pinellas County School District's own system. (It's something that district leaders said a while ago that they were looking to imitate countywide.) Parents rave about Vigue, noting that he's a visible and accessible presence on campus.
The Times wrote about the dramatic rise in the graduation rate at Boca Ciega High three years ago.
This year, the B-rated school has what school officials believe is the first black valedictorian. According to district data, the school's black graduation rate was higher than its white graduation rate in the 2014/15 school year, with 89 percent of black students earning a diploma compared to 86 percent of white students. Largo High and Pinellas Park High also had higher graduation rates for black students than white students last year. (Official data for the 2015/16 school year isn't available yet; students still can be counted as graduates into the summer.)
Vigue said it's not actually the first time that the graduation rate for black students was higher than white students. It's been that way in three of the last four years, and is projected to occur again for the Class of 2016. (Again, that data isn't in yet.)
Check out the portraits, and congratulations to the graduates.