82% Of Area Grads To Continue Education

NEWARK – With 82 percent of Worcester County’s graduating seniors from spring 2007 heading to further education, and $12.6 million in scholarships, county educators are saying this spring’s class was one of the best ever.

Betsy Williams, Stephen Decatur High School guidance counselor, told the Worcester County Board of Education Tuesday she did not think any graduating class could get better than the class of 2006.

“I remember saying [last year], we’ll never top that group. This year, we did,” Williams said.

A total of 560 students graduated this year, and 245 graduating seniors were awarded $12,655,889.19 in scholarship and grant money, accepting $6,039,062.19.

Stephen Decatur High School students were offered roughly $10 million in scholarships, Pocomoke High School students $1.1 million, and Snow Hill High School $1.4 million.

Scholarship money went up $3 million in 2007.     

“We’re very proud of that,” Williams said.

Of that, 445 graduates, 80 percent of the entire systemwide graduating class, will move on to college or vocational school, with a further 11 going on to higher education with a military obligation.

One student has been accepted by both West Point and the Naval Academy.

About 60 percent of the college-bound graduates will attend University of Maryland schools. Wor-Wic Community College will see 142 new students from Worcester County, while 49 will go to Salisbury University, 22 to University of Maryland Eastern Shore and 58 to other Maryland system institutions.

Seven will enter the military, and 75 will enter employment. Twenty-two have other, unspecified, plans.

Worcester County’s adult education program graduated 46 students this week with a general equivalency diploma (GED), with four students earning scholarships for further education from the Optimist Club of Berlin/Ocean City. A graduation ceremony was held at the August Board of Education meeting.

Irma Brown, an adult education student from El Salvador with perfect attendance, was chosen as the top English Speakers of Other Languages foreign student. Brown also got her United States citizenship this year.

Jeannie Wells and Johanna Donaway scored in the top 5 percent statewide on the GED test. Eight of the GED graduates went through the GED program at the County Jail.

“This is an exciting day. I want to thank you for staying with the commitment and graduating,” said Gary Mumford, president of the Board of Education.