The Virginia Board of Education has recognized Riverheads High School and Wilson Memorial High School with 2019 Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Awards.

To receive a BOE Distinguished Achievement Award, according to the BOE’s website, 85 percent of a high school’s and division’s students must graduate. Schools must maintain a dropout rate of 10 percent or less.

Significant irregularities in the administration of Standards of Learning, the website says, makes a school and school division ineligible.

“I think it’s an acknowledgement of our students and of our faculty — the hard work that they put in,” said Riverheads High School Principal Max Lowe.

He added he is certainly proud of the students at Riverheads High.

The school has actually received the award the last six or seven years, according to Lowe, who said the award is in the form of a letter that is framed and hung up in the school’s main office.

Lowe said that receiving the award for the last few years shows the dedication and hard work of Riverheads High’s students and faculty, and he does not take any of that credit away from them.

“It’s a testament to them,” he said.

This year also marked Lowe’s final year as principal of Riverheads, because he announced his retirement after this academic year.

As far as Wilson Memorial High School Principal Kelly Troxell knows, this marks the first time Wilson Memorial has received the award.

“We are incredibly proud of the perseverance and hard work of our students and teachers,” Troxell said.

She added the award is a testament to the teamwork exhibited each day by students and teachers at Wilson Memorial High.

The award also shows the improvement the school’s students have made in SOL scores, and how all teachers worked together to pursue the goal of making sure all students who attend Wilson Memorial graduate.

“It’s been our goal to improve [in SOLs],” Troxell said of the school that remained fully accredited, but strove to improve scores.

Troxell said she is “very proud” of the award.

“Wilson Memorial High is a great school,” she said. And she added that she hopes the community is also very proud.

A list of eligibility requirements is available at the BOE’s website at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/statistics_reports/va_index_performance_awards/criteria.shtml.

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