Avery County Schools ranked fourth in the state with a graduation achievement of 90.1 percent, the first time ever for Avery County Schools. "Avery County Schools is very proud of having the fourth highest graduation rate in North Carolina. Many people throughout the school system and the Avery community deserve credit for their contributions to this first time ever top 10 result. It was not too long ago that our graduation rate stood at a much, much lower percentage. The improved, higher graduation rate comes as a result of the dedication of our students and hard work of adults who surround the students with support. It is amazing what thinking differently, opening up curricular offerings and making things relevant to students can do for a school. However, we cannot be satisfied nor shift into cruise control because the ultimate target is to have 100 percent of our students graduate from high school with their peers," said Mark Garrett, principal of Avery County High School. At a recent awards ceremony, State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson recognized 11 school districts and 35 high schools including Avery County for having the highest graduation rates among all districts and schools in the state for the 2010-11 school year. "North Carolina reached an all-time high school graduation rate of 80.4 percent last year, the highest ever for our state. I commend all superintendents, principals and teachers who worked so hard to make sure more students than ever are graduating high school prepared for college, career and citizenship," Atkinson said.