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Doddridge Co. High School really makes the grade

Bigger is not necessarily better. Take Doddridge County High School, for instance. It's the only high school in the county, with only 425 students. It's in a sparsely populated county with a low tax base. Yet, the school has ranked third in the state in ACT scores, behind only Buffalo High in Putnam County and a private school, Cross Lanes Christian.

A report released last week by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, showed that in the 1998-99 school year, Doddridge High had an average score of 22.5 in the ACT exams.

How did this happen? Doddridge High offers 24 credit hours in college courses through Fairmont State and Glenville State. Students are taking college-level classes in history, psychology, geography and English.

Doddridge senior Alicia Holt took 18 hours in college classes and ended up with a 26 on her ACT. Principal Ed Cumpston challenges his students to broaden their horizons: "We encourage students to enroll in challenging academic classes -- that's the key -- and not just taking classes to get by."

Cumpston summed up the school's high marks like this: "We have dedicated, capable teachers and students who want to learn. The combination is success at a very high level."

That sounds like a good combination, indeed. We salute the students and teachers at Doddridge High for their stellar achievement and we hope they can maintain their standard of excellence.

Today's editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial page, which is comprised of James G. Logue, Kevin S. Courtney, Patrick M. Martin, Nora Edinger and J. Cecil Jarvis.

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