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Doddridge Co. High a fine example of creativity for the rest of

It's pretty amazing, we think, that Doddridge County High School students rank third in the state in average ACT scores.

It would be a neat enough accomplishment to rank third among just public schools. But Doddridge County students earned their high marks going against students in both public and private facilities.

And, Doddridge County's school district, as a whole, posted the highest average ACT score of any of the 55 counties in West Virginia.

Now, we realize that pre-college tests, such as the ACT, shouldn't be the only barometer of success among high schools.

Some youth, for whatever reason, simply don't do well on such tests, yet are quite intellectual at many other levels and go on to fine careers in college and the workaday world.

Still, the ACT scores are an important part of the equation. They show that students are learning much of the material necessary to succeed in college.

Doddridge High Principal Ed Cumpston attributes his students' achievement to the quality and selection of courses available.

"We have dedicated, capable teachers and students who want to learn," he says. "The combination is a success at a very high level."

The school offers students up to 24 hours of college credit courses through Fairmont and Glenville state colleges before graduation. Students can take the more advanced classes in subjects like history, psychology, geography and English and receive both high school and college credit.

"We encourage students to enroll in challenging academic classes -- that's the key -- and not just to take classes to get by," said counselor Diana Cumpston.

The strategies sound pretty innovative to us.

We think that's what education in the year 2001 is all about -- innovation.

President-elect George W. Bush is right to want school teachers and administrators to be held more accountable, to get more involved in the education of children.

In Doddridge County, that kind of initiative already exists.

We hope Doddridge County will continue to put such creative ideas into use, and we hope other school districts throughout the state will follow the examples of Doddridge and some of the other counties that scored highest: Cross Lanes Christian School in Kanawha County and Buffalo High in Putnam County.

And for doing such a good job, we offer our highest commendation to the faculty, staff and students at Doddridge County High School.

Matt Harvey

Telegram Editorial Board member

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