News 12 First at Five, August 29, 2007
Johnston, SC---The grades are in. Georgia and South Carolina released the latest numbers on SAT performance Tuesday. One local high school's scores made history.
Marianne Beja is a graduate and teacher for the past 23 years at Strom Thurmond High School. She says she can't imagine spending her time anywhere else.
"This is my calling. This is what the Lord called me to do and I'm determined that I'm going to do the best that I can for them each and every day."
The result: for the first time in history seniors at Strom Thurmond outperformed students across the country on the SAT. Senior Erin Armstrong says, "I can't even explain how it feels. It's great that we're making history. It just proves that the South is really coming along."
Indeed, it's an important measure of academic achievement. Students say it's teachers like Mrs. Beja that make all the difference. Parker Northrop says, "They really seem like they care. It's not they're going in and it's just their job. They are going in and taking it a step further."
Math department director Gregg Yonce says, "We know the parents. We know the grandparents. We've taught brothers and sisters, so it's easy to get to know those children and to care about those children."
Students outperformed their peers in writing, literature, and math. They walked away with over 3 million dollars in scholarships.
Interim superintendent Frank Roberson says, "To meet and exceed the national average is probably the best validation that one can receive for the quality of curriculum that is being presented at this high school."
It's a pattern teacher's and students alike hope to keep up for years to come. Senior, Wallace Mealing says, "It puts a little pressure on us but I'm not too worried because we're a good bunch of kids."