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Mixed Returns, But County Grad Rate Slips Slightly

Mixed Returns, But County Grad Rate Slips Slightly

    Lake County’s 2021 graduation rate was reported this week at 90.6%, slightly higher than the statewide rate of 90.1% and surpassing Superintendent Diane Kornegay’s goal of 90% for a second year in a row.
    Lake’s graduation rate was 77.8% in 2017, when Kornegay was chosen to lead the district.  At that time, she said one of her primary goals was to help the district reach and exceed a 90% graduation rate.  The district reached that goal in 2020 when the graduation rate reached 91.2% and it stayed above the goal in 2021 despite a drop of 0.6 percentage points.
    Seven of the district’s eight traditionally operated high schools either maintained a rate above 90% or saw an increase.  The largest increases were at Leesburg High School and Mount Dora High School, where the graduation rates at both schools jumped 4.9 percentage points.  Leesburg High’s rate increased from 82.4% in 2020 to 87.3% in 2021, and Mount Dora High’s rate rose from 92.1% in 2020 to 97% in 2021.  Umatilla High missed the 90% mark by only 1.7 percentage points, slipping from 90.6% in 2020 to 88.9% in 2021.
    Lake Virtual School saw an influx of new students enroll at various points throughout last school year because of the pandemic.  Some students completed graduation requirements at a later date and were not included in the state’s count for 2021.  As a result, the graduation rate dropped 26.1 percentage points, falling from 97.1% in 2020 to 71% in 2021.
    “Our students continue to excel in spite of all the challenges they have faced over the last couple of years,” said Kornegay.  “Their diligence and focus coupled with the professionalism and dedication of their teachers, administrators, and support staff has produced an outcome we all can celebrate.  Our number one goal as a district is to make sure our students graduate ready for college and/or a career, and I’m proud to say that’s happening for more and more students each year here in Lake.”