NEWBERRY — Bennie Bennett, superintendent of the Newberry County School District, showed the Rotary Club of Newberry on Friday how every child in the district has the same value.
Toward the end of his presentation, Bennett pulled out a crumpled dollar bill and one that was wrinkle free, explaining that no matter what, they both have the same value.
“Every child has that (value),” he said. “Our challenge is to help them realize what they are and can become. We’ve got people in the school district and the community who grasp that concept and are on the same page. There are a lot of talented young people who we can cultivate and motivate and who will take us to great places.
Bennett said the district has developed a brand for students which is success for all students at all levels. He also said customized education is talked about and is important.
The school district has to be more than just traditional, he explained.
For instance, they have students graduating who have college credit or are ready to enter the workforce.
“The challenge is how do we get them ready to make a better community for us,” said Bennett.
Bennett showed a video that highlighted each high school — Mid-Carolina, Newberry and Whitmire — and also had students highlight their experience and what they planned to do post high school. The video is available online at the school district’s website at www.newberry.k12.sc.us.
Highlighting the district, Bennett said they have 5,909 students enrolled. Of those students, 37 percent are black, 12 percent are Hispanic and 48 percent are white.
He also showed that the district has improved from an at-risk growth rating in 2010 to a good growth rating in 2012 for state report cards. Bennett also said the most recent ratings for all the schools were either average, good or excellent.
For federal accountability ratings, the school district received an overall rating of 87 percent — a B — in 2012. The lowest individual grade was a C.