Rocky Boy High School was presented with the Seventh Generation Award for its Graduation Matters program Tuesday.
The program was begun last year to focus on helping students not only graduate high school, but continue on to higher education, said Rocky Boy High School Principal Lewis Reese.
“We’re very serious in getting our kids to the highest level possible and not settling for mediocrity,” Reese said.
Rocky Boy High School had a graduating class of 33 last year and 85 percent of them went on to higher education, Reese said. The students went to a wide array of Montana colleges included Stone Child College, Montana State University and its branches in Billings and Havre, the University of Great Falls and others.
“We have a good representation of students around the state,” Reese said.
The award was presented by Sapphire Carter, who is a Rocky Boy graduate and an outstanding student at Carroll College in Helena, Reese said.
“She’s an excellent ambassador for what we’re trying to do,” Reese said. “She’s active in going out and putting Rocky Boy’s name out there.”
In a press release from Denise Juneau, Montana’s superintendent of public instruction, the award was given to Graduation Matters Rocky Boy “for their steady progress in improving graduation rates for American Indian students.”
Rocky Boy’s graduation rates rose from 52.5 to 66 percent in the last three years, the release says. College applications were submitted by 76 percent of this year’s seniors during College Application Week.
“Graduation Matters Rocky Boy has worked as a team to put advancement opportunities in place for the students,” the press release says. “The school district is raising the bar in the classroom and putting a heavy emphasis on financial literacy to prepare students for life after high school … . (GMRB) is a great example of taking on a significant challenge and doing the hard work and collaboration necessary to make the future brighter for the next generation.”