Nation’s Outstanding High School Seniors Honored for Educational Achievement


Atlanta, GA — More than 6,000 high school seniors across the nation will receive the 2014 High Schools That Work (HSTW) Award of Educational Achievement this spring from the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).

The Award of Educational Achievement recognizes high school seniors at HSTW and Technology Centers That Work (TCTW) schools who not only complete a rigorous high school curriculum but also demonstrate their readiness to succeed in the work place or in further education after graduation.

“In the 21st-century economy, students need to graduate from high school prepared for their next step — whether that is a four-year college, advanced career training, a high-skills career or the military,” said Gene Bottoms, SREB senior vice president and director of HSTW. “These 6,000 seniors have really gone the distance.”

Students qualify for the award by completing a college-preparatory curriculum in at least two of three subject areas (English/language arts, math or science); completing a concentration in a career-technical area, math/science or the humanities; and meeting readiness goals in all three subject areas (reading, math and science) of the HSTW Assessment. Students who meet the readiness goals likely are able to pass most employer exams for entry-level positions or enter postsecondary studies without needing remedial courses, Bottoms noted.

More than 26,000 high school seniors in 27 states participated in the HSTW Assessment. Similar to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, it includes subject tests in reading, math and science, as well as a student survey. About 23 percent of these seniors qualified for the Award of Educational Achievement in 2014, compared with approximately 21 percent in 2012. HSTW and TCTW schools are continuing to do more to ensure their graduates are prepared for a full range of postsecondary options, Bottoms said.

SREB, based in Atlanta, was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government work cooperatively to advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region. SREB has 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. More information is available at

High Schools That Work, launched in 1987, is a program of SREB and the largest high school improvement effort in the United States, serving more than 1,200 school sites in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Founded in 2007, the Technology Centers That Work school improvement model works with more than 180 technology centers in 18 states.