TRENTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Things are looking up for the Jones County School system.
Not only does Jones Senior High School boast the highest graduation rate in the state at 97 percent, it has also received $15 million in grant money to consolidate Trent Elementary, Jones Middle and Jones Senior High into one school.
Joy Wynne, an alumna of Jones Senior High School who graduated in 1988, is proud of her alma mater.
“I think it’s a great thing that this is our 30-year coming up, and we have got all these great things happening at Jones Senior,” Wynne said.
Her daughter Karly is excited too. She’s a freshman at Jones and likely to be part of the first class to graduate from the new K-12 school.
“I was like, ah, I am so excited,” said Karly Wynne. “Yeah, I posted it on social media. I was like, ‘Jones County is finally coming up.’ I think it will leave a legacy. Being able to say I was the first class is probably going to be my biggest thing.”
The school will be divided into three wings with a community cafeteria.
Principal Michael White says it will benefit the whole community.
“It’s designed where there are places people in the community can come meet at, so the cafeteria is going to be big and open,” White said. “If they need to have a meeting space there, it’s going to have equipment as well. You can show and do stuff. there’s going to be an additional gym for the elementary school and that’s an additional place we can meet and have games and outside activities.”
Other community members aren’t happy that all the grades will be combined, but Joy and Karly Wynne say it’s time for a change.
“We have always been behind compared to other schools and not having what the surrounding counties really have,” said Karly Wynne.
“Absolutely time for some progress in our county,” Joy Wynne said.
Principal White said Jones Senior is on track to have a 99 percent graduation rate for the class of 2018, and students said teachers go out of their way to make sure no child is left behind.
“That feels really good,” said Ashley Murphy, a senior at the school. “People around here, not very many people feel like Jones Senior plays a big role in schools around here — we are pretty small, but then again that’s helpful.”