OGHS ranks at the top in Mississippi school ratings


Photo Courtesy of Mississippi Department of Education

Oak Grove High School ranks as the best Class-6A high school in the state, according to the Mississippi Department of Education’s rankings for the 2017-2018 school year.

This means that of the largest 32 public high schools in Mississippi, Oak Grove is number one in terms of education. Oak Grove was also ranked as the third best school in the entire state, an astounding achievement.

This comes as no surprise to Oak Grove head principal Mrs. Helen Price, who described herself as “ecstatic” when she heard the news.

Price was sure to mention that this achievement was a team effort between all students and faculty, but specifically praised the teachers for their contribution to this success.

“First, they love our students; secondly, they know and love their content and what they’re teaching; and thirdly, they can do it effectively in a way that engages students, helps them want to learn, and helps them retain that information,” Price said. “And that is all reflected in our test scores.”

Price acknowledged challenges that come with maintaining such high standards at such a large school.

“We have to work to set our expectations high and to motivate everyone to move in that direction, which is a challenge at our size—doing that across the board.”

Price does not see this recent achievement and continued success as short-lived.

“I see us still at the top [in ten years],” Price said. “It’s become such a tradition here – helping our students be successful in academics, the arts, and athletics, and I see us continuing that tradition into the future.”

With Oak Grove seeing significant gains in areas like academic success in the lowest performing students, Lamar County superintendent Mrs. Tess Smith said she “couldn’t be prouder” of her alma mater.

“My goal is to always encourage others to be their very best and give them the support they need to accomplish the task,” Smith said. “David Weinberger once said ‘the smartest person in the room, is the room.’ Our teachers and leaders collaborate in this district. They cross school lines to work with each other. Because of that working relationship, I believe that we will continue to grow and be successful.”

Smith said she is “constantly” impressed by how Oak Grove continues to earn high marks along with its continued “growth and changing dynamics.”

“1700 [people] is a small town in many places,” Smith said, alluding to the large enrollment at Oak Grove. “It can be overwhelming when you think of it from a distance, but when you see it working, it is amazing. For that, I give thanks and appreciation to the leaders, the teachers who support them and the students who strive to meet all of their expectations.”

While many things are important to the overall success of a school, Smith also

mentioned the serious expectation of success in Lamar County and Oak Grove and the importance of student involvement.

“With the number of clubs and activities at OGHS, a student can be as involved as he or she wants to be. I believe that involvement and resulting school pride only enhances the desire for success.”