Students at Southwest High School were learning on the football field. "The Aristocrat of Bands" from Tennessee State University came to mentor and recruit band students.
Southwest students applauded the band when they stepped out of their buses. Student Bryan Johnson said he was in shock when he saw the band walk on the field. “I'm flabbergasted,” said Johnson. “It's amazing.”
“This is a very exciting moment because I want to do band when I go to college,” said Southwest student Meisha Carnegie. “So experiencing what they go through every day makes me more excited about going.”
Principal Dexter Martin says these "out of the box" activities help change his students' outlook on learning. “We had an increase in our graduation rate last year and we're looking forward to that again this year,” said Martin.
Southwest High School's graduation rate has nearly doubled since 2012. Martin said last year their graduation rate was 74 percent. “They want to be college and career ready and that's our goal,” said Martin.
Southwest alumnus Danny Glover says the next step is finding the funds to go. “Band directors recruit students and they want them to join their college program,” said Glover. “That offers them money to attend college.”
But in the end, no matter where the students go after high school, people in this community want them to succeed.
Principal Martin says Southwest High School expects more than two hundred students to graduate this year.
(© 2016 WMAZ)