The oldest school in the county, Newton High School has seen many changes over the years. Currently, with the highest high school population, the old school is being re-built to allow its students to have the best they can in technology and education.
"Newton High School currently has more than 1,800 students walking its halls, and many of these students are deemed ‘at-risk' due to socioeconomic conditions and/or backgrounds. The staff, however, does not view these students as being ‘at-risk' for failure, but instead as ‘at-promise' for success. The data supports that belief," said Principal Craig Lockhart.
"Last year's graduating class earned $8.8 million dollars in scholarships, and the Class of 2012 earned $9.1 million dollars in scholarships. A total of 312 out of 334 (93.4 percent) tested seniors earned a Work Ready certificate, thus demonstrating that they have the skill sets to enter the workforce.
The school has the only ROTC program in the county and has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control to launch the first and only high school level epidemiology course in the nation; the school has a thriving National Honor Society that currently has over more than members. Newton High has a 21st Century after school program that has been commended by the Georgia Department of Education for its innovative methods of keeping high school students engaged in learning. Newton High's SECME program is a STEM-focused club that recently earned a $6,000 grant to support science, technology, engineering and math exploration.
In addition, Newton High's FFA program constantly produces championship competitors, the NHS Sound Factory band participates and competes on local, state and national levels and NHS athletic programs signed numerous student athletes to colleges and universities this year. NHS is home to the Academy of Liberal Arts at Newton High School, also known as ALANHS. ALANHS is a program that draws highly gifted and talented students across the district and engages them in a rigorous academic four-year program of study that includes mentoring, research, community service and study abroad opportunities. The program partners with Oxford College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State University to provide students with a well-rounded school experience.
"Like all schools, Newton High has its share of challenges. The school has high expectations for behavior and social responsibility and believes that a child's character will open more doors of opportunity than anything else. Despite these obstacles, the most special thing about Newton High is its students. Newton High students are the best kids around," said Lockhart. "These students constantly find ways to amaze you with their unique talents and gifts. If you spend one day with these students, you can't help but to believe in the power of a solid, high quality education. I am blessed to serve these students. I have a strong core of teachers and caring parents who are committed to see these students succeed. Together, we will see the Newton High Rams rise to the top of the mountain."
"While NHS has shown areas of strong performance on Georgia assessments, it is most apparent that math is an area of great concern. Principal Lockhart and faculty are aware of the need for improvement and are taking steps to improve student learning. Though at NHS for just a short while now, Dr. Lockhart has brought discipline and a persistent focus on teaching and learning that will greatly benefit students in the short and long-term. I have confidence in him and the staff to make the necessary improvements. I believe they are
renewed and committed to the task. My preliminary look at 2011-12 results for Newton's progress on EOCTs bodes well and is a positive signal," said Superintendent Gary Mathews.