Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed remarks to parent Lori Sonken. Those remarks have been removed.
Editor’s Note: This story was written by and republished with the permission of Ithaca Week, a weekly magazine produced by the students of the Advanced Multimedia Journalism class at the Roy H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College.
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Ithaca High School’s new principal plans to increase the school’s 91 percent graduation rate during his tenure by building on the school’s AP course offerings and focusing on forming connections within the school.
The school’s graduation rate already exceeds the New York State average. According to the New York State Department of Education, the state’s average graduation rate was at 74.9 percent, as of 2013. IHS’s graduation rate is 91 percent.
“You don’t see Ithaca High School students exit out successfully and flunk out college,” the new principal, Jason Trumble, said.
Trumble has been with the Ithaca School District for more than 20 years. He spent 11 years as a social studies teacher, cross-country and track coach at the school. In 2012, Trumble returned to IHS as the assistant principal and in 2015, became principal.
“Being in the college town that we are in, the community’s expectations are very high at Ithaca High School. They expect students to be accurately prepared for a high level of college,” he said.
The school offers AP courses that students can use as college credit, as well as numerous after-school programs. According to Trumble, 90 percent of IHS students go on to four-year colleges, but there’s still work to be done.
Jay True, a board member on the Ithaca City School District, said the goal is possible but might be more long-term.
“I think it’s a wonderful goal, I support it 100 percent. It may take some time but that shouldn’t stop us from trying.”
The district enjoys a $113,774,956 budget compared to its neighbor, the Cortland Enlarged City School District, which is $47,504,329, according to their 2014-15 budget report.
“If a school strives towards a 100 percent graduation rate, it indicates that the administration recognizes that students have different learning styles, and will attempt to form a variety of curricula that will accommodate and support the entire student body,” Racoosin said.
Beth Hardesty, a secretary at IHS, praised Trumble’s efforts to date.
“A stable leadership is important for the kids. Mr. Trumble is great at seeing everything we’ve done so far and being appreciative of it,” she said.