Top in Beating the Odds

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Newsweek recently ranked Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District’s Early College High School as one of the top high schools in the nation in its “Beating the Odds 2015” list.

ECHS came in at number 84 in the annual list, which recognizes 500 public high schools across the United States for their outstanding efforts in preparing their students for college while also overcoming the obstacles posed by students at an economic disadvantage.

“Early College High School has provided many of our students the opportunity to excel in both high school and college while preparing them for global achievement,” said Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos. “I firmly believe that education is the great equalizer in this great country, and the outstanding achievements ECHS has come to earn is a testament to what our students can accomplish when they have the support of their community. I want to commend their staff, students and our great partnership with Texas State Technical College for this recognition.”

ECHS received high marks for all three categories, including college readiness, graduation rate, and college bound – 87.3 percent, 100 percent, and 96.7 percent respectively.

“Early College High School provides our students with a rigorous high school and post-secondary curriculum while preparing them for leadership roles in our community,” said Principal Dr. Pamela Flores. “This achievement is a result of the faculty’s commitment to education, the students’ dedication to their studies, and the parents’ unyielding support.”

This is the third year that ECHS is recognized at the national level. Last year, the campus earned a bronze classification in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools national rankings. With a bronze classification, ECHS was named as one of the top 27 percent of high schools in the nation.

According to the U.S. News website, the rankings included data on more than 19,400 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Colombia. Schools were awarded gold, silver, or bronze medals based on state assessment performance and how prepared students are for college.

This May, ECHS saw graduates celebrate the completion of an associate’s degree or their collegiate academic core in the Texas State Technical College commencement ceremony. The campus even had one student, Anthony McIntosh, graduate with the distinction of Board Regents Scholars, which is an honor reserved for students graduating with a 4.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). McIntosh was one of 12 Board of Regent Scholars to graduate last May.

Opened in 2007, the campus kicked off the district’s efforts to provide students and parents with options in education. It was designed to incorporate the college and high school experience for students, freshman through senior year. The dual-enrollment focus allows ECHS students to start taking college classes at Texas State Technical College their first year of high school at no cost.

To learn more about HCISD’s ECHS please visit www.hcisd.org/echs or call (956) 430 – 9690.