A senior at Mount Tabor High School and Parkland High School received state awards last week at the N.C. State Board of Education meeting in Raleigh.
Jaquesha Stokes, who will turn 18 on April 17, received the N.C. Student Readiness Award. Parkland, whose principal is Tim Lee, received the N.C. College and Career Transition Award. Both awards were given by the ACT, a national nonprofit organization that produces college-entrance tests as part of its College and Career Readiness Campaign. Winners of state awards will be considered for the national awards, which will be presented at a gala in Washington on May 21.
Stokes has dealt with a form of cancer of the connective tissues called rhabdomyosarcoma during her time at Mount Tabor. Despite the cancer, which is in remission, Stokes stayed focused on her schoolwork and continued to attend basketball games to support her teammates and to participate in the life of the school and community in other ways. She serves as the senior class representative, is a member of Health Occupations Students of America and the Spanish Club and has volunteered at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
Parkland is the only high school in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. It also provides a focus on the arts and on internationalism. A partnership with the United Way provides additional support for the school’s goal of improving academic achievement and the graduation rate. In recent years, proficiency scores on end-of-course (EOC) tests improved from 42.3 percent to 67.9 percent, and the graduation rate climbed from 65.8 percent to 74.3 percent. In 2012, members of the senior class received $8.3 million in scholarships and grants, compared to $3 million in 2007.
As a result of these accomplishments, Parkland was nominated for the 2010 National Panasonic School Change Award. In 2011, the National Youth-at-Risk Conference recognized Parkland as one of five “High Flying Schools” in the nation. Parkland’s Choral Ensemble placed second in a national competition in conjunction with the 2008 Presidential Inauguration, and the 2013 Parkland marching band has been invited to represent North Carolina on Memorial Day in Washington.