Forsyth County’s schools have long been among the state’s best for quality education, but the system made history this year.
With a combined average of 1,580 from its five high schools, the district earned the highest SAT score in Georgia.
Superintendent Buster Evans said the accomplishment is “something that we are so very proud of for our students, staff and community.
“This reflects extremely hard work done over several years,” he said. “I am also proud that our number of test takers has increased.
“We continue to believe that the SAT reflects a myriad of educational experiences in an child's life. So frankly, this is an accomplishment that all educators and students and their families can celebrate."
South Forsyth High earned the county’s highest average to date, at 1,668 out of a possible 2,400 points. That was a 62-point increase from last year.
Two years ago, South’s average was 1,639 and it claimed the 2400 Challenge Cup for highest overall scores in the county.
The state average was 1,452 on the test, which measures developed skills through three, 800-possible-point sections in critical reading, math and writing. It is often used as an entrance exam for many colleges and universities. The national average was 1,498.
Lambert, which scored a 1,618 this year, earned that distinction last year, and while the school will relinquish the cup to South, it still raised its score.
West Forsyth’s average was 1,550, followed by North at 1,524 and Forsyth Central at 1,509.
South Principal Jeff Cheney said the school’s increase from last year is almost unheard of. But when the average dipped last year, he said students and staff were “going to work very hard to improve our SAT score and get the cup back.”
According to Cheney, the counseling department has “really looked at every avenue possible to offer more preparation for our students.”
“We still continued to expose students to key vocabulary, critical thinking, problem solving and test preparation in general,” he said. “But overall, our counseling department really sought out the best test preparation opportunities for all of our students.”
South ranks No. 11 in the state for SAT score among individual schools, but with continued efforts before, during and after school, as well as on weekends, Cheney has higher goals.
“Not only did [our score] allow Forsyth County Schools to have the No. 1 ranking overall in the state for the first time, which is exciting ... but at 1,668, that’s extraordinary.
“Our goal would be to crack the top 10 next year.”