LEXINGTON, Neb. — Lexington High School is being nationally recognized for improvement in state test scores, graduation rates, attendance and student mobility.

Nine school administrators and teachers arrived in Orlando, Florida, Friday to share the school's success story during the National Association of Secondary School Principals' annual conference. The conference continues today.

LHS is one of 18 middle and high schools selected to present at the Ignite '16 School Showcase, which is conducted by the NASSP and the Center for Secondary School Redesign.

Hastings Middle School was the only other Nebraska school selected for the showcase.

"The Lexington school district and community share equally in this recognition," Lexington High Principal Kyle Hoehner said. "Our school's success is a testimony to the collaborative work being done by our students and the school district's teachers, administrators, parents and community. It is truly a district wide, community-wide honor."

Lexington's Destination Graduation program has played a major role in the high school's advances. The program was created five years ago in partnership with the Lexington Community Foundation to address poverty, language barriers and graduation rates.

Hoehner said the school's shared mantra is, "Teachers will never give up on students, and students will never give up on themselves or each other."

Hoehner said that attitude drives weekly student/teacher conferences at which academics, activity and behavioral growth are discussed. It also inspires academic pep rallies, cohort graduation competition, the Gathering of Champions Initiative and the Foundations of Leadership program.

The school's 95 percent attendance and 91 percent graduation rates go along with three-year improvements in state assessments that include increases in reading by 28 percent, writing by 19 percent and math by 17 percent, Hoehner said.

According to a 2011-12 Lexngton Public Schools Report Card, Lexington High's graduation rate was 81.8 percent.

"The Ignite '16 School Showcase connects principals, teacher leaders and students with exemplary colleagues across the nation to discuss effective practices," said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of the principals association. "That connectedness is essential to school leadership in the 21st century, and we know the showcase will expand the professional learning communities of many of the educators in attendance."

Schools are chosen to present on the basis of their reputations for quality and innovative practices with challenging populations.

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