Cherokee County schools honored as 'Most Challenging' - CBS46 News

Cherokee County schools honored as 'Most Challenging'

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The Cherokee County School District has had its share of cutbacks, yet four high schools are now on a list of top U.S. high schools in a ranking published by the Washington Post.

The schools made the list of 2013 "America's Most Challenging High Schools."

Etowah High School in Woodstock is one of the four Cherokee County schools to make the list.

Alex Johnson is a junior honors student at Etowah. He told CBS Atlanta News that he learned about the ranking over the school's intercom system.

"Everyone gave a little applause," said Johnson.

The students do exceptionally well on Advanced Placement tests, which has them ranked among the top 9 percent of schools in the nation.

Johnson said the ranking is an honor and a direct result of a team effort.

"That's come down to the parents being supportive on the children, the children pushing themselves fully. And the administration that ties it together and organizes it," said Johnson.

The three other Cherokee schools that made the list are nearby Woodstock High School, Creekview High School and Sequoyah High School.

Etowah Principal Keith Ball told CBS Atlanta News he couldn't be more proud.

"[I'm] extremely proud of the kids and the parents especially the obstacles," said Ball.

Ball said despite wide budget cuts, which brought about a shorter school year and crowded classes, the teachers have still managed to get the most out of their students.

"I think if you're true and genuine to what kids need to be successful, regardless of what's going on around you. Especially if it's outside distractions, you're going to keep the main thing the main thing, which is the kids' needs," said Ball.

Click here for the full list of  "America's Most Challenging High Schools."

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