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Linden seniors ace exit exam

The Linden High School Class of 2009 will all graduate together this Friday, as the seniors aced the exit exam this year.

“One hundred percent of our seniors passed three of the five sections,” said LHS principal Timothy Thurman. “Reading portion 100 percent, language 100 percent, science 98 percent, math 100 percent and social studies 96 percent.

“Our junior class has also done extremely well. They have already passed reading, and 86 percent have passed the overall test. We only have one student in the junior class who hasn’t passed math yet, so that’s at 98 percent already.”

Thurman said the results have been consistent over the last several years.

“Our staff has been doing a wonderful job with our kids,” he said. “We’ve been recognized for the last few years. We were listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the best schools in the nation. We’re still the only high school to earn the Torchbearer Award in the state of Alabama — that was a big accomplishment.”

Torchbearer schools are high-poverty public schools that have overcome the odds to become high-performing schools.

“You really can’t tell our students that they are not the best,” he said. “We may not have the whole community’s support in Linden, but we still succeed and do very well. They have a lot of pride in themselves. Our teachers do an outstanding job, and the students are so bright. They just need to be put on the right path, and they really excel.

“I was informed by our counselor on Monday that more than 60 percent of the senior class has a scholarship. In my opinion, that is just remarkable.”

“Getting kids to college, I feel like we’ve been very successful,” said Linden City Schools superintendent Scott Collier. “To have 60 percent of our graduates get scholarships is very good.”

The senior class of 56 students was led by valedictorian Kimberly Portis and salutatorian Markell Hayes. Graduation ceremonies will be held Friday at 7 p.m. at the football field.