April 23, 2018
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Greenville school, principal get state, national recognition

By Diana Bowley, BDN Staff

GREENVILLE, Maine — It may be a small school but for the past three years Greenville High School has captured both state and national attention.

For the third consecutive year, the Greenville School joined Bangor, Yarmouth and Cape Elizabeth high schools on Newsweek Magazine’s list of the top 1,500 public high schools in the nation based on Advanced Placement scores.

Also this week, Greenville School Principal Rebecca “Becky” Brown learned she had been selected as the American Legion’s State Educator of the Year. On Friday, she was honored by her peers and she will be recognized on June 27 at a state American Legion gathering.

Brown, like Greenville Superintendent Heather Perry, was pleased with the double recognition this week.

Regarding her personal award, Brown said Friday she was “very honored. Like any leader, I’m only as good as the people around me and that I work with, and if it wasn’t for the terrific students and parents and staff I have, I certainly wouldn’t stand out. I feel honored to work here.”

As for the national recognition, Brown said it shows that students get a wonderful education in the small school.

“Once again, small schools show their worth,” Perry remarked. She said the recognition by Newsweek is a testament to small schools. “It just really points out the strengths of a small school environment and individualized attention. We may not have many students but the students we do have, we really give a lot of attention to and ensure that they succeed.”

According to Newsweek’s Web site, Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews compiles a list each year using a “simple” formula to grade the schools. To rate the overall academic quality of a school, Mathews divides the number of Advance Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge exams by the number of graduating seniors in a given class. His calculations have placed Greenville on the list for the past three years.

Brown, who’s a product of the Greenville school and is in her third year as principal, said the school has a “phenomenal” AP program. Greenville even offers sophomores an elective that consists of a half-year each of psychology and economics, as sort of a feeder program into AP classes. “Kids kind of get interested and then they sign on for the AP, so we have very large AP classes,” Brown said. There could be more than 20 students in a psychology class. As a comparison of how large that class would be for Greenville, she said 18 students graduated this year.

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