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By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

Trousdale County students in the Class of 2019 scored an average of 21.0 on the ACT composite, the state Department of Education announced earlier this month.

Trousdale was one of 18 school districts statewide to have an average that high. Statewide, the ACT average was a 20.

“This is a great accomplishment for our schools,” said Director of Schools Clint Satterfield. “We ranked 18th in the state.”

Trousdale County’s average score in each subject area was: 20.6 in English, 20.2 in Math, 21.1 in Reading and 21.2 in Science.

Photo courtesy of Trousdale County Schools

Of 87 Trousdale students who took the ACT, 35 scored a 21 or higher according to the state’s data. A score of 21 makes a student eligible for the HOPE scholarship.

The department uses students’ best ACT score, meaning that if a student took the ACT multiple times, the score included reflect his or her highest score.

Trousdale’s scores were up from an average of 19.7 in 2018 and tops its marks of 20.8 set in 2015 and 2017.

“Every year there are things we put emphasis on, but this one is every year, all year long, every day,” said TCHS Principal Teresa Dickerson. “Several years ago we started giving a mock ACT… and last year we started an ACT prep course. The answer is the focus my teachers have put on ACT.”

Dickerson also credited incentives such as the ‘Wall of Fame’ and ‘Improvement Board’ on the hallway in the high school. Students who score 21 or higher, or who improve their scores by at least three points have their names featured on those boards for all to see.

“They really want to be put on that wall,” Dickerson said of her students. “They deserve recognition for improving that much.”

Satterfield also noted that of the top 18 districts, Trousdale had the second-highest percentage of students scoring at least a 19, which is considered college ready.

“We want them to get the Tennessee Lottery (scholarship),” Dickerson added. “That’s why we push for the 21.”

The average statewide ACT score in each subject area was: 19.6 in English, 19.4 in Math, 20.5 in Reading and 20.0 in Science.

Thirty-four districts had a 100 percent participation rate on the ACT for 2019 graduates. Other encouraging results show that the composite score for students with disabilities remained steady despite the statewide dip. Additionally, participation rates increased for students who are economically disadvantaged, students classified as English learners, and students with disabilities.

Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn announced that 63,829 students from Tennessee’s 2019 graduating class took the ACT, representing a 98 percent participation rate, which is an all-time high in the state.

“More Tennessee students than ever before are taking advantage of the ACT and ACT retake,” Schwinn said in a press statement. “It is critical that we continue to increase access to these high-quality opportunities for all students, no matter where they live. This is one way that we will build a foundation to set all students on a path to success.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected] Contributing: Staff reports