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"Students are motivated and inspired!" Success at Southern Guilford fuels student excellence!

Southern Guilford High School received the 2020 Hubert B. Humphrey Jr. School Improvement Award

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A Guilford County High School is making a noticeable impact in its student's education as well as their lives.  Southern Guilford High School received the 2020 Hubert B. Humphrey Jr. School Improvement Award for its progress in test scores and graduation rates among other key metrics.

Dr. Brian Muller is the school's principal.  He supports his students and their passions, helping them overcome obstacles and thrive!  Dr. Muller told WFMY News 2's Tracey McCain that 75% of the school receives free or reduced lunch and said students face different challenges.  "We have a lot of students who are in struggling situations," said Dr. Muller.  "Students have some obstacles in the way and we want to try to be there to make their lives easier."

Credit: Guilford County Schools
Southern Guilford High School, under the leadership of Dr. Brian Muller, received the 2020 Hubert B. Humphrey Jr. School Improvement Award

Under Dr. Muller's leadership, students are accustomed to getting a knock at the door.  "There’s nothing left off the table that we won’t do.  I’ve made home visits to deliver computers, I’ve made home visits during the spring just to check in with a student because we haven’t heard from them in a few days," said Dr. Muller.  His personal approach these past four years is paying off in more ways than one.

English 2 proficiency is up as much as 9.4 percentage points in the last year. Biology scores improved another 12.2 percentage points.  And more students are graduating with a trade, thanks to the Guilford Apprenticeship Program, better known as GAP.  "Students can get an education and they can learn trade skills and get a great job, even get school paid for and that’s a great opportunity for them," said Dr. Muller.

Southern students are studying internet security, engineering and machining in high school and landing great jobs from there.  And those not interested in tech are headed for the barn.  

"We have goats and chickens where students can learn about veterinary medicine and they can learn about horticulture," said Dr. Muller.  

From Southern's barn, they're off to some of North Carolina's top universities including North Carolina A&T State University and NC State to study animal science or horticulture.   

All of these options and the staff's personal approach is fueling the energy at Southern.  Students feel good about themselves and they want to learn.

"One of the things that we’ve noticed in our data is that we have reduced our out-of-school suspension days.  That's 485 days during our last full school year and that’s a lot of days for students," said Dr. Muller.  While test scores, data and all the numbers matter, the personal connections he's developing with his students is what Dr. Muller says counts most.

"Students work a little harder, they’re more motivated and more inspired," he said.  "They come to school more often and it’s just a rolling effect of positive things that occur from those relationships."

Southern Guilford will receive a $12,000 check, which Dr. Muller plans to use towards programs to advance student leadership and develop student mentoring programs.

RELATED: Ragsdale High Receives 2019 Hubert B. Humphrey Award

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