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'Total team effort' | Union County Public Schools scores high with academic, school accountability results

Despite the district's overall success, the superintendent for Union County Public Schools stresses there's still room for improvement.

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — Union County Public Schools stand at the top when it comes to academic success. Data for the district shows Union County has returned to pre-pandemic levels in eight academic and college/career readiness areas.  

Andrew Houlihan is the superintendent for Union County Public Schools, and credits the success to the district's focus on development and teamwork. 

"We've done a lot of work with our teachers, developing what we call our portrait of a graduate," Houlihan said. "It's those traits and skills and attributes that we know, our children need to be able to be successful in life. We're working on the implementation of that in the classroom this year, and finding both academic and non-academic success together really helps kids long term.” 

The UCPS 2023 cohort graduation rate remains at 92.3% and continues to be the highest among the 12 largest districts.  

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Despite the district's overall success, Houlihan stresses there's still room for improvement. 

“Still some work to do specifically in our middle schools, that's going to continue to be a large area of focus," Houlihan said. "And then literacy, we're always focused on -- especially our early childhood literacy in grade three, made those strides -- but we're not quite back to where we were in '18-'19. So those are going to be continued to be major, major leverage points for us this year.” 

The school district is hopeful to keep students on the right track for success in the future. 

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“We preach team UCPS each and every day, between the classroom teacher our building principals, our support staff, our school board, our parents as partners, our families do a great job committing to partnering with us and the education of our children," Houlihan said. "Total team effort, and we're just very proud of the of the accomplishments."

Contact Myles Harris at mharris5@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookX and Instagram. 

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