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School Pride, Test Scores Help Make Area High School the Top Performing School in Berkeley County

August 28th, 2014

A cohesive spirit of teamwork and camaraderie, combined with an engaging academic atmosphere, are making a measurable difference at the high school serving Carnes Crossroads students. Cane Bay High School, located about four miles from Carnes Crossroads and serving more than 1,400 students in grades 9-12, was recently ranked the top school in Berkeley County, based on student testing.

“It’s pretty amazing that you can say 95 percent of students, the first time they take the English Language Arts test, they pass it,” says Dr. Lee Westberry, the school’s Principal.  “That’s all populations. The achievement gap between our students is so minimal it’s negligible, and that’s very impressive when you look at standardized test scores across the nation.”

With multiple academies focusing on different disciplines, Cane Bay High School resembles a mini college campus, offering numerous pathways or “majors” for students to pursue. There are courses in business and marketing, aeronautical engineering, health sciences, biomedical technologies, and even the foundations of animation – to name just a few of the possibilities open to students.

“Our fine arts and visual arts programs are stellar and unparalleled,” Westberry says. Band, chorus and orchestra students continue to receive top accolades (the school’s choral teacher has been nominated for a Grammy Award).

Noteworthy achievements are pouring in for other groups as well, such as the school’s award-winning JROTC program and academics teams. In addition, Cane Bay is the only high school in Berkeley County to have an internationally competitive robotics team.

According to Dr. Westberry, however, the glue that holds the various elements of the Cane Bay High School experience together is its sense of community.

“What I am most proud of, and I am proud of a lot of things at Cane Bay High School, is the culture of the school — it’s a very tangible thing,” she says. “You walk in and it is a very different feel. The kids are happy, the teachers are happy. And they want to be here. I think a high school should be a place kids want to go, not a place they have to go. And that’s what’s unique about Cane Bay.”