A West Valley high school soars to "A" grade, proving as a team you can move mountains.
This time last year, Glendale High School received a "C" for its AIMS test scores. This year the school earned an "A."
"As soon as I started working with the teachers, I knew this school could be an A," said Principal Kevin Cashatt.
Cashatt was hired to lead Glendale High School a year ago, inheriting a school with many challenges. Its student population is mainly made up of low income minorities with some not-so-hot test scores.
But Cashatt saw nothing but winners in this group.
He quickly established relationships with teachers and students to form a winning team.
"We sat down as a group with some goals ready to attack," explained Cashatt.
Those goals included increasing student achievement, improving passing rates and raising their "C" grade as a school to an "A."
Cashatt tells ABC15, they knew the difference would be made in the classroom.
So teachers and administrators quickly laid out the bottom line.
"We told them, ‘This is an important deal, if you don't pass this test then it's a you don't graduate type of situation.'"
That and loads of belief and encouragement motivated Glendale High School's students.
But they also needed support. Teachers began offering tutoring before and after school.
By spring 2013, 200 students were coming in on Saturdays for extra help and teachers were not turning them away.
"We offered the time and they showed up," said Cashatt.
When the AIMS test results and school grades were announced, Glendale hoped for a "B," but like their mascot the "Cardinal" the team of administrators, teachers, students and parents soared to an unbelievable "A" grade.
When ABC15 showed up a short time after the announcement – the news "A" school was already flashing on Glendale High School's marquis.
Cashatt can't wait to celebrate with students and teachers when they return to school on Monday, August 12.
"It was an amazing feeling. To me, this is going to be an amazing thing to hang a banner in front of the school and to talk to the kids and say you guys did this -- you guys created this school -- you are now part of an A school!" said a proud Cashatt.