• 50°

See why Port Neches-Groves, Nederland ISD named among Texas’ top school districts

The Port Neches-Groves and Nederland independent school districts have been named as two of the Top Texas School Districts for 2020.

Backgroundchecks.org stated that Texas has more than 100 high-performing public school districts. PNGISD is listed at No. 37.

“We are excited to be recognized for something we have known all along,” PNGISD Assistant Superintendent Julie Gauthier said. “The education and experiences PNGISD provides for our students and our community is second to none.

“This honor is attributed to our hardworking staff members that give their best every single day to make a difference in our students’ lives.”

Variables contributing to the ranking include number of students (K-12), graduation rate, school funding per student, student-to-teacher ratio, standardized test scores, teacher quality and more.

For 2019, the Teacher Education Agency reported PNG’s high school attendance rate was 94.6 percent with a 98.5 graduation rate.

High school principal Scott Ryan said the announcement of the ranking comes as no surprise.

“We certainly believe that we are one of the best,” he said. “You always hear me say we are the best high school in the universe and I say that about the district, too. We have a school board that believes in us, believes in the community and is willing to put resources into educating our kids. It’s a great place to live and a great place to work.”

Ryan said the positive numbers go back to the community effort.

“(The community) believes in hard work, graduation and getting our kids in school,” he said. “We do a lot from teachers and parents to counselors and custodians to get those kids walking across the stage.”

Of the 98.5 percent of graduates last year, 77 percent were college, career and military ready graduates.

“One thing I am really proud of is the advances we’ve made in our career and technology programs,” Ryan said. “We are also big on extracurricular activities. You almost have to try and not be involved, we have so many opportunities for everybody. We feel like that all helps kids in school and gives them a reason to be excited about coming to class.”

Superintendent Mike Gonzales said he is proud of teachers and administration from kindergarten to high school.

“PNG school district has been a great school district for many years, just because we are being recognized now doesn’t mean we haven’t always been great,” he said. “We’ve been great all along and we want to give credit to our students and staff because they are what make us who we are. We will pat ourselves on the back for a second and then keep doing what we do.”

Just a few miles away, Nederland Independent School District checked in at No. 54.

“It means that we are recognized as having some of the best students in the state,” Assistant Superintendent Stuart Kieschnick said. “We strive do that every day and we are striving to get better every day. The recognition shows the work ethic of our teachers and staff that are on campus everyday for our kids in order to give them a good education.”

Last year, the Bulldogs attendance rate rang in at 95.2 percent with a 92.9 percent graduation rate.

“Nederland ISD has a long standing tradition of excellence,” Kieschnick said. “The success of our district comes from a strong community that supports public education. Our students, faculty and staff are dedicated to achieving the highest of standards with hard work and dedication.”

For more information, visit tea.texas.gov or check backgroundchecks.org/top-school-districts-in-texas.html.