GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken County’s Midland Valley High School was established in 1980. It’s goal is to prepare students for the future in as many ways as it can.

“This year we lead the district in graduation rate. We’re way over 93%, which is really important. We’ve never done that at Midland Valley High School. We’ve also led the district in what’s called ‘College and Career Ready’ and we’re number one in that, too, and that is the key thing to me and the thing that I’m most proud of,” said Principal, Sheldon Higgenbottom.

When students leave the school, the faculty wants their resumes to be at the top of the stack. Programs like the DECA Business Club help them do just that.

“It kind of gears towards students interested in business, marketing, any business management…those types of careers,” said Business Education teacher, Amber Stokes.

The students get to work in the school’s store. They also get the opportunity to complete the marketing communications program.

“So, if they were to take marketing, advertising, and one other business course and be involved in DECA and the school store, they would be able to graduate with a Marketing Communications Completer certificate, certifications for OSHA, employability skills, and have opportunities to earn scholarships, compete in competitions, and just have great real world experiences,” said Stokes.

The second class highlighted was their agriculture program.

“We’ve doubled it in the past two years and added a new teacher. We teach small animal care, we teach animal science. I teach a shop class with wood working, welding, electricity. Ms. Mullikin is my co-partner. She works with the horticulture and runs the greenhouses,” said,” agriculture teacher, Jean Smith.

“My agriculture science class is learning about different careers in the agriculture industry right now and there’s hundreds and thousands of different career options that even if they don’t think they’re going to be in the agriculture industry one day, the skills that they learn in this class will be beneficial to them,” said agriculture teacher, Mackenzie Mullikin.

The school also has a nursing class.

“This is our upper level class, this is our senior class. So, they have 22 skills that they have to master in order to take their CNA exam at the end of the school year. Later in the day, we’ll have students who do some lower level skills, some basic care, and things like that, and then they work their way up in to vital signs, and more serious care for hospital, and nursing home setting,” said Health Science instructor, Shelby Gaskill.

The students love their special programs at Midland Valley High School and the teachers are happy their administration supports them.

“I feel very honored to be here in Midland Valley and able to do this type of thing,” said Stokes.

“Our principal is a wonderful supporter of our program. We’re getting a second greenhouse this year because of his pushing that agenda for us,” said Smith.

“It’s fantastic, we’ve worked really hard to get where we are. This is my sixth year here at Midland Valley and the program continues to grow. It’s super exciting and we get a lot of support from the school,” said Gaskill.