Area early colleges to be honored for graduation rates is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

NHCS-blackTwo area schools will be recognized next week for achieving 100 percent graduation rates last academic year.

On Sept. 23, Isaac Bear Early College High School in New Hanover County and Brunswick County Early College will be honored at a reception in Durham hosted by N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction June St. Clair Atkinson.

“These graduates worked very hard to reach their goals for graduation and college. I am honored to accept this award in recognition for the dedication of all Isaac Bear staff and the students who worked so hard to succeed,” Isaac Bear Principal Philip Sutton said.

Both Isaac Bear and Brunswick County Early College had perfect graduation rates within the four-year cohort for the first time in 2012-13.

Overall, both districts made gains in their graduation rates last school year.

New Hanover County has shown steady improvement but still remains slightly below the state average with a rate of 82.4 percent. Nearly 83 percent of North Carolina high school students earned a diploma within four years, up from 80 percent in 2012 and 68 percent in 2006, the first year the department of public instruction began reporting the four-year rate.

The district is up two points from 2012 and nearly eight from 2011.

And with a rate of approximately 86 percent, Brunswick County Schools is now above the state average. The district has seen a jump between 2007 and last academic year, moving from 72.5 percent to 85.7 in 2013.

“We are extremely proud of the 100 percent graduation rate at our early college high school. Smaller school size affords close relationships between students and faculty. During its relatively short existence the school has developed a culture of high student achievement,” Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Edward Pruden said.

Brunswick County Early College High School opened its doors in 2006.

Officials from both districts and schools will attend the ceremony in Durham next week.

Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at (910) 772-6341 or