Last week, the Maine Department of Education released a report that showed that the four-year graduation rate for Maine schools rose for a third year in a row to an average of 85.34 percent. The good news is the trend is in the right direction, but why are the numbers getting better? I recently talked with Chad Strout, he is an Reintegration Specialist at Cony High School. Chad is originally from Madison and studied at the University of Denver and was in the U.S. Army.  I spoke with Chad to learn how Cony has worked to increase their graduation rates.

Strout says that teachers, guidance counselors, social workers and himself are all invested with getting together with students and their families. He works with students from grade 7 to 12 that have a high truancy rate and those that have been suspended. Strout often takes the time to work with the student at their families home and works with both the student and their parents. Strout takes an approach that 'you are not going to fail, we're here to help you.'

It certainly has been working at Cony, Strout became the Reintegration Specialist in 2010, that year, Cony's graduation rate was 71%, in 2012 it was nearly 86%.

On a personal note, Mr. Strout has recently become engaged. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage and keep up the great work!

To hear my entire interview with Chad Strout, click on the link below.