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Houston County High School is best characterized by its commitment to excellence. Our school's motto, "Expect Excellence," summarizes a school-wide belief and purpose that we must all work together to shun mediocrity and seek the best from both staff and students. "Expect Excellence," a pervasive motto, captures the spirit of our school's mission and vision for itself. Our mission statement states that we will provide quality learning experiences which will enable our graduates to meet tomorrow's challenges. Our vision statement, one that guides us towards a daily goal of expecting excellence, states that we will be globally competitive in academics, the arts, athletics, and service to the community.

Realizing that global competition requires high expectations, the HCHS faculty and staff provide outstanding educational experiences for all learners. To prepare students for success in their postsecondary endeavors, we offer varied opportunities in all four academic areas, foreign language, fine arts, physical education, and numerous career/technical electives. The robust and growing Advanced Placement program gives motivated students access to a world class curriculum. The Houston County Gifted Program, one of the most recognized in the state, offers gifted-identified students challenging advanced content classes in all four core areas. In addition, HCHS works collaboratively with neighboring postsecondary institutions to provide dual/joint enrollment courses that allow students to attend classes at nearby colleges where they earn both college and high school credit. All of these programs enable large numbers of our students to learn in the most rigorous of settings.

Expecting excellence from everyone entails meeting the needs of all students by having a highly qualified teacher in each classroom. HCHS takes pride in providing quality programs for students with disabilities and thereby enables these students to optimize their potential. Collaborative, resource, and self-contained classrooms offer special needs students the rigor they deserve while providing the remediation and support necessary for success. The school participates in the ASPIRE program to teach self-determination and self-advocacy skills that are needed in the postsecondary environment. While many students with disabilities enroll in special dual enrollment programs, others complete various career pathways.

Academically, Houston County High School students compare well with students from across the country and around the world. On statewide measures, our students consistently score the highest in the region and above state averages on End of Course Tests. Nationally, HCHS students are on par with their counterparts across the country on college entrance exams such as the SAT and the ACT. All students at HCHS clearly benefit from an academic culture of high expectations.

The fine arts program at Houston County High provides yet another example of expecting excellence. Recently HCHS chorus students performed at Sea World, in Washington DC, at the National Association for Teachers of Singing, at Carnegie Hall, and throughout European countries. Band students routinely participate in half time shows of major sporting events and regularly travel to various cities across the country to receive training from some of the world's finest musicians. Our art students, while they don't travel to perform as a group, use painting, drawing, or sculpting to create products for which they frequently win awards. Through their participation in programs such as these, our students enjoy an opportunity to extend their learning and showcase their talent across the nation and around the globe.

The opportunity to excel is evident in our athletic programs as well. Athletes at Houston County High School can choose from over a dozen sports programs, each of which is coached by a teacher with a passion for helping students achieve at their highest potential. HCHS athletes annually sign scholarships with colleges around the country, and some have even gone on to play professional sports. Our athletes clearly exemplify our motto of expecting excellence.

Service to the community, still another part of the HCHS vision, is a prioritized aspect of our school's culture. Service clubs such as FCCLA, BETA, DECCA, and many others provide opportunities for students to give back to the world. Both official and unofficial school groups mentor younger students, tutor their peers, raise money for important causes, provide for the less fortunate, and spread positive messages to those around them. A sprit of volunteerism is definitely alive and well at HCHS!

"Expect Excellence" is more than just a motto for our school. It is a belief about who we are. It is the habit which motivates our successes. It is the guide for our school improvement initiatives. With our vision of being globally competitive in academics, the arts, athletics, and service to the community, Houston County High School continues to be a place where all students can learn at their optimum levels and prepare for their positive impact on the world of tomorrow.