Campbell High Doubles Graduation Rate

Principal Gail Awakuni
Principal Gail Awakuni
Joy Manalac
Joy Manalac
Gerrilyn Geronimo
Gerrilyn Geronimo

(KHNL) - One teacher called into our "Talk Story" line, complaining about the state's education system.

This viewer blames budget cuts and lack of community support.

But we found at least one Oahu school, that's thriving and doing a lot better than before.

Campbell High School transformed four years ago, when it became one of the first schools in the state to implement smaller learning communities.

Principal Gail Awakuni says the students' curriculum is based on the career they're interested in.

For example, a student planning to become an actor, fashion designer or reporter, would fall under the arts and communications program.

In previous years, Campbell High School had a 49% graduation rate. Now, 98% of seniors get their diplomas.

"And of course we encourage our students to prepare for college as well as to be successful in college and their careers after," said Awakuni.

Gerrilyn Geronimo just graduated this year and now attends Chaminade University.

"If I went to another high school, I don't think I would've been able to apply for different colleges that I did or decide on what kind of job or major I wanted to do," said Geronimo.

Joy Manalac, a senior, is maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. She used to be an average student, before joining the AVID program.

"It's not for the honor students, it's not for the low students, it's kind of that middle people who need that push," she said.

Campbell High School graduates are also earning more scholarships. Six years ago, they brought in about $600,000. Last year's class earned $6.5 million.