Rufus King International School nominated for national ACT award

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A Milwaukee high school is up for a national award for its efforts in getting students ready for college and careers.

“Rufus King has a long history of educational excellence, having offered the International Baccalaureate since 1979,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers.

Out of hundreds of high schools in Wisconsin, Evers and Governor Scott Walker chose Rufus King International School as the nominee for the ACT's National College and Career Transition Award.

“Recently, U.S. News & World Report named King as a top rated Wisconsin public high school,” said Evers.

It's the first year for the award that recognizes the efforts made to prepare students for college and beyond.  At Rufus King, more than 90 percent of its juniors and seniors are taking an International Baccalaureate (IB) class this year and nearly two-thirds of them have received college credit.

“I'm currently taking 6 IB classes,” said senior Devlin Brush.

The school also prides itself on high ACT performances.  Last year, several students got perfect or near perfect ACT scores, including Brush, who got a 34.

“It makes me feel like I’ve chosen the right place to go.  I've definitely made the right decision by being here,” said Brush.

The national ACT award is based on several factors like diverse backgrounds and teacher and staff dedication.

“We're encouraging our students to take more than the bare minimum.  You know, not just 3 years of math, 3 years of science.  We're encouraging them to go beyond that,” said guidance counselor Jennifer Cody.

Rufus King is up against high schools in six other states.  While the winner hasn't been announced yet, those there believe they are winners regardless.

“Parents, students, teachers, it's really an award for everyone here at King and it's huge.  We’re very proud,” said Cody.

The other high schools competing for the national ACT award are from the following states: Alabama, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky and North Carolina.  The winner will be announced on May 21st.