Staff Spotlight - Ben McMurry

May 15, 2024

High School Principal, Ben McMurry, receives national recognition

West Valley High School Principal, Ben McMurry, was recognized, recently, by the American Consortium for Equity in Education for their “Excellence in Equity” Award. Mr. McMurry was one of only 29 individuals and one school district from across the nation that received the award.

Superintendent, Dr. Peter Finch stated, “Ben McMurry has created a positive school culture at West Valley High School where teachers are encouraged to expand curriculum offerings to provide College-in-the-High-School classes. In these dual credit classes, students earn college credits for classes that they complete on the high school campus. West Valley High School offers over 40 classes for dual credit. Research indicates that students who graduate from high school with college credits are more likely to attend college and more likely to complete college.”

In an extensive review of research on dual credit programs, the U.S. Department of Education noted, “Dual enrollment programs support college credit accumulation and degree attainment via at least three mechanisms. First, allowing high school students to experience college-level courses helps them prepare for the social and academic requirements of college while having the additional supports available to high school students; this may reduce the need for developmental coursework. Second, students who accumulate college credits early and consistently are more likely to attain a college degree. Third, many dual enrollment programs offer discounted or free tuition, which reduces the overall cost of college and may increase the number of low socioeconomic status students who can attend and complete college” (U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, What Works Clearinghouse, Transition to College Intervention Report: Dual Enrollment Programs, 2017).

For the 2022/23 school year, 90% of students from the graduating Class of 2023 at West Valley High School completed at least one dual credit class during their senior year of high school.

Congratulations to Ben McMurry for his leadership at West Valley High School and his recognition for “Excellence in Equity.”

Equity Award