F to A: McClellanville's Lincoln Middle-High School raises bar

      John Gaddy (WCIV)

      By Stacy

      MCCLELLANVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- Like any struggling business, it took hard work to turn things around at Lincoln Middle-High School.

      When Dr. Yvonne Commodore arrived at Lincoln five years ago, it had a failing grade on its federal report card. She said parents were not involved and students were not engaged. She called it a "chaotic time."

      "Behavior was not where we wanted it there were a lot of write-ups. We needed to take charge and change the environment to make it conducive to learning," Commodore said.

      She implemented programs like a school-wide morning assembly and gave every student a staff mentor who would see them through to graduation.

      Jasmine Weathers is a senior at Lincoln. She has had the same mentor since eighth grade.

      "It means the world to me since I've been at Lincoln she's been my teacher. Always there for me; if I need to talk, her doors have been open," Weathers said.

      Despite the changes, Lincoln still had a failing grade. But, Commodore finally saw a return on her investment this summer. She got news she'd only dreamed of: the school had earned an A on its federal report card.

      "Oh my God. That was a moment of jubilance for me. I knew we could and I knew we would, but to see it, it was like, wow, our children did it," Commodore said.

      "Oh my god. Lincoln did it. We're amazing," Weathers said.

      The grade is something the students can take pride in, as they walked through the halls every day.

      Commodore said they still have a lot of work to do. She said the school's math scores are not as high as she'd like them to be, and she still wants her students to be more ready for college.

      The school has 155 students. Commodore hopes that will increase every year.