Kearney High School Wins National Award for College Success

Bulldogs earn perfect marks for test scores and college readiness

Kearney, Mo., Sept. 24, 2021: Kearney School District is proud to announce that Kearney High School has received a College Success Award – Gold from, the nation’s leading nonprofit providing school information to parents and families.

New in 2021, the organization’s Gold level distinction recognizes high schools with a multiyear track record of preparing students to succeed in college, as determined by the school having won at least two College Success Awards in recent years.

“Our goal is to make sure that every child in KSD is prepared to achieve their goals and become a contributing member of society when they graduate,” Interim Superintendent Todd White said. “This award affirms that we are accomplishing that mission and validates that Kearney has some of the best schools in the nation.”

Now in its fourth year, the College Success Award recognizes and celebrates public high schools across the country that excel at helping students enroll and succeed in college based on high school level data on college preparation, enrollment, and persistence made available by their state. KHS earned the annual College Success Award in 2018, 2019 and 2020, positioning it among only 1,770 schools nationwide to earn the inaugural Gold Award.

The school earned 10 out of 10 possible points from based on test scores and college readiness. The school’s standardized test scores on English, biology and algebra all exceed state averages. KHS students earn an average of 23 on the ACT and have a 97 percent graduation rate. Seventy-six percent of KHS graduates go on to enroll in some form of post-secondary education, compared to a state average of 58 percent.

Kearney High School Principal Andy Gustafson congratulates a member of the Class of 2021.

Despite the continued disruptions to the educational landscape over the past two years, KHS has adopted and upheld many best practices to support our students’ college preparation and success. Principal Andy Gustafson pointed to the fact that the school provides rigorous academics, innovative programs focused on Real World Learning, a wide range of engaging extracurricular options, and individualized support and guidance for students.

“We’ve got a team of outstanding educators here who work in tandem to help all of our students succeed,” Dr. Gustafson said. “We also have an incredibly supportive network of parents/guardians and community members who partner with us.”

“We applaud Kearney High School for consistently prioritizing a high-quality public education and putting students on the path to bright futures,” said Jon Deane, CEO of “Over the past two years, students, parents, teachers, and communities have relied on one another like never before. We congratulate and thank all of these individuals at Kearney High School for their unwavering, ongoing pursuit of college success for all students.”

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