Editor’s Note: This is the first of two stories by James Jordan about drop-outs from Newton High School.

A total of 27 students dropped out at Newton High School this school year. School officials say they do what they can to prevent students from dropping out, and there were more that considered quitting.
One of those students is Brooke Phillips, a junior who was ready to quit last fall. After talking with assistant principal Lisa Moore and other school officials she decided to stay in school.
She was passing all her classes, but was being picked on and having a hard time dealing with school. Her parents were supportive of her quitting and thought she could get her GED.
“I just thought it would be easier to leave,” she said.
But she said teachers were supportive and helped her to see the value of staying in school. Now, nearly at the end of her junior year, she is doing well and planning to graduate.
“I want to get ahead,” she said. “I want to get a good job.” She hopes to further her education after high school and become a nurse.
“I am just more determined now,” she said.
Moore said this is a success story, but there are students who do quit and never come back. Some of those never get their GED.
“When I heard Brooke wanted to quit, I looked at her grades and saw she was passing all her classes. I met with her and her parents and she decided to stay in school.”
Moore said school officials try to do what they can, but for every Brooke there are others who do not stay in school.
Moore believes students have to learn to accept responsibility and make a decision to stay in school, and do what it takes to get their diploma. But she also sees parents as key to keeping their children in school.