Booker T. Washington ahead of the class

Miami Times Editorial Department | 6/5/2014, 9 a.m.

Booker T. Washington in Overtown has been the Florida’s Class 4A Football Champions for the past two years. It has been a triumphant year of parades and celebrations for the Tornadoes, the alma mater of many of the Black community’s most prominent professionals and businessmen.

But the oldest predominately Black high school in Miami-Dade County has something else to cheer about. The school’s graduation rate jumped from the 67 percent in 2011 to nearly 80 percent for the 2012-2013. Word has it that the graduation rate will be even higher this year when the statistics are released in the coming months.

With the latests statistics and more high school seniors enrolling in college, Booker T. Washington is on the verge of becoming a championship institution on the field as well as off. At the school’s annual ceremony in April, some $200,000 in were awarded to bright, college-bound seniors who achieved astronomical high grade point despite facing difficult times at home and in their community.

Much applause goes to the school principal William Aristide, a fierce leader who expects his students to be the best in everything, especially academics. Like his brother Wallace Aristide, principal at Northwestern, William has gained the respect and admiration of peers with his strong leadership and emphasis on scholastic excellence. How refreshing it is to see Booker T. Washington produce more than star athletes, but future doctors, engineers and scholars.