One Triangle area school system thrilled with Thursday's graduation numbers was Durham Public Schools, where the system has steadily pushed to raise graduation rates.
The state said Thursday that Durham graduated 79.6 percent of its students in four years. That represents a 10-point increase in four years.
"We are proud of 80 percent, but we know we still have 20 percent that are out there that we have to help even more and provide even greater supports to," said Jim Key, area superintendent for high schools.
In fact, three Durham public schools had 100 percent graduation rate, including the J.D. Clement Early College High School.
J.D. Clement student Cloe Egnaczak, 15, said of her school, "It's good for college because I'll be the first one in my family to go to college."
At the school, teachers provide additional support for students not meeting expectations.
"If everybody can do it, I can do it, too," said Adrianna Alexander.
"They keep us on track," said Egnaczak.
Hillside High, meanwhile, had a graduation rate of 83.8 percent. Principal William Logan said the school identifies students who need additional help and tailor a program to them to help them graduate on time.
"They begin to feel hopeless to some degree and think there is no way out and they eventually drop out," Logan said. "So, one of the things that we wanted to make sure we echoed with these students was to make sure there was hope."