JONES COUNTY -- Jones County schools rank number one in the state with the highest graduation rate.

Last school year, 97.4 percent of Jones County seniors walked across the stage for their diploma.

Students attribute their success to the support of administrators, teachers and counselors who go above and beyond to help.

One student says he decided not to drop out after his principal encouraged him to finish out his senior year.

"[They are] very helpful, kind…if something's going on they'll take time out their day to see what's wrong and stuff and I'm just glad to have them," senior Timothy Majette said.

Avery County schools ranked number two in the state with a 95.5 percent graduation rate and Newton-Conover City schools ranked number three with 96.8 percent.