DNAInfo: Corona High School Principal Mixes Rigorous Academics With Caring

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When Ana Zambrano-Burakov became principal at High School for Arts & Business eight years ago, she announced her goal of near-perfect graduation rates and attendance for the students.

At the time it seemed impossible.

"When I said I want to reach 90 percent attendance, the attendance committee started laughing," she said. "I said, 'I don’t think it’s funny, we’re going to get 90 percent attendance.'"

Last year they hit 90 percent attendance and graduation rates — some of the highest in the city.

The school's hard work was recognized last month when Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña hosted a press conference there to boast about the city's overall graduation rates.

It was an honor for students who met and spoke with the mayor and Farina, Zambrano-Burakov said. Others live-streamed the press conference in their classrooms, and cheered as their school's art program, rigorous academics and graduation numbers were mentioned. 

"Teachers said some kids even cried," the principal said.

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