School leaders prepare for new era at Ramsay High School

{}It's the start of a new era at Ramsay High School after the district installed a new principal. Some parents and students were upset and very vocal about changing the school's leadership. The school district is expecting big things for Ramsay.

The school is good one. It has a good graduation rate. It has good scores. But, the district wants more. School leaders believe the way to get there is through international baccalaureate programs. Ramsay is one of seven high schools in Birmingham.

"It's different from the others consider they have career academies. They are zoned schools. Ramsay is a test-taking and non-zoned school," said Birmingham City School Board President Randall Woodfin.

Students from all over the city apply. Enrollment is just under 1,000. School leaders brag the school has the highest graduation rate in the district.

"It's always the school that has as high academic rigor that when students test to get in, for those who get in, there is an expectation they will meet the academic rigor," added Woodfin.

Woodfin explains it's time for the students to push harder to succeed anywhere.

"The expectation is that, again, when our students finish their four years, they can compete on the global level," added Woodfin.

Ramsay's students are strong academically. They are also strong when it comes to expressing themselves.

Many marched to the Board of Education last spring to protest the reassignment of the school's long-time principal.

"A portion of what was happening was losing a high number of our students to Shades Valley in the county. We decided for Ramsay, we wanted to create our IB program to keep our student population," added Woodfin.

School leaders moved Mark Sullivan from the principal's position at Phillips Academy to Ramsay.

Educators hold Mark Sullivan in high regard. Woodfin told ABC 33/40 Sullivan is known for moving the academic needle and motivating teachers and students. There are 13 new principals in the Birmingham school district this year.