Windber named best high school in Somerset County by U.S. News & World Report

May 4, 2019

Windber, Rockwood, Berlin, Somerset and North Star are individually ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 list of the nation’s best high schools.

Those high schools demonstrated “outstanding outcomes above expectations in math and reading state assessments, passed a diverse array of college-level exams and graduated in high proportions,” according to a U.S. News media release.

Each school was given an overall score ranging from zero to 100. A school with a score of 90 means that 10% of schools are ranked higher and 90% are ranked lower.

The publication only gave individual rankings to high schools that placed in the top 75%.

“For lower-performing high schools, U.S. News made an editorial decision to only display the bottom quartile ranking range,” the publication wrote in a series of FAQs explaining the process.

Windber Area High School led the way in Somerset County with a score of 78.27 out of 100. Windber was ranked No. 153 in the state and No. 3,748 in the nation.

In Pennsylvania 673 of the 688 high schools were among those ranked, according to the study. Nationally, 17,245 were ranked.

“We don’t necessarily go looking for accolades like this,” said Windber Superintendent Joseph Kimmel.

“It is a true byproduct of the dedication and work ethic of our staff, students, and a supportive community. It is an honor to have this distinction and I am very proud of our Windber family.”

Rockwood Area High School came in at No. 244 in the state and No. 6,069 in the nation with an overall score of 64.81.

“It is always an honor to be recognized for the high academic achievement of our students,” said Rockwood Superintendent Mark Bower. “Our students’ success is the result of hard work and commitment on behalf of the students, their families, teachers, and support services in the district. The recognition is indicative of the great partnership the district enjoys with our families and community. Success in our small rural schools will only continue if we maintain high academic standards and expectations, as well as preserving the supportive relationship we enjoy with our community.”

Berlin Brothersvalley High School was ranked No. 250 in the state and 6,153 in the nation with an overall score of 64.32.

“We have dedicated teachers and students who are willing to accept the challenges of Advanced Placement programming. This is an offering which was initiated in the 2015-16 school year and has grown to 5 AP courses in the district,” said Berlin Brothersvalley Superintendent David Reeder. “In addition, the district has made it a priority to incorporate literacy and math skills in all content areas. We also work closely with the (Somerset County Technology Center) and have excellent results with students who are prepared for college and careers after high school. It is truly a K-12 and community effort which fosters a high performing school district.”

Somerset Area High School was ranked No. 395 in the state and No. 9,770 in the nation with an overall score of 43.34.

“Particularly with U.S. News and World Report’s new, more (inclusive) method of ranking high schools, we are proud of our high school students and educators for achieving a notable national ranking,” said Somerset Superintendent Krista Mathias. “Somerset’s students take advantage of a wide menu of challenging core courses, electives, academic, athletic, technological and musical activities and competitions that provide a great foundation upon which they are building career and college readiness. Our faculty, staff, and administrators have developed creative, real-world learning experiences for our students and their work is paying off for our community.”

High school Principal Scott Shirley said he was appreciative of the recognition.

“This is a credit to all the hard work from everyone involved, especially the students and staff of our school,” he said.

North Star High School achieved an overall score of 35.12. The school was ranked No. 454 in Pennsylvania and No. 11,188 in the nation.

“We have great students and staff, supported by a strong community, that continue to work hard and give it their best on a daily basis,” said North Star Superintendent Louis Lepley. “Education isn’t easy; it’s a daily fight and the majority of our students and staff are willing to go the extra mile to achieve greatness!”

The remaining high schools in Somerset County were ranked between 516 and 673 in the state and 12,935 and 17,245 in the nation.

The entire report is available online at www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools?src=usn_pr.