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Best public high school in every state

  • Best public high school in every state
    1/ Redd Angelo // Unsplash

    Best public high school in every state

    As the world continues to grow ever more intellectually advanced, so do the quality of academics even at the earliest levels. According to research from the University of Virginia, 31 percent of teachers held the belief that children should learn to read by kindergarten, while 80 percent shared this philosophy when the question was asked in 2010. Since many parents see their children’s first taste of formal education as a “make-or-break gauntlet” bound to define the course of their child’s academic rollercoaster, it stands to reason that this stress could only be amplified when it comes to choosing a high school, the time in a young person’s life when they are incredibly susceptible to emotional, physical, and psychological changes.

    According to the College Board, the average all-in 4-year cost of sending a child to university is approximately $129,000, a figure so staggeringly large that parents of all income levels are constantly scrambling to find new ways to save. One of the best and most obvious ways to do that is by avoiding the astronomically high tuition and fees mandated by private and boarding high schools, and instead opting for some of the best free public schools the nation has to offer.

    In seeking to keep the decision-making process as local as possible for parents, Stacker referenced Niche data in order to list the best public high school in every state. For the purposes of this story, only traditional public high schools were taken into consideration, meaning the likes of charter schools, magnet schools, or any lottery-based or admission-based schools are not included in the slideshow.


    Read on and consider sending your child to the best public school in your home state!

  • Alabama: Mountain Brook High School
    2/ AuburnPilot // Wikimedia Commons

    Alabama: Mountain Brook High School

    Number of students: 1,073; Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
    Math proficiency: 70%; Reading proficiency: 63%

    Average graduation rate: 98%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A-

  • Alaska: West High School
    3/ Helena Bowman // Wikimedia Commons

    Alaska: West High School

    Number of students: 1,880; Student-teacher ratio: 22:1
    Math proficiency: 24%; Reading proficiency: 30%

    Average graduation rate: 87%
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Academics grade: A-
    Clubs & activities grade: B

  • Arizona: Arizona College Prep Erie Campus
    4/ Arizona College Prep

    Arizona: Arizona College Prep Erie Campus

    Number of students: 594; Student-teacher ratio: 20:1
    Math proficiency: 86%; Reading proficiency: 80%

    Average graduation rate: 90%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: B

  • Arkansas: Fayetteville High School East
    5/ Flexomickey // Wikicommons

    Arkansas: Fayetteville High School East

    Number of students: 2,764; Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
    Math proficiency: 40%; Reading proficiency: 61%

    Average graduation rate: 87%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • California: Canyon Crest Academy
    6/ Docnavi // Wikimedia Commons

    California: Canyon Crest Academy

    Number of students: 2,255; Student-teacher ratio: 26:1
    Math proficiency: 80%; Reading proficiency: 92%

    Average graduation rate: 99%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • Colorado: Cherry Creek High School
    7/ Cherry Creek, Colorado—bonjourpeewee // Flickr

    Colorado: Cherry Creek High School

    Number of students: 3,499; Student-teacher ratio: 21:1
    Math proficiency: 70%; Reading proficiency: 72%

    Average graduation rate: 93%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • Connecticut: Staples High School
    8/ WestportWiki // Wikimedia Commons

    Connecticut: Staples High School

    Number of students: 1,885; Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
    Math proficiency: 76%; Reading proficiency: 91%

    Average graduation rate: 99%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • Delaware: Concord High School
    9/ CHS

    Delaware: Concord High School

    Number of students: 1,126; Student-teacher ratio: 17:1
    Math proficiency: 47%; Reading proficiency: 70%

    Average graduation rate: 90%
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Academics grade: B+
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • Florida: Pine View School
    10/ Justin Lebar // Wikicommons

    Florida: Pine View School

    Number of students: 2,175; Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
    Math proficiency: 99%; Reading proficiency: 99%

    Average graduation rate: 95%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: B

  • Georgia: Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science & Technology
    11/ homson200 // Wikimedia Commons

    Georgia: Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science & Technology

    Number of students: 966; Student-teacher ratio: 17:1
    Math proficiency: 96%; Reading proficiency: 97%

    Average graduation rate: 95%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • Hawaii: Mililani High School
    12/ Daniel Ramirez // Wikimedia Commons

    Hawaii: Mililani High School

    Number of students: 2,495; Student-teacher ratio: 19:1
    Math proficiency: 44%; Reading proficiency: 61%

    Average graduation rate: 93%
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Academics grade: B+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • Idaho: Boise Senior High School
    13/ Andy.priest // Wikicommons

    Idaho: Boise Senior High School

    Number of students: 1,549; Student-teacher ratio: 20:1
    Math proficiency: 62%; Reading proficiency: 79%

    Average graduation rate: 92%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • Illinois: Adlai E. Stevenson High School
    14/ Racaris // Wikimedia Commons

    Illinois: Adlai E. Stevenson High School

    Number of students: 3,932; Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
    Math proficiency: 50%; Reading proficiency: 73%

    Average graduation rate: 95%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • Indiana: West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School
    15/ West Lafayette School Corporation

    Indiana: West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School

    Number of students: 1,081; Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
    Math proficiency: 80%; Reading proficiency: 83%

    Average graduation rate: 95%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • Iowa: Ames High School
    16/ Gregunderscorem // Wikimedia Commons

    Iowa: Ames High School

    Number of students: 1,270; Student-teacher ratio: 17:1
    Math proficiency: 94%; Reading proficiency: 91%

    Average graduation rate: 93%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • Kansas: Blue Valley North High School
    17/ elisfkc // Wikimedia Commons

    Kansas: Blue Valley North High School

    Number of students: 1,514; Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
    Math proficiency: 56%; Reading proficiency: 58%

    Average graduation rate: 96%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • Kentucky: Highlands High School
    18/ Fort Thomas Independent Schools

    Kentucky: Highlands High School

    Number of students: 992; Student-teacher ratio: 19:1
    Math proficiency: 74%; Reading proficiency: 81%

    Average graduation rate: 95%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • Louisiana: Dutchtown High School
    19/ jmorrill13 // Youtube

    Louisiana: Dutchtown High School

    Number of students: 2,142; Student-teacher ratio: 17:1
    Math proficiency: 87%; Reading proficiency: 89%

    Average graduation rate: 92%
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Academics grade: A
    Clubs & activities grade: A-

  • Maine: Cape Elizabeth High School
    20/ Nearby Lighthouse — Rapidfire // Wikicommons

    Maine: Cape Elizabeth High School

    Number of students: 541; Student-teacher ratio: 12:1
    Math proficiency: 77%; Reading proficiency: 87%

    Average graduation rate: 95%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • Maryland: Winston Churchill High School
    21/ Dwight Burdette // Wikimedia Commons

    Maryland: Winston Churchill High School

    Number of students: 2,093; Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
    Math proficiency: 97%; Reading proficiency: 96%

    Average graduation rate: 96%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • Massachusetts: Lexington High School
    22/ John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

    Massachusetts: Lexington High School

    Number of students: 2,154; Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
    Math proficiency: 97%; Reading proficiency: 99%

    Average graduation rate: 98%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • Michigan: Troy High School
    23/ Google Maps

    Michigan: Troy High School

    Number of students: 1,980; Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
    Math proficiency: 73%; Reading proficiency: 84%

    Average graduation rate: 95%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A-

  • Minnesota: Minnetonka Senior High School
    24/ Niche

    Minnesota: Minnetonka Senior High School

    Number of students: 3,089; Student-teacher ratio: 21:1
    Math proficiency: 70%; Reading proficiency: 78%

    Average graduation rate: 96%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • Mississippi: Oxford High School
    25/ Stancilb23 // Wikimedia Commons

    Mississippi: Oxford High School

    Number of students: 1,133; Student-teacher ratio: 19:1
    Math proficiency: 43%; Reading proficiency: 60%

    Average graduation rate: 87%
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Academics grade: A-
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • Missouri: Clayton High School
    26/ Christner

    Missouri: Clayton High School

    Number of students: 870; Student-teacher ratio: 12:1
    Math proficiency: 88%; Reading proficiency: 90%

    Average graduation rate: 98%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • Montana: Bozeman High School
    27/ Shaciah Lee // Shutterstock

    Montana: Bozeman High School

    Number of students: 1,989; Student-teacher ratio: 17:1
    Math proficiency: 68%; Reading proficiency: 92%

    Average graduation rate: 84%
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Academics grade: A
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • Nebraska: Millard North High School
    28/ Millard North High School

    Nebraska: Millard North High School

    Number of students: 2,529; Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
    Math proficiency: 79%; Reading proficiency: 88%

    Average graduation rate: 93%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • Nevada: Reno High School
    29/ Reno High School Alumni Association

    Nevada: Reno High School

    Number of students: 1,700; Student-teacher ratio: 24:1
    Math proficiency: 81%; Reading proficiency: 75%

    Average graduation rate: 90%
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Academics grade: A
    Clubs & activities grade: B+

  • New Hampshire: Hanover High School
    30/ Ken_Gallager // Wikimedia Commons

    New Hampshire: Hanover High School

    Number of students: 691; Student-teacher ratio: 12:1
    Math proficiency: 77%; Reading proficiency: 95%

    Average graduation rate: 95%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • New Jersey: Millburn Senior High School
    31/ Google Maps

    New Jersey: Millburn Senior High School

    Number of students: 1,474; Student-teacher ratio: 12:1
    Math proficiency: 59%; Reading proficiency: 58%

    Average graduation rate: 97%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • New Mexico: Los Alamos High School
    32/ Greg Comlish // Wikimedia Commons

    New Mexico: Los Alamos High School

    Number of students: 1,083; Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
    Math proficiency: 47%; Reading proficiency: 64%

    Average graduation rate: 83%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A
    Clubs & activities grade: A-

  • New York: Great Neck South High School
    33/ Alchaenist // Wikimedia Commons

    New York: Great Neck South High School

    Number of students: 1,205; Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
    Math proficiency: 99%; Reading proficiency: 99%

    Average graduation rate: 96%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • North Carolina: East Chapel Hill High School
    34/ Mr. Granger // Wikimedia Commons

    North Carolina: East Chapel Hill High School

    Number of students: 1,360; Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
    Math proficiency: 74%; Reading proficiency: 84%

    Average graduation rate: 95%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A-

  • North Dakota: Fargo Davies High School
    35/ LisaMarei // Wikicommons

    North Dakota: Fargo Davies High School

    Number of students: 1,210; Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
    Math proficiency: 58%; Reading proficiency: 77%

    Average graduation rate: 96%
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Academics grade: A
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • Ohio: Dublin Jerome High School
    36/ Sesamehoneytart // Wikimedia Commons

    Ohio: Dublin Jerome High School

    Number of students: 1,563; Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
    Math proficiency: 82%; Reading proficiency: 91%

    Average graduation rate: 99%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • Oklahoma: Memorial High School
    37/ Smb1138 // Wikimedia Commons

    Oklahoma: Memorial High School

    Number of students: 2,155; Student-teacher ratio: 21:1
    Math proficiency: 90%; Reading proficiency: 90%

    Average graduation rate: 93%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • Oregon: South Eugene High School
    38/ Chris Phan // Wikimedia Commons

    Oregon: South Eugene High School

    Number of students: 1,447; Student-teacher ratio: 26:1
    Math proficiency: 79%; Reading proficiency: 87%

    Average graduation rate: 89%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: C+

  • Pennsylvania: Conestoga Senior High School
    39/ OnlyInAmerica // Wikimedia Commons

    Pennsylvania: Conestoga Senior High School

    Number of students: 2,062; Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
    Math proficiency: 95%; Reading proficiency: 95%

    Average graduation rate: 99%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • Rhode Island: Barrington High School
    40/ 0xF8E8 // Wikimedia Commons

    Rhode Island: Barrington High School

    Number of students: 1,028; Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
    Math proficiency: 54%; Reading proficiency: 76%

    Average graduation rate: 97%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • South Carolina: Wando High School
    41/ Cpl Gabrielle Bustos // U.S. Marines Corps

    South Carolina: Wando High School

    Number of students: 4,068; Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
    Math proficiency: 92%; Reading proficiency: 93%

    Average graduation rate: 91%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • South Dakota: Brandon Valley High School
    42/ TCN7JM // Wikimedia Commons

    South Dakota: Brandon Valley High School

    Number of students: 1,024; Student-teacher ratio: 22:1
    Math proficiency: 59%; Reading proficiency: 77%

    Average graduation rate: 94%
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Academics grade: A-
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • Tennessee: Brentwood High School
    43/ doe-oakridge // Wikimedia Commons

    Tennessee: Brentwood High School

    Number of students: 1,775; Student-teacher ratio: 19:1
    Math proficiency: 89%; Reading proficiency: 94%

    Average graduation rate: 98%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A-

  • Texas: Westlake High School
    44/ Redsully // Wikimedia Commons

    Texas: Westlake High School

    Number of students: 2,584; Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
    Math proficiency: 93%; Reading proficiency: 96%

    Average graduation rate: 99%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • Utah: Park City High School
    45/ Morganpitcher // Wikimedia Commons

    Utah: Park City High School

    Number of students: 1,147; Student-teacher ratio: 19:1
    Math proficiency: 58%; Reading proficiency: 57%

    Average graduation rate: 93%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • Vermont: South Burlington High School
    46/ Webpage882003 // Wikimedia Commons

    Vermont: South Burlington High School

    Number of students: 881; Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
    Math proficiency: 60%; Reading proficiency: 82%

    Average graduation rate: 93%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • Virginia: McLean High School
    47/ Fairfax County // Flickr

    Virginia: McLean High School

    Number of students: 2,103; Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
    Math proficiency: 90%; Reading proficiency: 98%

    Average graduation rate: 92%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A-

  • Washington: Interlake Senior High School
    48/ YouTube

    Washington: Interlake Senior High School

    Number of students: 1,590; Student-teacher ratio: 19:1
    Math proficiency: 91%; Reading proficiency: 96%

    Average graduation rate: 87%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A-

  • Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson High School
    49/ Slowking4 // Wikimedia Commons

    Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson High School

    Number of students: 1,791; Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
    Math proficiency: 19%; Reading proficiency: 21%

    Average graduation rate: 88%
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Academics grade: A-
    Clubs & activities grade: A

  • West Virginia: Morgantown High School
    50/ Prayitno / Thank you for (12 millions +) view // Flickr

    West Virginia: Morgantown High School

    Number of students: 1,808; Student-teacher ratio: 20:1
    Math proficiency: 40%; Reading proficiency: 63%

    Average graduation rate: 89%
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Academics grade: A
    Clubs & activities grade: B+

  • Wisconsin: Whitefish Bay High School
    51/ FOX6 Milwaukee // Flickr

    Wisconsin: Whitefish Bay High School

    Number of students: 954; Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
    Math proficiency: 76%; Reading proficiency: 80%

    Average graduation rate: 96%
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Academics grade: A+
    Clubs & activities grade: A+

  • Wyoming: Big Horn High School
    52/ Big Horn High School

    Wyoming: Big Horn High School

    Number of students: 146; Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
    Math proficiency: 75%; Reading proficiency: 65%

    Average graduation rate: 90%
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Academics grade: A-
    Clubs & activities grade: A-

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