Bainbridge High, Eagle Harbor High make U.S. News and World Report list of top schools

U.S. News and World Report has named Bainbridge Island High and Eagle Harbor High as two of the top high schools in the country.

The influential news magazine ranked nearly 22,000 public high schools for its 2012 list, and Bainbridge High School was awarded a Gold Medal, placing the school among the top 500 high schools in the country.

Bainbridge High ranked sixth in Washington state and landed in the Number 212 spot nationwide.

Eagle Harbor High was awarded a Silver Medal and ranked at Number 40 in Washington and number 1,583 nationally.

"It's a tremendous honor for our school," said Brent Peterson, principal at Bainbridge High.

"We are extremely fortunate to have an incredible community of learners at Bainbridge High School," he said. "We have the gift of working with some amazing kids; I have a staff of teachers and support staff that do an amazing job day in and day out."

Peterson also noted the difficulty in comparing schools from all across the country for a list that measures success. Every school and community faces a different set of circumstances.

"The context is so different from one community to the next," he said.

That said, the notice is noteworthy.

Years ago, Peterson recalled, the methodology used by U.S. News & World Report was criticized by many in the educational community and was "much more one-dimensional."

The criteria has since expanded, and become more sophisticated.

"To their credit, it has evolved over time," Peterson said.

Bainbridge High was also again designated as one of the U.S. News' Best High Schools for Math and Science; BHS ranked at Number 68 in the nation.

According to the magazine, the national rankings are determined by first analyzing schools at the state level, based on student performance on state assessments, and schools are then rated on the institution's preparation of students to be ready for college study.

Catherine Camp, principal at Eagle Harbor High, said she was encouraged by her school's rating, especially since the school offers few advanced preparation classes that get students ready for higher education.

"I'm very pleased with that ranking," Camp said.

Students and staff at the school deserve a lot of credit, she said.

"Because we have a small staff that works with kids over four years, they really get to know students and build strong relationships and can really work with students, building their strengths," she said.

"I just am very proud of our students," Camp said.


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