April 24, 2014

4 local schools make 'Best' list


---- — WESTPORT — Four North Country schools are ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 Best High Schools.

Westport High School came in at 86th out of 1,147 high schools statewide; 1,086 in national rankings.

Coming in at 118 at the state level was Elizabethtown-Lewis High School, which ranked 1,453 nationally.

And Willsboro High School and Schroon Lake Central School both earned a bronze medal.

The U.S. News report offers profiles on 19,400-plus high schools, along with rankings of the highest-scoring schools in the country.

Those numbers are broken out according to state, as well, including the District of Columbia.


This year, gold medals went to 500 high schools, with 1,519 awarded silver and 2,688 bronze.

Westport Central was among silver medalists, scoring 100 percent in both the English and math proficiency categories, according to the U.S. News website.

Westport Superintendent Dr. John Gallagher said the honor is a good reward for the students, faculty and staff members who have been working to maintain a high level of quality education.

“It’s nice when we’re recognized for that kind of work,” he said, specifically citing the school’s high Regents scores and almost nonexistent dropout rate.

He said he also appreciated knowing that other neighboring school districts had been recognized.

“All of the schools really work hard with their kids to help them do the best they possibly can,” he said. 

The school has 232 students, the report said, 6 percent of whom are minorities and 36 percent economically disadvantaged. 

With 28 teachers, there is an 8-1 student/teacher ratio.

As with Elizabethtown-Lewis and Willsboro schools, the district’s location is classified as “distant rural.”


ELCS, with 306 students and 30 teachers, scored 96 percent in both the English and math proficiency categories, according to the U.S. News website.

The High School also won a silver medal. 

“Designations like this are fantastic because it’s a testament to the work everyone in our school is doing for students,” Superintendent Scott Osborne said in a press release. “It’s also an indication of the support we have here from our community and School Board.

“Given the tough decisions our School Board and community have had to make over the last four, five years to keep a balanced budget, earning this designation also reinforces how we prioritize teaching and learning and keep the focus on those things year to year.”

ELCS, with 306 students and 30 teachers, scored 96 percent in both English and math proficiency.

Minorities make up 5 percent of the student population, with 46 percent of enrollment considered economically disadvantaged.


Willsboro Central took a bronze medal.

The U.S. News website didn’t provide numerical rankings, but the school scored 96 percent in both English and math.

Superintendent Stephen Broadwell said the school appreciated the national recognition.

“Our staff and students work very hard to achieve success in the classroom,” he said.

Willsboro Central’s enrollment is 320 students, with minorities at 4 percent and 45 percent of the total population listed as economically disadvantaged.

The site says the district has 36 teachers.

— Contributing writer Ben Rowe added to this report.


Find the full listing of U.S. News & World Report high-school rankings, both nationally and state-level, at