BHS, FHS, HVA garner national recognition

Farragut High School, Hardin Valley Academy and Bearden High School earned silver medals in U.S. News and World Report’s 2015 ranking of Best High Schools.

The rankings showed the three schools ranked higher than 2,763 other high schools in the nation. Knox County has 16 high schools in its schools system.

“Of the Tennessee schools on the list, six were awarded gold medals and 21 earned silver medals, Abbey Harris, Knox County Schools System public affairs specialist, said.

“The presence of Bearden High School, Farragut High School and Hardin Valley Academy in the silver medal levels of the US News & World Report High School Rankings validates what we already know: that these schools are successfully educating their students and preparing them well for college and career,” Dr. James P. McIntyre III, Knox County Schools superintendent, said. “Great things are happening in the Knox County schools, and I am glad that our schools are being recognized at a national level.”

L&N STEM Academy earned a gold medal by ranking No. 6 statewide and No. 341 nationally, Harris said.

FHS, HVA and BHS all earned silver medals. FHS ranked No. 13 statewide and No. 1,483 nationwide, HVA ranked No. 18 statewide and No. 1,744 nationwide and BHS ranked No. 23 statewide and No. 2,066 nationwide.

“Continuing its long tradition of excellence, Farragut High School remains one of the top performing high schools in Tennessee and the nation,” Stephanie Thompson, FHS principal, said. “Our national ranking celebrates the exemplary instruction and dedicated learning that occur daily in every discipline. As a testament to Farragut’s academic rigor, excellence and achievement, many families moving to Knoxville seek residence within this community.”

“When our graduates return to our campus, we always ask the questions:  ‘Were you prepared for college? and ‘What could we have done to have better prepared you for college?’ Through their thoughtful responses, we make adjustments as to how we do school at HVA, Sallee Reynolds, HVA principal, said. “Overall, however, they come back to us and let us know that their experiences at Hardin Valley Academy definitely prepared them for post secondary education.”

“The teachers and students work extremely hard every day to achieve great things,” John Bartlett, BHS principal, said. “We are blessed that we are continually recognized as one of the best high schools in Tennessee and in the United States.

“The ranking tells me just what I see every day. Bearden High School teachers hold our students to rigorous standards and prepare our students for post-secondary educational opportunities.”

High school students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement coursework and exams, U.S. News Best High Schools posted to its website.

U.S. News said FHS’ AP participation rate was 42 percent while HVA’s AP participation rate was 41 percent and BHS’ participation rate was 35 percent.

“Through Farragut’s wide array of Advanced Placement course offerings and consistently outstanding AP College Board and Tennessee state exam scores, the school remains a quality institution committed to preparing students for the competitive collegiate environment and beyond,” Thompson said. “Admiral graduates represent their alma mater well and fulfill their academic goals at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, including The University of Tennessee, Duke, University of Chicago, Harvard and Yale.

U.S. News ranked FPS’ college readiness index, based on student performance, at 35.1 percent. HVA’s college readiness index was at 31.3 and BHS’ college readiness index was at 26.9.

“With each new academic year, FHS staff, students, and parents encourage student participation and support Advanced Placement offerings that prepare graduates for success in their post-secondary opportunities of college and career,” Thompson said.