FHS state’s No. 9 academically; BHS No. 20: U.S. News & World Report

While the Farragut community is well aware of the academic excellence exhibited at Farragut High School, U.S. News & World Report made the knowledge wide-spread last week during its annual “Best High School Rankings,” which listed the school at ninth place statewide.

The rankings were based on graduation rates — Farragut’s is at 98 percent — college preparation and state-tabulated test scores among other criteria employed by the magazine.

Two other Knox County schools also were named among Tennessee’s top 20: Bearden High School, which ranked 20th, and the L&N Stem Academy, which garnered sixth place.

U.S. News and World Report worked with North Carolina-based RTI International, a global nonprofit social science research firm, to gather information from more than 20,000 schools nationwide to determine the rankings.

Knox County officials were more than pleased with the results.

“We appreciate the recognition for these schools, which ranked so high among public schools in the state,” said Carly Harrington, director of public affairs for Knox County Schools, on behalf of superintendent Bob Thomas. “And we’re certainly proud of the hard work our students, teachers and administrators do every day.”

FHS principal Ryan Siebe was equally enthusiastic.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “ We have been perennially up there (in the rankings), and it is a testament to the caliber of students, staff, parents and the community.

“We think it is a great thing, but I think we can be even higher up that list,” he added. “We want to be a world-class school, and our focus is on, ‘what does it take to do that?’ And we are working toward that.”

Siebe also said he believed it was an “unprecedented” achievement “to have three schools from the county in the top 20. It is a testament to the support from the county.”

Knox, Anderson and Blount counties comprised 25 percent of the state’s top 20, with Oak Ridge ranking 13th and Maryville 17th.