Three Valley high schools make U.S. News list

By Denise Dick


Three Mahoning Valley schools are among the top 100 high schools in Ohio list, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The magazine’s website released its annual ranking Tuesday that found Columbiana, Hubbard and Poland Seminary high schools ranked 86th, 90th and 98th, respectively, in Ohio.

The three schools also scored in the state’s top 100 on last year’s list. The list examines students’ performance on state assessments and college readiness.

“It’s a combination of great kids and great staff,” said Lance Hostetler, principal of Columbiana High School. “Like everybody else, we’re always looking at how we can improve.”

The school tries to ensure it’s preparing students for whatever the next level is for them, whether that be college or a career path, he said.

That’s accomplished by studying different data and state scores and how ACT, SAT and PSAT scores are trending.

“We offer a variety of enrichment classes and intervention classes so different kids who are on different planes are successful as much as they can be,” Hostetler said.

The website points to students’ opportunities to take Advanced Placement courses, citing the school’s 39 percent AP participation rate.

Hubbard schools Superintendent Richard Buchenic also listed that school’s AP offerings and College in High School courses available in partnership with Youngstown State University as one of the reasons Hubbard High School made the ranking.

Many students take advantage of those opportunities, enrolling in those courses.

“We started offering AP back in ’87-88 when I was principal, and when I came back in 2004, we added some more AP classes,” the superintendent said.

He also credited school personnel.

“I’m happy that Hubbard High School made the list,” he said. “Our staff do a great job out there.”

Kevin Snyder, Poland Seminary principal, said it’s a great honor for the school to be included in the rankings.

“I truly believe it’s the spokes in a wheel,” he said. “You need good families, great kids and great teachers. At Poland we have all three of those.”

The standards at the school have always been high, and families and teachers push students to succeed as well as students pushing themselves, leading to high performance on tests, the principal said.

“Our kids’ work ethic as a whole is very strong and their expectations are the same way,” he said.

The three schools, along with Lakeview High School in Cortland, earned silver medals given to high-performing schools.

No Mahoning Valley school earned a gold medal given to the top 500 schools with the highest college readiness.

Canfield, Southington Chalker, Crestview, Girard Senior, Howland, Jackson-Milton, Lowellville, South Range, Springfield, United, West Branch, Western Reserve and Youngstown Early College all earned bronze medals for high performance.

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