Boardman Local School District ranked best in the Valley

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Photo, a website that uses both national data and personal reviews, named Boardman schools as the best school in the Youngstown area for this year.


Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Boardman schools were named the best school district in the Youngstown area this year by, a comprehensive data driven website.


Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Boardman high school was one of the Boardman schools named best in the Mahoning Valley by for this year.


Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Boardman schools were named best in the Mahoning Valley by, a website that uses personal accounts and national data.


Boardman Schools were recently ranked as the best district in the Youngstown area by

Niche is a website that uses comprehensive data from public sources, including the Department of Education and U.S. Census, along with reviews from locals to analyze schools at all education levels around the country.

Boardman school district was chosen based on a 10 point report card analyzed by Niche.

The report included scores on academics, diversity, resources and facilities and even food.

Boardman’s overall rating was an A, placing them above other local schools including Canfield and Austintown.

“This is the first time that I know of, that we are ‘number one’ in rankings, and we are so excited,” said Amy Radinovic, Boardman Communication Coordinator.

One of Boardman’s highest rankings included an A for clubs and activities.

According to Rick Smrek a guidance counselor at Boardman, this is not surprising.

“I think what makes Boardman unique compared to other school districts in the area is the staggering number of quality programs, our depth of course selections and our incredible facilities,” Smrek said.

He named a number of Boardman programs that have gone above and beyond what can be expected locally, including a state of the art TV studio, a $4 million auditorium for drama productions and multitude of arts courses.

Smrek also stated that the schools music program is one of the largest in the area with four bands, four choirs and four orchestras including a rock orchestra, which earned the school a Grammy.

“My up-close perspective of everything that the Boardman Schools offer convinced me that it was the perfect place to educate my three children,” Smrek said. “I wanted the best for my children so I would not have sent them anywhere else.”

Boardman also received an A- for both college prep and academics.

“Academically, no matter what major our students choose for their future in college, chances are they were able to take multiple courses here at Boardman High School to build a foundation,” Smrek said.

He explained that Boardman offers 11 different AP courses and brings 50 colleges in each fall to meet with interested students.

Smrek also said that 90 percent of Boardman students are college bound after graduation.

Boardman High School Principal Cindy Fernback said that in 2018 318 seniors received diplomas, with 81 receiving honors diplomas.

“When you consider the areas that the rankings were based on, it is easy to see why Boardman ended up number one,” Smrek said.

Fernback said that Boardman Schools stand apart from other districts because of their S.H.I.E.L.D. philosophy.

S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for support, honesty, involvement, excellence, love and determination, and Fernback said that it is because the schools instill these values in their students that Boardman not only good academically, but is an excellent environment for both students and teachers.

“Of all the weapons or equipment that a Spartan carries, the shield is the only unselfish one because it not only protects the Spartan who is carrying it, but also the Spartan on his right and the Spartan on his left,” Fernback said. “Our students are tolerant, and they demonstrate inclusiveness, which we stress on a daily basis.”

She said that it is a district-wide dedication to these values that allowed Boardman to receive such a high ranking in diversity.

“We catch our Spartans doing good, and we praise those positive behaviors because we want to see more and more of those positive behaviors. We believe that we must celebrate what we wish to see more of each and every day,” Fernback said.

Radinovic also said that Boardman has received other honors, including being the only Mahoning County High School to make the Top 100 Silver Medal Ranking from US News and World Report’s Best High Schools list in the spring.

“We have had a lot of state and national recognition as of late,” Radinovic said, citing the 24 sports and 35 clubs that Boardman offers as a main reason the schools are being nominated for these awards.

For more information about Niche or to see the report card put out by the group, go to

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