Southmoreland High School receives silver medal rating from U.S. News and World Report

In 2014, Southmoreland high school made its mark on U.S. News and World Report by being ranked bronze in the best high schools in the nation. Four years later, the high school has been promoted to silver.

Southmoreland earned a ranking of 91st in the state of Pennsylvania and 2402nd in the nation based on academic excellence.

With a total enrollment of 568 students, Southmoreland has achieved an 82 percent proficiency in mathematics and an 88 percent proficiency in reading. Along with these high test scores, Southmoreland also shows “hard work and dedication” through its choice of classes by and 48 percent of the student population taking Advanced Placement classes.

Principal Mr. Dan Krofcheck said he believed the the single most important factor for the increase in academic achievement “has been the increase in rigor with the implementation of all College Preparatory-level core courses, as well as Advanced Placement course additions including Physics I/II, Spanish/French, Government, World History, Music Theory, and Statistics.”

From the outside looking in, this award beats the odds of what would be expected for a school with a socia-economic status similar to that of Southmoreland High School, whose economically disadvantaged students cover almost half of its entire population. This shows that what happens inside the classroom at Southmoreland is effective for a majority of its students, symbolizing Southmoreland’s mission statement “High Quality Learning for All.”

English teacher Mrs. Jenna Hixson said much of the credit goes to the students at the high school.

“I think we have a significant number of students who constantly push to work to their full potential and don’t just go through the motions of life,” Mrs. Hixson said. “I think it will pay off for them in the end.”

Mrs. Hixson’s colleague, Mrs. Amy Brown, agreed, adding that the students, parents and teachers have worked together to create a formula of success.
Mrs. Brown said that Southmoreland’s recent success “is a combination of a good strong community and students who are involved in their community and teachers who really care about the success of their students.”
Southmoreland High School, along with the rest of the district, has earned other awards academically such as being ranked by Pittsburgh Business Times as the 2nd most overachieving district in the region, and 6th most overachieving district in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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