After the final tallies were calculated, U.S. News ranked Palmyra Senior High School in the top 100 of the entire state. In Pennsylvania, there are 895 public high schools. In being ranked 74th, Palmyra has the distinction of being the only county high school to make the top 100.

Southern view of the Palmyra High School.
The Palmyra High School is located next to sprawling farm fields.

High school rankings usually involve athletic teams. When the local high school football or other sports team is ranked among the best in the state, it is a source of pride. However, when U.S. News and World Report ranks a high school as one of the best in the state, the stakes are somewhat higher. Because this ranking is based upon the core mission of all high schools: academic excellence.

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Each year, U.S. News and World Report ranks not only the best high schools in all 50 states but also breaks the rankings down to the best 100 public high schools in each state. In establishing the list of top high schools, U.S. News does not collect information directly from high schools but rather uses data provided by the U.S Department of Education, State Department of Education, and College Board. The criteria used in ranking include basic data such as enrollment, student ethnicity, and other profile information, along with statewide math and reading assessment scores, high school graduation rates, college board scores, and AP exams. Palmyra was ranked 74th by this broad and comprehensive criteria.

Dr. Bernie Kepler, superintendent of Palmyra Area School District, pointed out that the key to the success of Palmyra High School is the fact that, “The administration, staff, and community is made up of special people that make education a priority.”

He added, “The entire school community has experienced a great deal of educational growth over the last decade and that growth was also evident in 2018-19 when our state school performance profile was the 5th highest in the state.”

Dr. Kepler is especially proud of the fact that Palmyra School District accomplished this success while spending less per student than 491 out of 500 school districts in the state.

Palmyra Area School District, including the administration, teachers, staff, parents, and the entire school community can be rightfully proud of this achievement. This type of success genuinely requires a team effort.