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US News rankings: Local high schools among state’s best

Hough High School | Photo by Jason Benavides

April 23. There are about 25,000 high schools across the United States and US News & World Report ranks them. Several Lake Norman area schools landed in the top 5 percent nationwide.

—Hough High in Cornelius ranked 39th statewide, or No. 1,096 nationally.

—Community School of Davidson was 29th statewide, No. 820 nationally.

—Lake Norman Charter in Huntersville was 15th statewide, No. 518 nationally.

—Pine Lake Prep in Mooresville was 21st statewide and No. 663 nationally.


The US News Best High Schools rankings include data on nearly 25,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 18,000 schools were ranked on six factors based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college. To read the US News report, .

Woody Washam | Photo by Jason Benavides

Hire education

In the world of economic development, top employers look for good school systems and a well-trained workforce. Indeed, the quality of education here contributes to economic vitality, according to Cornelius Mayor Woody Washam.

“That is one of the very first questions that potential business prospects ask. When you have all levels of top-rated schools, that is a major positive check mark on a long list of considerations thus improving the much needed commercial tax base.” said Washam, a 1968 North Meck grad.

What school was statewide valedictorian?

Coming in first statewide was the Early College of Guilford in Greensboro where students can graduate with two years of college credit from Guilford College, a private liberal arts institution. This high school ranks No. 16 nationwide according to US News.

—Providence High School in Charlotte came in 12th statewide, No. 500 nationally.

—Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte ranked 46th statewide, No. 1,452 nationally.

—North Meck High in Huntersville ranked 175th statewide, No. 5,620 nationally.

—Hopewell High School, also in Huntersville, ranked 373rd statewide, No. 10,827 nationally.

On the other side of Lake Norman, in the Newton/Conover school district, Discovery High School was eighth statewide, or No. 312 nationally.



“Graduating from a top-rated high school enables you to take that first step toward being admitted to a top performing college which increases employment prospects, and lifelong earning potential critical for one’s quality of life for years to come,” Higgins said.

North Carolina ranked 29th in the country for the proportion of its high schools that ranked among the country’s best — down from No. 25 in 2023.