Articles of Interest

Bemidji Pioneer: Sun, Dec. 07, 2008

TrekNorth honored: Magazine awards Bemidji charter school silver medal
Michelle Bedard Bemidji Pioneer
Published Sunday, December 07, 2008

TrekNorth High School of Bemidji is one of 13 Minnesota high schools to receive a silver medal in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of the best high schools in the nation.

It is the second year in a row that the Bemidji charter school has received the silver medal.

“The distinction of TrekNorth as a top-tier public high school in the state and nation validates the hard work of the staff and the talent of our students,” TrekNorth Executive Director Dan McKeon said in an e-mail.

U.S. News & World Report, in collaboration with School Evaluation Services, analyzed academic and enrollment data from more than 21,000 public high schools to find the very best across the nation, the magazine’s Web site states. The search, based on data from the 2006-07 school year, resulted in the top high schools receiving gold, silver and bronze medals.

The top 100 high schools nationwide with the highest college readiness index scores – based on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate test data – earned gold medals. The next 504 top–performing high schools based on their college readiness index scores earned silver medals, according to the Web site. An additional 1,321 high schools in 48 states earned bronze medals.

Other Minnesota high schools earning silver medals were Wayzata, Eastview, Edina, Rochester Century, Minneapolis Henry, Roseville Area, St. Louis Park, Houston, Irondale, Bloomington Jefferson, Mounds View and St. Anthony Village.

Thirty-five high schools in the state, including Kelliher Secondary School, earned bronze medals. No high school in Minnesota earned a gold medal.

McKeon said he believes TrekNorth High School earned a silver medal because of its systematic approach to providing every student with a “rigorous, meaningful academic experience.

“At TrekNorth, it doesn’t matter where you come from or what you look like, we’re going to put you into hard Advanced Placement courses, and then support you as you deal with the challenges of those courses, and the end result is smart and capable students and citizens,” McKeon said.

“TrekNorth does a few things really, really well,” he added. “First, we build really good relationships with kids – we earn their trust and clearly let them know what we expect. Second, we have high expectations for all kids, and we don’t settle for mediocre work from staff or students. Finally, we work hard. And for the most part, it’s as simple that – hard work mixed with personal accountability leads to results.”

The annual rankings were published in Friday’s edition of U.S. News & World Report.

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