MELBOURNE, Fla. – West Shore Jr./Sr. High School has been rated as the best public high school in Florida by Newsweek.
Newsweek released the list public high schools, ranking the them on how well they prepare students for college based on enrollment and graduation rates, test scores and other factors.
Melbourne's West Shore ranked 81st in the nation. The school has been in the top 100 in the Newsweek rankings for at least the past two years. Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High was the only other Brevard County school to make the list with a rank of 323.
The news comes despite years of budget challenges for West Shore and other Brevard public schools, Local 6 News partner Florida Today said.
Positions were cut. Sibling preference was questioned. Corridor busing to "schools of choice," such as West Shore, was stopped and fees were added.
Those hurdles, doled out during the past six years, make West Shore principal Rick Fleming all the more proud.
"To overcome all of those obstacles in staffing, and have everybody work a little harder and work a little longer and work a little smarter to continue to maintain the level of efficiency and operation, and level of education for kids ... is a pretty amazing feat," Fleming said. "It's the kids and the parents, the support from the parent community, and just an amazing core of teachers."
This year, Newsweek also recognized schools whose low-income students performed better than the state average on tests. Both West Shore and Cocoa Beach were given a "gold star" for that achievement.