US News and World Reports

PMHS named No. 1 high school in county

Congratulations to the students, staff and faculty of Penn Manor High School, ranked the No. 1 high school in Lancaster County by U.S. News & World Report!

The magazine’s annual Best High Schools issue evaluates public schools and awards gold, silver and bronze medals to those it considers the best at preparing students for college. Penn Manor is ranked 27th among the 216 Pennsylvania schools that made the 2015 list, earning a silver award and the highest ranking of any high school in the county.

Principal Phil Gale said he is “extremely proud” of the recognition.

“It is a testament to the tremendous effort that our teachers and staff are putting forth to challenge and support our students,” he said.  “We have emphasized the value of increasing the rigor of learning activities and requiring students to apply the concepts being learned.  Students have worked hard and put forth a strong effort to meet the challenges placed before them.”

Penn Manor superintendent Mike Leichliter said the high ranking is the result of improvement efforts that began in 2008.

“It shows me that we are on the right track. The high school faculty and administration have made a concerted effort to raise standards and expectations for all our students,” he said. “We just weren’t willing to work with the status quo.”

The rankings were calculated using standardized test scores in math and reading, as well as participation and success on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams.

Leichliter said the school has offered more AP classes in recent years and encouraged more students to take them. “Fifty years ago, people saw Penn Manor as a small country school,” he said. “People are now seeing it also as an academically focused school.”

Earlier this school year, the high school also was honored by the state Department of Education as a “High Achievement” school, based on improvements in student academic performance.

Penn Manor qualified by earning a School Performance Profile score of 90 or better (out of 100) and closing the academic achievement gap for all students and for “historically underperforming students,” including special-education pupils, English language learners and economically disadvantaged students.

Click here for the specifics Penn Manor’s U.S. News ranking.

It’s a great day to be a Comet!