Olympia High School among 'America’s Best'

May 7, 2013 

Senior Marissa Grubbs, center, studies with economics teacher Brian LeTourneau on Saturday at Olympia High School. Grubbs is part of a four-person team, coached by LeTourneau, that will be competing in the 2013 National Economics Challenge finals this week in New York. At left is senior Megan Allen.

TONY OVERMAN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Olympia High School has been named one of “America’s Best High Schools 2013” for its efforts in turning out college-ready graduates, according to a list released this week by Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

Forty schools in Washington – including several from the Bellevue area – were among the 2,000 schools in the country featured on the list, which was based on graduation rates, acceptance into two- and four-year college programs and the percentage of students enrolled in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advance International Certificate of Education courses.

Ranked at No. 946, Olympia High was the only Thurston County school to make the list.

Olympia High principal Matt Grant said his school is experiencing positive results from its Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, which gives students extra support and resources for college readiness courses and exams.

In addition, the school has increased its number of Advanced Placement offerings, and the courses are more popular than ever, he said.

“I think I’m most proud of the fact that we’re getting more students from all backgrounds taking the tests, including students who might be first generation to go to college or from families with low-income backgrounds,” Grant said. “We want to make sure there are high expectations for all students.”

Bellevue’s Newport High School ranked as the top open-enrollment high school in the state (80th overall).

To view the entire list, go to www.thedailybeast.com and click on “Best High Schools.”

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 lpemberton@theolympian.com www.theolympian.com/edblog @Lisa_Pemberton

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