Petal High earns silver in 2018 U.S. News Best High Schools

Petal High earns silver in 2018 U.S. News Best High Schools

PINE BELT (WDAM) - Petal High School earned a silver badge in the 2018 U.S. News Best High Schools rankings, and several other Pine Belt schools earned bronze.

U.S. News ranked the 5,948 highest-scoring schools with gold, silver or bronze badges, with only 30 percent of schools nationwide scoring high enough to be ranked with one of the three badges, according to a Mississippi Department of Education press release. Three Mississippi schools earned silver and 54 earned bronze.

The highest scoring Mississippi schools that earned silver, in rank order, were Ocean Springs High School, Lewis High School and Petal High School.

Petal was among the 11 percent of public schools nationwide to be recognized with a silver badge and ranked third in the state. Petal School District superintendent Matt Dillon released the following statement on the rankings:

"We are excited to learn that we have been recognized nationally for our outstanding efforts at Petal High School. The Petal School District and Petal High School are committed to being the best in our state and highly competitive across the nation.  I am proud of our students, staff, families, and community. As we celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week, it is very fitting that we recognize the efforts of our great teachers who go above and beyond daily for our students."

U.S. News ranks the top schools to "provide a clear, unbiased picture of how well public schools serve all of their students — from the highest to lowest achieving — in preparing them to demonstrate proficiency in basic skills as well as readiness for college-level work." You can view the full list of Mississippi schools ranked at

Pine Belt schools earning bronze included Heidelberg, Forrest County Agriculture High School, Bassfield High School, Bay Springs High School, Columbia High School, East Marion High School, North Forrest High School, Stringer Attendance Center and West Jones High School.