Townsend Harris ranks highly statewide and nationwide

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By Afifa Ibnat, Natalia Gierlachowski, and Joshua Vieira, Staff Writers

Yesterday, US News and World Report released its 2019 ranking for high schools. The publication named Townsend Harris the #1 public high school in New York and eleventh overall as the best public high school in the nation.

This ranking is based upon college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates. APs and statewide assessments, such as Regents exams, are also factored into these percentages.

This ranking has evoked a sense of school spirit across the student body. Many students posted the news on their social media platforms. Sophomore Vivian Chen said, “I was just watching Instagram stories, and then I noticed several screenshots all about our #1 ranking.”

“It feels pretty good knowing that Townsend was ranked #1, not only because it makes me proud knowing that my school is ranked one of the best in the country, but also because of the unity it has brought to the school community,” said senior Jesse Anderson.

Alumna Kathy Ling, who posted the ranking on her social media, said, “I felt beyond proud. We’ve all always known Townsend is a special place with amazing people, and it felt great to know others think so too. Even people who said they [couldn’t] wait to leave Townsend were posting about it, so you know we all love Townsend deep down.”

Alumna and teacher Nicole Gleizer said, “I saw a lot of people share it on Facebook. A lot of my friends who are alumni, I saw them post it. I actually saw a lot of people post it on their Snapchat, which was surprising.”

The ranking not only gained attention from the Townsend Harris community, but the media as well. Fox 5 visited THHS on Monday, April 30th and aired their story the same day. They featured Ms. White’s Band 9 class, which showed students working together in the redesigned room 410. The news clip also featured interviews with Principal Brian Condon, Science Teacher and COSA Sarah Loew, SU President Salima Ali, and senior Maximillian Kurant.

Max said, “There is a lot of awesome work being done at Townsend Harris and I’m glad we’re being recognized for it.”

Ms. Gleizer similarly stated, “I think it is very deserving and I think it is nice to see hard work be appreciated on such a national level.”

SU President Salima Ali attributes this ranking to the fact that the school is a small close-knit community. “Our school being number one reflects what a great community we have at the school, with not only the staff but the students too,” she said. “The staff genuinely cares about the students and wants to see them succeed and the students at Townsend are willing to help each other and not be competitive but only bring each other up.”

“It’s surprising to see how such a small school can be known for something so huge,” said sophomore Rachel Lin.

Alumnus Justin Butron said, “I felt this ranking was not only a testament to the hard work accomplished by students in the last three years since 2016, but also it shows how diversity and high educational achievement is possible.”

Alice Jiang, a senior at Brooklyn Technical High School, commented on how she hoped her school would imitate Townsend Harris in some ways. “I wish that we were able to use our resources in the same way to have smaller classes and better prepare our students to be successful,” she said.

Moving forward, Salima said, “If Townsend continues to maintain and strengthen the communication between its faculty and students, we will be able to make this great institution even more remarkable and rise to even greater heights.”

Additional reporting by Barry Hui and Jacky Li.