Horizon Honors

Teacher Davina Baird talks with Hannah Webster and Jonathan Elias during her World History/Geography class at Horizon Honors on Thursday, April 25, 2013.

[David Jolkovski/AFN]

Horizon Honors High School, part of Horizon Community Learning Center in Ahwatukee, recently received word that it’s been ranked No. 8 in the state and received the gold medal award for best high school by U.S. News and World Report.

Some of the criteria factored into the ranking system centered on proficiency in reading and math, college readiness for students, and SAT scores.

“It basically looks at how well you are preparing students to move on to their post-high school education,” principal Nancy Emmons said. “It’s all attributed to our teachers and kids, who are amazing.”

In a letter sent out to parents, Horizon Community Learning Center Executive Director Betsy Fera wrote, “We recognize that the high school years are critical in preparing our students for their continued education and becoming our future leaders. We also value the education we provide to our students K-12 and this report emphasizes our continued effort to provide all students with a high quality education. Our teachers are exemplary, and our students strive for excellence in all they accomplish. We also know that we couldn’t accomplish this excellence without the great partnership with our families. Your involvement and support of your child’s education truly helps them to learn, believe, dream, and dare to be their absolute best.”

Emmons believes that receiving the gold award and cracking the top 10 shows a sense of validation of the hard work that is put into the school.

“It shows that the hard work everybody does is worthwhile, it’s working, kids are really being successful and getting their needs met here at a really high level,” she said.

As for now, Emmons and her staff are focused on building upon their success and continuing to thrive in education.

“Our goal is to try to be the best we can be for the community that we serve… we have to keep raising the bar and keep working at it,” Emmons said. “We are focusing on the work that we still have to do. Whether you are ranked No. 1 our in the top percentile, you’re always working toward helping the students you have now and fulfill their dreams.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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