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O’Neill High School Ranked Highest in the County by US News

O’Neill High School Ranked Highest in the County by US News


James I. O’Neill High School was recently recognized as one of the distinguished schools in the nation to be named to the 2019 US News Best High Schools list. On top of being named to the national list, O’Neill holds the highest rank in all of Orange County, the second year in a row that the Raiders have earned this title.


Superintendent Dr. Frank Sheboy expressed his pride at the students’ accomplishments. “Once again, this recognition illustrates the amazing work our students, faculty and staff do every day and the high quality of the academic program that is delivered by the Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery Central School District.”


To rank the top forty percent of schools in the country, US News utilizes third-party sources  (namely the US Department of Education and the College Board) to collect data and calculate its ranks. There are six areas of information used: college readiness, college curriculum breadth, math and reading proficiency, math and reading performance, underserved student performance and graduation rate.


O’Neill students have performed very well in a variety of areas and assessments. The average SAT scores of 1230 ranked top in the county and more than 200 points above the national average; 63% of the students who sit for AP exams score a 3 or better; the graduation rate is well above 90%; and students reach proficiency on many of the Regents examinations offered. Last year, 88% of students reached proficiency in ELA while 72% did so on the Algebra 1 exam. 88% of Geometry students and 96% of Algebra II students reached proficiency as well. On top of these statistics, O’Neill has had numerous National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalists and Finalists in recent years.


Outside of academics, James I. O’Neill High School flourishes in various extracurricular activities. The choral and band programs regularly receive awards for their top-tier performances, the Mock Trial Team is the 2019 County Champion, the JROTC program is one of the best in the state and the country, and the Youth in Government team won many county and state-level accolades. Athletic teams at O’Neill regularly are named as scholar-athlete teams by the state and match this performance on the field as well, winning Division and Sectional titles for the past several years.


Principal Debbie Brand attributes various factors to their success: “O’Neill students are a special and unique group. They bring a wide range of experiences and talents to our hallways. Their prowess and hard work combined with our outstanding faculty and staff allow our young people to truly flourish and reach their potential.”


Situated in the beautiful Hudson Valley just outside the gates of West Point, James I. O’Neill High School draws students from the local communities of Highland Falls and Fort Montgomery, from West Point, and from Garrison, a community across the Hudson River in Putnam County.