Assignment: Education - Top 10 High School

Onalaska High School is awarded a new honor

ONALASKA, Wis. -- Something extra special is happening in these classrooms, and it's getting national attention.
"It's exciting news," said Jared Schaffner, Onalaska High School principal.

What is "it"you may be asking? Well, Onalaska High School was ranked tenth best high school in the state and in the top 7-percent across the nation in the 2012 America's Best High Schools rankings by U.S. News and World Report.

"I've only been here for two years, but I'm absolutely amazed," said Kassandra Mahnke, Onalaska High School senior.

"I was really excited to hear, because you don't... just hearing something good about education and something happening to your school is... it doesn't always happen," said Debbie Jecklin, Onalaska High School teacher.

"I think it's pretty cool," said Lucee Laursen, Onalaska High School freshman. "We actually have really good teachers. I think I'm learning a lot. I can see it as the 10th best."


The high school principal says this honor represents academic success from kindergarten through senior year of high school.

"I think that's what it speaks to... the quality of teachers that we have in the buildings at the elementary level, the middle level and also at the high school level," said Schaffner.

And students agree.

"We have some really good teachers that know a lot of things, but they also keep everything fun while they're teaching," said Michael Newman, Onalaska High School senior.

"I know we have a lot of great teachers and great classes we can take here," said Garrett Hulse, Onalaska High School senior.

So, what do teachers in Onalaska think sets them apart from the rest?

"Our goal is learning for all," said Jecklin. "And we take that seriously."

The 10th place ranking by U.S. News and World Report proves the district's dedication to their goal as making sure the schools serve all of their students is a major part of the report's ranking process.

"I think we're fortunate because we have our awesome student body that focuses on supporting each other- focuses on high levels of learning," said Schaffner. "And I can't say enough about what our staff does in terms of really working with individual students and really finding success."

And everyone's hard work has not gone unnoticed.

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