U.S. News & World Report has ranked Mahtomedi High School as the best high school in the state.

The school, with an enrollment of about 1,180 students, also landed in the top 1 percent of the nation's high schools, according to the rankings released last month.

"This is not an accident," Principal Kathe Nickleby said in a statement. "This is due to the passion of our teachers and staff members who are deeply committed to ensuring that every student will be prepared for life after high school."

U.S. News teamed with American Institutes for Research (AIR), of Washington, D.C., to compile the rankings, which involved a three-step process to ensure:

1. Students performed better than the state's average student on state math and reading tests.

2. Economically disadvantaged students performed better than similar students on the math and reading tests.

3. Students ranked high in college-readiness.

Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate test data was used to gauge how well students were prepared for college.

According to U.S. News, 6 percent of Mahtomedi High students were minority-group members and 7 percent were economically disadvantaged.

Other east metro schools to land in the top 10 in the state include St. Anthony Village High School, Eagan High School, Mounds View High School in Arden Hills and Irondale High School in New Brighton. St. Anthony Village High, which ranked third, joined Mahtomedi High as a U.S. News "gold award" recipient.


Family service project deemed a 'success'

More than 700 families were served this year during a one-day event connecting needy families in the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District with social service providers.

The initiative, 622 Project Family Connect, was held on April 20 at Woodland Hills Church in Maplewood.

According to the school district, more than 200 people volunteered their time and resources, more than 7,000 pounds of food was distributed and more than 100 free haircuts were given. Students and staff members also helped organize food and clothing drives before the event.

South Washington

Administrators plan education discussions

Current and future education trends will be among the topics discussed in a series of talks set for this month in the South Washington County School District.

The conversations also will touch on district initiatives, a news release said. Superintendent Keith Jacobus and fellow administrators plan to attend.

Meetings are set for Tuesday, May 7, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Cottage Grove Elementary School; Tuesday, May 14, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the District Service Center, 7362 East Point Douglas Road S., Cottage Grove; and Monday, May 20, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Red Rock Elementary School in Woodbury.


New Life Academy hosts Chinese festival

A Chinese festival featuring a dancing dragon and lessons in basic Chinese greetings kicked off what is expected to be a series of cultural events tied to the diverse backgrounds of students at New Life Academy in Woodbury.

The two-day event was held last week and was sponsored by the school's international club. Club members include students from China, Vietnam, Mongolia and Sweden. They've decided to share with the student body "each of their countries, one festival at a time," said Inna Collier, the club's director and New Life Academy's guidance counselor.

Jason Zhang, who is Chinese and the club's president, said in a news release that he believed it was good for American students to learn about different cultures "so when we all get out in the business world, we are prepared."

Anthony Lonetree