It was a close race, but there is a new leader among Western New York high schools.
City Honors is now the top high school in all of WNY, surpassing Nardin by less than half a point in the Business First high school rankings.
City Honors is home to nearly 1,000 students from 5th grade through 12th. In September, enrollment will top 1,000 now that the school reconstruction project is complete and the school can accommodate more students.
Each one of them takes an entrance exam to get into the school. Then principal William Kresse says they are faced with challenging International Baccalaureate courses and mandatory graduation requirements.
"We have students with all kinds of either polished or raw talent come to us from throughout the city," he said. "And it gives us an opportunity to say to them, 'You can do more than you would do in a traditional public or private school. We're going to give you some mandates that require you to take on much more challenging courses."
That course work, along with City Honors unique programming, allow the school to stand out among others in Western New York.
"Over the past ten years, we've built a program for students with autism that now comprises 12 percent of our student body," Kresse said. "We built a Mandarin Chinese program that now includes 300 students a year participating in Mandarin Chinese. It's the only school in WNY where you can take a Regents exam in Mandarin Chinese and take college level exams in Mandarin."
Students also get opportunities like teaming up with the nearby Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus for a science research program at the high school level.
Kresse says he's thrilled with what the faculty has done over the past nine years that he's been at the school.
Business First rated 135 high schools based on test data from New York State. You can find complete rankings at: