Floyd, Texico rank among best high schools

Freedom New Mexico: Clarence Plank Floyd High School students, from left, Ashlee Banister, 18, Madeline Love, 18, Levi Nicholson, 17, Alex Rodriguez, 18, and David Slusser, 18, participate in a computer class at school Monday. Floyd, Logan and Texico High Schools were named U.S. News and World Report’s America’s Best High Schools.

By Clarence Plank

Floyd and Texico high schools are listed among the U.S. News and World Report’s picks for America’s Best High Schools.

They earned a Bronze Medal based on data from the 2007-2008 school year.

“It seems that the data they used is two years behind,” Floyd Superintendent Paul Benoit said.

According to the U.S. News and World Report Web site, the organization bases the listing on math and reading scores from state tests, the success of minority and low-income students and the amount of students passing tests in the Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs, which offer college-level curriculum. Bronze Medal schools don’t offer AP or IB programs or don’t meet the standards for students passing those tests, but do meet the other criteria.

It takes about a year from the organization to collect and go over the data, and data from the year before collection is used, Benoit said.

This is the first time Floyd has been named to the list, but Texico has been on the list a number of times.

Texico Superintendent R.L. Richards said the school has made the list five or six times in the last decade.

“I think every year since they started the award, we have been named,” Richards said. “We’re usually right near the top of the rankings.”

Richards said he credits the students, parents and teachers for the school’s success.

“When you have good parents and teachers working together the students will learn,” he continued.

Shelley Barnett is a parent of two students who attend Texico High School.

“The parents and teachers really do work well together,” Barnett said. “That makes the teachers and parents respect each other, and the students see that respect in everything that goes on in the school.”

Benoit learned about Floyd High School being named to the list around the Christmas break.

“David Bass, principal at Dora, said ‘I think you were mentioned in the U.S. News and World Report,’” Benoit said. “I got online and researched it, and sure enough.”

Damon Terry, Floyd high computer teacher, said he thought being named a best high school meant the school was starting to offer things students needed.

“It is a great advertisement for what we are doing.” Terry said.

Floyd senior Madeline Love said she thought the listing was a great boost for teachers.

“They do a great job in teaching us,” she said. “I don’t how the other students feel about, but I feel good.”