SOMERVILLE, NJ — Somerville High School has been rated as one of the best high schools in New Jersey by U.S. News & World Reports in the annual ranking of secondary schools across the United States.

SHS is ranked No. 47 in New Jersey and No. 1,613 in the United States, placing it in the top eight percent of 20,500 schools rated nationwide. SHS received a silver medal from the news organization.

Schools are also recognized with gold, silver and bronze medals with gold indicating the greatest level of college readiness.

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The highest ranked New Jersey school on the national list was No. 22 High Technology High School in Monmouth County. Overall, New Jersey schools were ranked No. 17 nationally.  The state-by-state performance rating was based on which states have the highest the highest proportion of schools with gold and silver medals; 23 New Jersey schools received a gold medal, 39 received a silver medal, and 41 schools received a bronze medal.

"This is a great list to be on," said Jerry Foley, principal of Somerville High School. "I'm honored, I'm truly thrilled.

"The school is finally getting the recognition it so very much deserves," he added. "It's a testament to the hard work of staff, administrators, teachers and students."

Foley said the school has instituted several programs that have helped to improve academics and attendance, helping to boost test score outcomes and graduation rates.

"There are a lot of good things happening here," Foley said.

Bridgewater-Raritan High School was rated No. 44 in New Jersey and No. 1,293 nationally, also receiving a silver medal.

Five other high schools in Somerset County were also ranked. Alphabetically, they include:

Central Jersey College Prep Charter School in Somerset, No. 61 in NJ, No. 2,617 the U.S., silver;

Manville High School, No. 88 in NJ, bronze;

Montgomery High School, No. 16 in NJ, No. 388 the U.S., gold;

Ridge High School, No. 12 in NJ, No. 318 the U.S., gold;

Somerset County Vocational And Technical Schools in Bridgewater, No. 99 in NJ, bronze.

"Top-ranked schools succeed in three main areas: exceeding expectations on state proficiency tests, offering challenging coursework and graduating their students," explained Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News.