Rappahannock High School earns academic accolades from U.S. News & World Report

School recognized for high testing performance and college preparation

The Virginia state champion Governor’s Challenge Personal Finance team from Rappahannock County High School captured an impressive 9th place at the national competition in Kansas City, Mo. Seen here, left to right, are Savannah Stevens, Mahlet Yirgu, John Paul Riedel and Bryce Jones.

Rappahannock County High School has earned high national academic recognition in U.S. News & World Report’s newly released Best High Schools rankings, standing out among its larger peers.

Ranked 53rd in the state out of over 300 public high schools in Virginia, RCHS earned a U.S. News “Silver Medal” based on its performance on state-required tests and on how well RCHS prepares its students for college.

RCHS has an Advanced Placement course participation rate of 36 percent and has been an accredited school as judged by the Virginia Department of Education for several years in a row.

This ranking places RCHS above many of its much larger neighboring schools, including Eastern View and Culpeper County High School as well as Orange County High School and Madison County High School.

While being ranked in the top sixth of all public high schools in Virginia is a plus, the administration and staff at RCHS are determined to take steps to improve on that rating for next year, working harder to increase Standards of Learning success rates and making more advanced placement courses available to college bound students.

And while Dual Enrollment classes don’t figure into the U.S. News ranking system, RCHS is also working to improve its dual enrollment offerings, giving our graduating seniors a head start when they begin their post-secondary educational adventure.

Meanwhile, Rappahannock High is pleased to announce yet another national accomplishment earned by the staff and students of the school. The National Athletic Trainer’s Association Safe Sports Schools award was bestowed upon RCHS in recognition of the safe environment provided for student athletes.

The award reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention, and treatment.

Among other elements that went into the award, RCHS was cited for creating a positive athletic health care administrative system, providing and coordinating pre-participation physical exams, promoting safe and appropriate facilities, creating a rehearsing venue-specific emergency action plans, and providing a permanent appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured athletes.

Under the leadership of Principal Mike Tupper and Athletic Director Brandon Burley, RCHS has worked closely with Athletic Trainer Ashley Day in her second year at RCHS to ensure that both the student athletes and spectators can enjoy a safe facility where immediate care of injuries is available from a health professional.

The Safe School Sports Award recognizes the commitment to keeping student athletes safe so that they can accomplish their own goals of great competition, winning records, fair sportsmanship and good health.

And in other national news, the state champion Governor’s Challenge Personal Finance team from Rapp traveled to the National Competition in Kansas City and came home with a respectable 9th place finish. RCHS Business Teacher and team sponsor Linda Petty reported that the RCHS students represented the county well, holding their own against teams from much larger schools and coming away from the competition with a newfound appreciation for personal finance.

And lastly, as the school year winds down (last day of classes is tomorrow, Friday, May 19), the RCHS seniors celebrated the culmination of their secondary education with a class trip to New York City.

Packing about two weeks of sightseeing into four days, the Rapp seniors took as many bites out of the Big Apple experience as they could. But before they departed they left a unique Rapp impression on New York by spending their last few hours participating in community service — helping to pick up litter in the famous Central Park.

And ironically enough on the very day Rapp seniors were performing community service in New York City, some of their classmates were receiving an ice cream party celebration as a reward for being part of the top three community service flex teams as adjudged at the Flex Fair held some weeks back.

Congratulations to our seniors and to all the students at Rappahannock County Public Schools for their outstanding completion of another successful year and for finding ever more creative ways to reach their full potential. State championships, national recognition, educational achievement, community service and camaraderie with each other were all valuable stops on their roadmap of excellence, a roadmap that led to the passion and character of success so apparent in all of our students and staff. We Are Rappahannock!

— James E. “Jimmy” Swindler II is director of facilities at Rappahannock County Public Schools and assistant principal of Rappahannock County High School