U.S. News and World released their first ever rankings of elementary, middle, and high schools and there are a few local schools who have cracked the top 10. The data for this prestigious study was collected during the pre-covid school year of 2018-19. 

The Easton Elementary, Easton High School, as well as Madawaska High, and Southern Aroostook High School all received all graded out as top 10 schools in the state of Maine. Many factors were calculated into the scores such as student to teacher ratio, state assessment scores, and socio-economics of each community. High Schools also were required to have taught at least eight subject areas as well as provide career and education development, and teach foreign languages.  

Easton Elementary School came in at #5 in the State among elementary schools and was the only school from Aroostook County making the top 10. The Fruit Street School in Bangor was the #1 elementary school in the state, according to the study. 

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The Southern Aroostook High School in Dyer Brook also serves students from Island Falls, Merrill, Oakfield, and Smyrna. Ranking #6 in the study placed them as the highest-ranking high school from our area. Students in Southern Aroostook graded out in a tie at #1 for Math and Reading performance. Madawaska High School came in at #8, and the Easton High School rounded out the list at #10.  

This is a tremendous honor and has as much to do with the students as it does the teachers in these school systems. There are many challenges that face the students in each one of these towns and this shows the resilience and hard work put in by students and staff. I have had the pleasure of witnessing many of these schools in action and this does not surprise me at all.  

Congratulations to the students and staff at Easton, Madawaska, and Southern Aroostook. For a complete list and rankings, you can go to this site.

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Using March 2019 data from the Social Security Administration, Stacker compiled a list of the most popular names in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C., according to their 2018 SSA rankings. The top five boy names and top five girl names are listed for each state, as well as the number of babies born in 2018 with that name. Historically common names like Michael only made the top five in three states, while the less common name Harper ranks in the top five for 22 states.

Curious what names are trending in your home state? Keep reading to see if your name made the top five -- or to find inspiration for naming your baby.