Huntington High School

Huntington High School Ranked in Top 4% Nationally

Huntington High School enrolls more than 1,600 students.

May 8, 2017

A brand new set of rankings compiled by the Washington Post newspaper puts Huntington High School in the top four percent of all public high schools in the United States and among the finest in the state.

Huntington is ranked No. 53 in New York out of more than 2,000 high schools and No. 882 in the country out of about 22,000 high schools. Huntington’s Challenge Index was 2.664 placing the school in the top tier in the country.

“Huntington High School students continue to challenge themselves and pursue their interests, which readily explains the consistency with which the school appears in the Washington Post rankings each year.  While this is but one measure of student success, we should take even more pride as a school community of the well-prepared, well-rounded and service-minded students that Huntington High School continues to produce.”

Huntington High School is led by Principal Brenden Cusack and second year Assistant Principals Joseph DiTroia and Gamal Smith. The school has long history of academic excellence, featuring graduates that have enjoyed distinguished careers in every possible field of human endeavor.

The Washington Post’s Challenge Index dates to 1998 when reporter Jay Mathews began ranking Washington, DC area high schools based on how well they prepared students for college. Since then the ranking index has expanded to include every public school (with limited exceptions) in America.

Huntington placed No. 5 among all Suffolk high schools and No. 29 on Long Island high schools. The Washington Post said its Challenge Index “is designed to identify schools that have done the best job in persuading average students to take college-level courses and tests.”

“We take the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year and divide by the number of seniors who graduated,” Mr. Mathews explained in an online overview of the ranking. “I call this formula the Challenge Index. With a few exceptions, public schools that achieved a ratio of at least 1.000, meaning they had as many tests in 2016 as they had graduates, were put on the national list.”

Huntington High School regularly sends graduates to the top colleges and universities in the country, including Ivy League and similarly highly regarded institutions. Huntington’s Challenge Index of 2.664 far exceeded that of the average high school.

“I think 1.00 is a modest standard,” said Mr. Mathews. “A school can reach that level if only half of its students take one AP, IB or AICE test in their junior year and one in their senior year. But this year, just nine percent of the approximately 22,000 U.S. public high schools managed to reach that standard and earn placement on our list. On our list, the top 220 schools are in the top one percent nationally, the top 440 in the top two percent, and so on.”

To provide a “sense” of how well each school’s students are doing on Advanced Placement examinations, The Washington Post rankings include an “equity and excellence” rate for each institution. It represents “the percentage of all graduating seniors, including those who never took an AP course, who had at least one score of 3 or above on at least one AP test sometime in high school,” according to Mr. Mathews. “The non-profit College Board, which oversees the AP program, invented this metric. It found that the average Equity and Excellence rate in 2016 was 21.9 percent.”

At 36.00 percent, Huntington’s “E&E” rate far exceeded the national average.

soccer players
Blue Devil soccer players at last fall's pep rally.
Huntington High School
Huntington High School is one of the best in the country.
Principal Brenden Cusack
Huntington High School Principal Brenden Cusack.
Brenden Cusack and Superintendent James W. Polansky. (
Huntington Principal Brenden Cusack and Superintendent James W. Polansky. (Darin Reed photo.)
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