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Education Notes: 3 Tucson schools ranked among top 50 in the country
Education notes

Education Notes: 3 Tucson schools ranked among top 50 in the country

Three Tucson-area schools are among the top 10 in Arizona, according to the latest U.S. News and World Report’s Best High Schools rankings list.

BASIS Oro Valley, a charter school, is ranked No. 1 in Tucson, second in the state and 18th in the nation.

The rankings are based on metrics around college readiness, math and reading proficiency and performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rate.

Tucson’s second best high school is University High from Tucson Unified School District, which received a ranking of No. 3 in the state and 22nd in the nation.

“While these rankings present a limited assessment of schools, we are incredibly proud of the hard work of our teachers, students and staff,” said University High Principal Amy Cislak. “... UHS is proud to serve students from over 85 middle schools and 32 zip codes in Southern Arizona.” Among UHS students, 100% are accepted to college and last school year they received over $40 million in scholarships, a news release said.

BASIS Tucson North was ranked No. 3 in Tucson, sixth in Arizona and 48th in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report rankings.

The top 10 best high schools in Tucson include three charter schools and seven unified district schools.

Following the top three, the highest-ranked high schools in Tucson are: Catalina Foothills High School in Catalina Foothills Unified School District, Empire High School in the Vail School District, charter school Sonoran Science Academy, Vail Academy and High School in Vail, Tanque Verde High in the Tanque Verde Unified School District, Sabino High School in TUSD and Cienega High in Vail.

4 Tucson teens chosen to be Flinn scholars

Four Tucson students have been selected among 19 across the state as the Flinn Scholars Class of 2020.

The Tucson scholars are:

  • Isabella Espinoza from Desert View High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District
  • Simon Fitch from Tanque Verde High School in the Tanque Verde Unified School District
  • Nikolas Gruber from Catalina Foothills High School in the Catalina Foothills School District
  • Christina Niyigena from Sahuaro High School in TUSD

The Phoenix-based Flinn Foundation, in partnership with Arizona’s three state universities, covers the full cost of tuition, mandatory fees, housing, meals and more, to the tune of more than $120,000.

More than 1,000 Arizona high school seniors applied for the competitive scholarship.

Generally, Flinn Scholarship applicants should participate and demonstrate leadership in a variety of extracurricular activities; attain at least a 3.5 grade-point average (unweighted); rank in the top 5% of their graduating class (if the school reports class rank); and score a minimum 29 on the ACT (composite score), or 1340 on the SAT I (ERW+M).

7 HS seniors are named National Merit scholars

Seven Tucson-area high school seniors have been named National Merit Scholars.

The following students are recipients of National Merit corporate-sponsored scholarships:

  • Morgan E. Clark of Cienega High School, National Merit Raytheon Scholarship
  • Abigail G. Harris of Pusch Ridge Christian Academy, National Merit Raytheon Scholarship
  • Tammam S. Kamal of Basis Oro Valley, National Merit Insperity Scholarship
  • Sungmin Kwon of Basis Tucson North, National Merit Raytheon Scholarship
  • Hannah T. Ly of Basis Oro Valley, National Merit Raytheon Scholarship
  • Thomas Q. Pham of Basis Tucson North, National Merit Raytheon Scholarship
  • Jeremy C. Wang of Catalina Foothills High School, National Merit Jerry R. Junkins Memorial Scholarship

Students entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT, which served as an initial screener. The highest-scoring students in each state were named semifinalists. From the semifinalist group, about 15,000 advanced to the finalist level, which will be narrowed down to about 7,600 winners judged as having the strongest combination of academic skills and achievements, extracurricular accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies. Most of the awards are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $1,000 to $10,000 per year. Some provide a single payment between $2,500 and $5,000.

The corporate-sponsored awards are financed by corporations, company foundations and other business organizations for National Merit finalists who are children of their employees, who are residents of communities the company serves, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers the sponsor wishes to encourage.

Winners of college-sponsored awards and $2,500 scholarships will be announced in the coming months.

Contact reporter Danyelle Khmara at or 573-4223. On Twitter: @DanyelleKhmara

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