Three Blair County high schools earned U.S. News Best High Schools bronze medals out of thousands of public schools nationwide.
Altoona Area, Tyrone Area and Bellwood-Antis high schools were selected for bronze medals based on factors including standardized test scores and student-to-teacher ratio.
Altoona Area High School Principal Patricia Burlingame said earning the U.S News recognition for the past three years is affirmation that the school's teachers and students are doing a good job every day.
Altoona Area offers 19 College Board Advanced Placement classes. The school also offers 16 dual enrollment courses that provide students with college credits.
"If a student takes all dual enrollment courses, they can enter college as a first-year sophomore," she said.
"It also provides financial support for families because with dual enrollment, you get college credits at a reduced rate."
But it is the culture of the school - community service, success of academic clubs and manners of students - that she is most proud of, she said.
"Every academic club we have has either gone to states or national competitions over the last three years," she said. "I am very proud of that."
Bellwood-Antis High School Principal Lisa Hartsock said high test scores, large number of dual enrollment offerings and relatively low student-to-teacher ratio are some of the contributing factors leading to Bellwood-Antis High School continuing to receive the award
"I am ecstatic that we have earned another Bronze Award. It is a testament to the dedication and hard work of everyone on our Bellwood-Antis High School team - staff, students, parents, administration and the Bellwood-Antis community," she said. "Our high school motto is 'Expect More, Learn More, Achieve More.'"
Area high schools outside of Blair County earning bronze medals were Glendale, Bedford, Northern Bedford, Everett and Penn Cambria.
More than 21,000 public high schools were evaluated for recognition nationwide.
Mirror Staff Writer Russ O'Reilly is at 946-7435.