7 local schools best in state at college prep

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INDIANAPOLIS - Seven local high schools are among the top eight in all of Indiana rated the best for preparing students for college among public high schools.

Monet Jordan is ready for college after her four years at Herron High School.

"I love the fact that they kept me on track. If I would have went to any other high school, I don't think my grades would have been as good as they are now," Jordan said.

Jordan and her classmates say they're not surprised at Herron's ranking in the Washington Post. The annual rating lists Herron High School second in Indiana in preparing its students for college.

"It's really important for us to have students experience academic rigor at the college level in the high school setting," said Janet Harmon McNeal, Herron's Head of School.

The Washington Post ratings are based on calculations involving the number of students taking advanced placement tests. Number one in the state is Signature High School in Evansville. Herron is second, followed by Zionsville, Yorktown and North Central in Indianapolis. West Lafayette, Fishers and Carmel High School round out the top eight in the rankings.

Students at Herron say its the individual attention from teachers that has made the difference.

"Teachers are a lot more engaged. I think that helps us, because if we have problems with whatever we're studying, they can help us out really easily," said Emma Ryan.

"If you're behind, they really help you and I feel that's been a great experience for me," said senior Schuyler Schultz.

"It has definitely been difficult, but in a good way," said freshman Jenny Hagenauer. "Because we're always hearing colleges look at your rigorous class schedule and it always puts you in front of others."

Enrollment at Herron has skyrocketed from 100 students five years ago to more than 500 enrolled for next year.

"We never set out for awards or accolades, but you find passion and drive in a lot of people and people who just want to get it right," said Jonathan Harris, Herron's advanced placement director.

Herron is finding one way to get it right by stretching its students beyond their limits, which is also pushing them to a more promising future.