U.S. News & World Report rates School for Advanced Studies as best high school in Florida

MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida collegiate high school has been rated as the best high school in the state, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The publication rated Miami-based School for Advanced Studies, also known as SAS, as the top high school in Florida and the fifth-best high school in the country.

“I think it’s a validation of the incredible hard work that our teachers and our students put in,” SAS Principal Dr. Omar Monteagudo said. “It’s a combination of the rigor of our curriculum and providing opportunity for our students.”

Monteagudo oversees the high school and its five campuses.

“It’s just not limited to one end of the county,” Monteagudo said. “Rather, it’s available to everyone. I think that’s what’s important.”

The program, which is limited to juniors and seniors, focuses on STEM and advanced courses. Its student body consists of about 700 students across all five campuses.

“We’re very proud of the schools that our students end up being accepted,” Monteagudo said. “Our students are accepted at the top 50 national colleges and universities, and they’re also represented at all the Ivy Leagues.”

When seniors walk out of the school’s doors for the last time, they will not only leave with a high school diploma. They also leave with an associate’s degree from Miami-Dade College.

“When I saw I can get my AA degree graduating high school, there was no question I should be coming here and taking advantage of the opportunity,” senior Nicolas Hoppe said. “It’s a great school. There’s no question about it.”

“Obviously, get ahead with my college credits and also have an opportunity to have more one-on-one connections with faculty,” senior Angeles Morillo said.

Students said the school provides Miami-Dade students the opportunity to dream big and make those dreams a reality.

“They have nothing to lose,” Hoppe said. “They have everything to gain here. The people that come here are the people that want to really take advantage of all the opportunities that they’re given, are people that are determined to work as hard as possible.”

When asked if she was surprised at the school’s ranking, Morillo said, “No, I’m not really surprised. I’m always so proud when people ask me what my school is.”

Monteagudo said their students’ hard work and success is what makes them one of the best high schools in the U.S.

“What we’re doing in the classroom, what we’re doing with our students are actually working,” Monteagudo said.

Several other South Florida schools ranked among the top of the publication’s ranking.

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