Bartow High's IB school named second-best in U.S.

By Rick Elmhorst, Anchor/Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, May 13, 2013

The International Baccalaureate School at Bartow High School has been named one of the United States' best high schools by a national magazine.

Newsweek and the Daily Beast recently released its annual survey of the top high schools in the country, and the Bartow IB program was given No. 2 spot on the list.

The rankings are based on advanced placement test scores, SAT and ACT scores, graduation rates and the percentage of students who attend college.

Principal Ed Vetter, who started the Bartow IB program in 1995, is thrilled.

"I would have been satisfied to come out in the top 100," he said. "But to come out number two…unbelievable."

Student Zachary Sandoval is proud.

"I think it's incredible," he said. "It's such an honor to be able to call ourselves the number two school."

Students who attend the school have to apply to get in and the process is competitive, but that screening process isn't the only factor for why students perform at such a high level compared to other schools. There are more than 1,000 IB programs like it in the country.

Both Vetter and students credit the hard work of teachers who are experts in their subject matter. They also credit the competitive spirit of the school. Both the teachers and students want to be the best.

Vetter is hoping the school will make it to number one some day.

"I think the students, now they have the taste of number two, they are going to want number one," he said.