Kentucky high school named best in the nation by Newsweek

The nation's top public high school is in Kentucky, according to rankings released Sunday by Newsweek magazine.

The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science, a residential high school on the campus of Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, topped Newsweek's list of America's Best High Schools.

The school, which opened in 2007 and is funded by the state, ranked fifth in Newsweek's 2011 list.

"Being recognized as the top high school in the country by Newsweek at the conclusion of The Gatton Academy's fifth year is a dream come true," Julia Roberts, executive director of the academy, said in a news release.

Schools were ranked based on a variety of measurements, including: graduation rates, college matriculation, Advanced Placement tests per student, average SAT and ACT scores, and average Advanced Placement test scores.

The school's average ACT score was 31.2 out of a possible 36. The average SAT score was 2,010 out of a possible 2,400.

The magazine noted that "nearly all courses are university-level" at The Gatton Academy.

More than half of the school's students engaged in study programs abroad during the previous academic year, and 91 percent of recent graduates participated in a research project sponsored by a university faculty mentor, according to the school.

Students from 107 Kentucky counties have attended the academy since its inception. Enrollment this year is 126.