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April 28, 2022

U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT: Gray Stone ranks among top 10 high schools in N.C.

Best High Schools

By Chris Miller
Stanly News and Press

Out of more than 600 high schools in North Carolina recently ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 “Best High Schools” report, Gray Stone Day School found itself among the top 10.

Gray Stone placed ninth in the state this year, a marked improvement from last year, when the school came in at No. 24 in the state. It is also the highest ranked school in the Charlotte metropolitan area.

The school, which opened in 2002 and is on Pfeiffer University’s campus in Misenheimer, received high national marks: it was ranked No. 540 out of almost 18,000 high schools across the country — up from No. 820 last year — and was ranked No. 116 nationally out of more than 2,800 charter schools, an improvement from being ranked No. 164 last year.

By earning a national ranking in the top 40 percent, Gray Stone achieved status as a U.S. News Best High School and gained eligibility to display a U.S. News-trademarked 2022 Best High Schools award “badge,” according to a U.S. News press release.

“I am very proud of everyone who has helped to make Gray Stone Day a competitive school for students in a rural area wishing to attend four-year college,” Gray Stone Chief Administrative Officer Helen Nance said.

“Although we are in a rural area, the students and teachers have worked really hard to achieve this goal,” she added. “Gray Stone has one mission and it is to prepare students from a rural area to be ready to compete with students coming from urban areas such as Charlotte, Atlanta or Boston. We are definitely meeting our mission to prepare students for college.”

The school received an overall score of 96.97 out of 100 — more than a point better than last year. According to Gray Stone’s report, 97 percent of students took at least one AP exam while 71 percent passed at least one exam — an improvement from the 50 percent of students who passed last year. It had 87 percent proficiency in mathematics and a 95 percent graduation rate.

U.S. News & World Report released its annual nationwide and state-by-state rankings earlier this week.

The ranking system rates high schools on factors such as student performance on math, reading and science state tests; graduation rates; and how many students tried and passed Advanced Placement exams.

Gray Stone’s highest mark was for college readiness — defined by the report as the proportions of 12th graders who took and passed at least one AP or IB exam — where it was ranked seventh in the state and 250th in the country.

Stanly Early College was the highest-rated Stanly County public school coming in at No. 266 in the state, followed by West Stanly (No. 374 in the state), South Stanly (No. 387), North Stanly (No. 388) and Albemarle, which was between Nos. 428-434. Stanly Academy Learning Center and Stanly County Virtual Education were both unranked.

Stanly Early College, West Stanly, South Stanly and North Stanly each had graduation rates of at least 91 percent while Albemarle’s was 86 percent.

For more on North Carolina rankings, go to

Link to US News Ranking

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