Winston Churchill High School Credit: Via Montgomery County Public Schools

Winston Churchill High School in Potomac has clinched the top spot on a ranking of best public high schools in Maryland for the second year in a row.

Four of the state’s five best public high schools are in Montgomery County, according to the U.S. News and World Report listing released early Wednesday morning. Poolesville High captured the second spot, followed by Thomas S. Wootton High in Rockville. A Howard County high school came in fourth place, with Quince Orchard High in Gaithersburg earning a fifth-place berth.

The four Montgomery County schools all received a gold award, meaning they were among the top 500 schools in the nationwide ranking. Churchill secured the No. 113 spot in the national listing. Poolesville was No. 116, while Wootton was No. 168 and Quince Orchard was No. 243.

The rankings evaluated more than 20,500 public high schools across the nation, according to a press release.

“Top-ranked schools succeed in three main areas: exceeding expectations on state proficiency tests, offering challenging coursework and graduating their students,” Anita Narayan, managing editor of education at U.S. News, said in a prepared statement.

This was the second year that Walt Whitman High in Bethesda did not appear on the U.S. ranking after three years topping the Maryland list.

Poolesville also came in at No. 37 in the U.S. News list of the nation’s best schools for science, technology, engineering and math education and No. 31 on the ranking of best magnet schools. Wootton was No. 63 for STEM education and Churchill was No. 127.

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