ESSEX, Md. (WJZ) — U.S. News and World Report ranks the nation’s top high schools. Several Maryland schools made the prestigious list.

As Gigi Barnett reports, Montgomery County dominates the state’s highest-performing high schools.

Walk through the halls of Eastern Technical High School in Essex, Baltimore County and the diversity is apparent. But step inside an advanced calculus class, and that diversity continues.

It’s just one reason why the magnet school made U.S. News and World Report magazine’s “Best High Schools” list this year. Statewide, it’s in the top 10. Even the school’s automotive class is nationally ranked.

“What we have going for us is a bunch of great kids–they’re good, hard workers–and the fact that they want to be here and they see a future for themselves,” said principal Tom Evans.

Nick Logue is one of those students.

“I was like the skateboarder dude. Didn’t really care about school,” he said.

At first, the school was competitive for Logue, but he says being around other motivated students encouraged him.

“Everybody here has this laser sharp focus on academics. Here, we all talk about academics. We talk about social stuff, too,” Logue said. “But then, I have other friends at other schools. I’ll talk to them, and the second I start talking to them about math or science they’re just like, ‘Uh huh.'”

According to the magazine’s rankings, Montgomery County has six of the state’s top 10 high schools. Baltimore County has two schools in the top 10. Howard County has one and so does Washington County.

As for Eastern Tech, this isn’t the first time the school made the list. Principal Tom Evans says the caliber of students shows that it won’t be the last.

“The ninth-graders that come in just seem to be better and better–more focused, more interested in academic success,” he said.

U.S. News and World Report ranked schools based on test scores and how well they prepare students for college. The magazine surveyed more than 31,000 high schools nationwide to compile the list.

Maryland’s number one high school, Walt Whitman High in Bethesda, came in at number 61 nationwide.

Click here to see the full list.

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