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Central Magnet ranked No. 1 in Tenn., 37th in nation

April 25, 2017

By JAMES EVANS
Rutherford County Schools

MURFREESBORO — Students graduating next month from Central Magnet School will be able to say they are alumni from the top school in Tennessee, based on new rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. 

The rankings list Central as the No. 1 school in Tennessee and the 37th best in the nation. Central — a magnet school serving grades 6-12 — was also named the 10th best magnet school in the country, principal Dr. John Ash said. 

“We are proud of the accomplishment,” Ash said. “Central is a special place and it is nice to receive the recognition. This honor reflects the teachers' and students' hard work and dedication.”

Rankings are based on student performance on state-required tests, how well they are prepared for college and the level of participation in Advanced Placement courses and exams, according the organization’s website. U.S. News states that the AP participation rate at Central is 100 percent. The school’s student body makeup is 47 percent male and 53 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 13 percent, according to U.S. News’ figures. The school's enrollment is approximately 1,200. 

“Yours and your staff’s herculean accomplishments at Central Magnet are a point of pride for the entire county,” said Richard Zago, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for Rutherford County Schools. 

Director of Schools Don Odom added: “It’s outstanding to see Rutherford County students performing so well among the best of the best at both the state and national levels.” 

Last week, the school was also selected as one of the best schools in the country for the teaching of personal finance. The organization Working in Support of Education — also known as w!se), named Central the 27th best school in the nation for teaching personal finance and the fifth best in the midsize high school division nationwide.

The school has earned multiple distinctions during its tenure as a magnet school and during its long history in Rutherford County, which you can read more about HERE

Central is one of the oldest schools in the Rutherford County Schools district. The current building was opened in 1950 after the original Central High School was destroyed by fire. The school served as the primary high school in Murfreesboro until the opening of Riverdale and Oakland high schools in 1972, at which time Central was converted to a middle school. 

The school became the district’s first magnet school serving grades 6-12 in 2010. This year’s graduating class is the first to have gone through the entire program beginning in sixth grade. 

To learn more about U.S. News & World Report’s rankings and to see other schools on the list, visit their website HERE

PHOTO / JAMES EVANS

In this photo from 2013, Central Magnet School principal Dr. John Ash leads the first graduating class from Central Magnet School during graduation rehearsal at Middle Tennessee State University's Murphy Center.