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Friday, November 8, 2019

Newsweek today named Ottawa Hills High School as the second-best high school in Ohio for STEM and No. 61 nationally among all high schools.

Ottawa Hills High School also was ranked No. 1 in the region and No. 43 nationally among all public high schools. The news magazine, working with, released its rankings of 5,000 top high schools today on National STEM Day. (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, math). The November 15 special double issue is available on newsstands now and includes coverage of the top 500 STEM high schools, including Ottawa Hills. The full list of 5,000 top STEM high schools is available at

“At Ottawa Hills, students are exposed to a wide variety of STEM courses and extracurricular offerings that encourage them to approach critical-thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving in unique ways,” said Ben McMurray, the Junior/Senior High School principal.

The purpose behind the research was to determine which primary and secondary institutions in the nation best offered students experiences in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) - as defined by the Congressional Research Service - while preparing them for post-secondary outcomes, according to the two organizations. Additional factors, including affluence and median household income, were taken into consideration in compiling the rankings.

“We are honored to be recognized for what our teachers and students achieve every day,” said Dr. Adam Fineske, the district’s superintendent. “We have a tradition of excellence in these areas that everyone works extremely had to maintain.”

In its research, Newsweek and examined schools that employed skilled teachers who kept up with developments in their fields and who created dynamic learning environments to engage students. The STEM faculty at Ottawa Hills Junior/Senior High School are: 

  • B. Tim Adkins, math and science teacher.
  • Gerry Davis, STEM teacher.
  • Patty Dowd, STEM teacher.
  • Diane Drabek, math teacher.
  • Daniel Feuerstein, math teacher.
  • Paul Genzman, math and science teacher.
  • Mary Kate Hafemann, science teacher.
  • Joan Keckler, math teacher.
  • Michael Leeds, instrumental and music director.
  • Jeremy Nixon, science teacher.
  • Nicole Silvers, science teacher.
  • Brooks Spiess, technology coordinator.
  • Anthony Torio, math teacher.

“We are very proud of our STEM courses, and we continue to explore ways to expand, not just those offerings, but the interdisciplinary spirit such programming embodies,” said Dr. Bill Miller, the district’s director of curriculum and instruction. “That means looking at both professional collaborations and the spaces they require.”

The top  schools were curated from Educational Research using a proprietary scoring logic that took into consideration a broad set of quantitative and qualitative data collected from the second quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2019.

The national day (Nov. 8) of recognition started five years ago as a way to encourage students to explore and pursue interests in science, technology, engineering, art and math.

“Children don’t realize it, but they’re natural STEM students,” says Nancy Cooper, Newsweek Global Editor in Chief. “We need to make sure that innate drive, curiosity, and creativity aren’t lost along the way. These high schools are helping to ensure America’s future in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is in good hands.” 

About Newsweek

Newsweek is a premier news magazine and website that has been bringing high-quality journalism to readers around the globe for more than 85 years. Newsweek provides the latest news, in-depth analysis, and ideas about international issues, technology, business, culture, and politics.

About Educational Research Educational Research is the longest continually operating, privately held STEM education research and credentialing organization in America. It is based in Southfield, Michigan.

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