The 10 Best High Schools in Maryland

A childhood in Maryland feels like something out of a fairytale: chilly evenings along the seashore and afternoons spent playing in the Maryland Zoo. 

As children get older, this state encourages them to maintain that sense of childlike wonder while advancing their own skills and interests. 

The spattering of art museums across the state makes it easy for young artists to find inspiration in “The Greats,” while the sweeping nature views are enough to give even the hardest soul the heart of a poet. 

Looking at sights like the Great Falls, it’s no wonder that so many of our nation’s most significant artists and writers once called this state home. 

Without a doubt, Maryland is a beautiful place to grow up, and this is only made more desirable by the ease with which a parent can provide their child a quality education. 

In this article, we have compiled a list 10 of the best high schools in Maryland, as well as a few details about what makes them so great. We selected these schools as they are regularly ranked among the best schools in major publications. Our sources are listed at the end of this article.

Read on to learn more about ten of the best high schools in Maryland!

Walt Whitman High School (Bethesda, Maryland)

Walt Whitman High School, Bethesda, Maryland
G. Edward Johnson, Walt Whitman High School Bethesda MD, CC BY 4.0

As of 2022, US News and World Report have ranked Walt Whitman High School as the number one high school in the state of Maryland

Though this ranking is based primarily on the school’s stellar test scores and high graduation rates, this school also has developed a proud reputation for encouraging students to pursue their own leadership potential.

Through the Walt Whitman Leadership Academy for Social Justice, students carry on the dreams of this school’s namesake, finding ways to make this world a better, more equitable place.

During the OneWhitman breakout sessions, students will learn about and discuss topics such as ableism and mental health, allowing them a chance to learn from one another as well as from their instructors. 

Poolesville High School (Poolesville, Maryland)

Not only is Poolesville ranked within the top fifty STEM schools in the country; it also stands proudly as the fifty-eighth best magnet school as well. 

Poolesville High School has enacted its own Independent Studies Program to encourage each student to seize their own education. 

Through this, a student is incentivized to investigate any area of interest, be that science, math, art, or any other area leading to a promising career.

To complete the course, students must fill out a regular journal detailing their findings as they investigate this potential career choice. 

They must also endeavor to get at least fifty hours of “field work” in a related field, whether paid work or volunteering. Depending on the hours, they may also be considered community service hours. 

At the end of the study, students gain valuable public speaking experience by presenting their project to a review committee for potential certification. 

Winston Churchill High (Potomac, Maryland)

A strong commitment to higher education characterizes an education at Winston Churchill High. While here, each student is given the resources they need to get an early start on their hunt for a college education.

Qualifying juniors and seniors can work alongside their teachers to apply for the Jumpstart to College Program

Through this school-sponsored activity, students can attend a sampling of classes at Montgomery College, allowing them to both earn valuable college credit and get a taste of what life is like on such a campus. 

These same teachers encourage every possible student to enroll in AP classes and participate in advanced placement classes that have the power to set them ahead. 

On average, ninety percent of all students enrolled in Winston Churchhill High take at least one AP test during their time there, and of those, eighty-two percent successfully pass one to receive college credit. 

Marriotts Ridge High School (Marriotsville, Maryland)

Marriotts Ridge High School takes pride in helping students from the roadmap to their own lives. In many cases, that means giving them the tools to access the most affordable college experience possible. 

The average student leaves this school with an ACT score of 31, well above the national average. Similarly, these same students leave with an average SAT score of around 1350.

It is a good thing that these scores may equate to big college scholarship money because after an education at Marriot’s Ridge High School, students leave with big dreams. 

Many of the upcoming graduates report hoping to attend Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, or Georgetown, and with the quality they receive from Marriotts Ridge, these dreams are doubtlessly within reach.

This school is dedicated to getting better by the day, with a plan to improve its high graduation rate from 99 to 100 percent success. 

Thomas S. Wootton High School (Rockville, Maryland)

As one of the top fifty STEM schools in the nation, Thomas S. Whooton has a reputation to maintain. They do so flawlessly through their STARS program.

The STARS program – standing for the Science, Technology, and Research Signature Program – is a four-year program designed to fulfill and stimulate students dedicated to a deeper understanding of science and technology.

During the first two years of this program, underclassmen slowly develop their interests through off-campus activities, field trips, and lectures designed to help them gain an understanding of the world around them. 

All this study culminates in a two-year series of AP courses to be completed during their junior and senior years of high school.

At the end of this experience, students must write up their research and defend their position in an oral presentation before their class and teacher. 

Eastern Technical High School (Baltimore, Maryland)

Eastern Technical High School
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

In current rankings, Eastern Technical High School is considered both the top school in the city of Baltimore and the third-best school in Maryland as a whole. 

Like most top schools, Eastern Technical encourages students to understand the value of college, offering as many advanced placement opportunities as possible. 

On average, over four-fifths of the students on campus take at least one AP exam prior to graduation. 

Unlike many others, however, Eastern Technical also encourages students to investigate their potential careers more through a series of magnet programs. 

At “Teacher Academy,” students pair with teachers all over the school and beyond to shadow their day, assist them with tasks, and learn what the job truly entails. 

In the Construction Technology class, students get the kind of hands-on experience that is difficult to learn on their own safely. 

Whether a student is interested in the culinary arts, law, or a healthcare career, they are bound to find what they are looking for in this unique set of programs. 

River Hill High School (Clarksville, Maryland)

At River Hill High School, the administration does more than simply talk about equality. They put those words into action, teaching their students values that stand to last a lifetime. 

Through the Rainbow Representative, the school receives continuing education in the world of diversity and inclusion. 

School representatives attend quarterly meetings in which they receive the latest information and teaching tips, which they then return to the school to share with the staff.

Likewise, the Gay Straight Alliance– organized and run by the student body– serves as a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community, allowing them a place to socialize, discuss their personal issues, and learn more about the history that led to where the movement is today.

Richard Montgomery High School (Rockville, Maryland)

No matter what the future may bring, the experts at Richard Montgomery High School are ready to help students glide into their futures.

At the College and Career Center, students can access information about everything from standardized test preparation to more detailed information about their chosen career field. 

This center levels the playing field, making sure that even students who may be the first in their families to attend college can do so without fear or stress. 

Likewise, Richard Montgomery High School makes scheduling college visits easy with its online portal

Here, students can arrange to visit the college of their choice, explore new opportunities, and better understand the kind of future they may want for themselves. 

Barbara Ingram School for the Arts (Hagerstown, Maryland)

As the name would suggest, the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts is a magnet school dedicated to helping students explore the world of the arts. The curriculum, however, is far more detailed than most might assume.

In addition to the typical art school offerings– writing, dance, theater– the Barbara Ingram School for the arts also recognizes the value in finding art in all aspects of the progressive, creative world

They also offer courses in topics such as cinematography, photography, computer game development, and animation. 

In these classes, young developers can take on their own projects using programs like Blender and Unify while hopeful sound developers create their own game soundtracks. 

3D modelers will gain valuable experience in forming their own characters through a combination of sketch work and computer design. 

By pushing students to the edge of what they can achieve and holding them to the most rigorous standards, this art school has been awarded the place of tenth overall school in the state of Maryland. 

Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School (Bethesda, Maryland)

Named after the two towns it serves, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School takes pride in accepting students as mere children and then graduating them as leaders in their communities.

One such program that helps in this mission is the Lazarus Leadership Fellows Program.

Since its founding in 1997, the Lazarus Fellows have completed a cumulative 71,000 hours of community service, working through a series of unique projects to make the state of Maryland an even brighter place. 

Recently, a group of just fifteen students helped restore a Germantown farm, allowing it to serve as a kind of living museum teaching others about the lives of slaves in pre-Civil War Montgomery County.

Individually, each student in this fellowship is responsible for completing 200 hours of community service over the summer, allowing them to learn the delicate balance between responsibilities– such as schoolwork– and the value of giving back. 

Additional Sources:

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