East Side was ranked based on the amount of growth both by the Mississippi Department of Education growth model and the federal growth model in mathematics and English Language Arts.
"I received a phone last Thursday asking if I had seen the recent US News & World Report," said Principal Randy Grierson.
"When I was notified about our accomplishment I ran to my office and looked and it up. When I realized it was true, I got on the loud speaker and told the whole school. I congratulated everyone for their hard work," he added.
According to a U.S. News release on the results, the online magazine worked with the American Institutes for Research, a D.C.-based organization, to evaluate schools on overall student performance on state-mandated assessments, as well as how effectively schools educated their black, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students.
"72 high schools in Mississippi were recognized and over 32,000 were reviewed across the nation. This is an amazing accomplishment not only for the students and teachers but also for the entire school district and our community. It goes to show what kids are capable of doing when they are willing to put forth effort and doing things a little different," said Grierson.
One thing we do is that we try to think outside the box to put students in the best possible position to be successful if they will buy into the plan set for them. I cannot say enough about how proud and blessed I am to work with such a great group of teachers, staff and students," he continued.
Performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams was used to determine the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work.
U.S. News collected data on more than 21,000 public high schools from 49 states and the District of Columbia.
The comprehensive rankings methodology is based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college-bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.
"Our teachers work, then they work, and then they work some more, whether it be after school or Saturday school, I assure you none of this is possible without their hard work," said Grierson.
"Since this has been published, there have been numerous congratulations phone calls, I simply said, you are talking to the wrong person but if you would like you can come to East Side and get on the loud speaker and say it to the people that make up East Side High School, because this is their doing, they just give me the privilege to come there and work everyday," he added.
"If we could get all of our students to get on board and get more parents involved, the sky is the limit on what East Side High School is capable of achieving," continued Grierson.
Schools were ranked within each state, as well as on a national stage, so families can see how their public high school stacked up against rivals within the community and across the country.
In the national rankings, 500 schools earned gold medals, 1,790 were awarded silver and 2,515 took home bronze John F. Kennedy Memorial High School also received a bronze medal.