As filmmaker and writer Nora Ephron said during a ’96 commencement address at Wellesley College, “Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.” If that’s the case, high school may be one of the greatest dress rehearsals of all.

It’s a place where students explore their interests, dive into extracurricular activities, finally get the freedom to choose their own classes, and prepare for college or the workplace. For many of these students and their families, public education is key: 49.5 million students enrolled in public PreK-12 schools in 2021, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Of those, about a third were in high school, enrolled across about 23,500 public secondary schools nationwide.

For many anxious parents, getting their kids into the best of these public high schools is of the utmost importance. Some families even move homes to get into better school districts. However, among all of these thousands of schools, a few stand out for their academic excellence, incredible track records, and the future success of their young students.

Stacker compiled a list of the 30 best public high schools in Tennessee using 2023 rankings from Niche. Niche uses eight weighted factors for its rankings. A majority of the score is based on academics and grades, but other factors include culture and diversity, health and safety, clubs and activities, resources, and surveys of parents, teachers and students. School districts are provided when available; otherwise, the city is listed instead.

Achira22 // Shutterstock

#30. Maryville High School

– District: Maryville City Schools
– Enrollment: 1,194 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

Ground Picture // Shutterstock

#29. University School

– District: Washington County School District
– Enrollment: 593 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

LightField Studios // Shutterstock

#28. Dyersburg High School

– District: Dyersburg City School District
– Enrollment: 708 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

Mircea Moira // Shutterstock

#27. Mt. Juliet High School

– District: Wilson County School District
– Enrollment: 1,234 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

LStockStudio // Shutterstock

#26. Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences (CSAS) – Upper School

– District: Hamilton County School District
– Enrollment: 676 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

panitanphoto // Shutterstock

#25. Blackman High School

– District: Rutherford County Schools
– Enrollment: 1,950 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#24. Fred J. Page High School

– District: Williamson County Schools
– Enrollment: 1,137 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

ImageFlow // Shutterstock

#23. Oak Ridge High School

– District: Oak Ridge School District
– Enrollment: 1,526 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

Ground Picture // Shutterstock

#22. Greeneville High School

– District: Greeneville City Schools
– Enrollment: 914 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

Tyler Olson // Shutterstock

#21. STEM School Chattanooga

– District: Hamilton County School District
– Enrollment: 283 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

SEALANDSKYPHOTO // Shutterstock

#20. Science Hill High School

– District: Johnson City Schools
– Enrollment: 2,251 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

sirtravelalot // Shutterstock

#19. Nolensville High School

– District: Williamson County Schools
– Enrollment: 1,297 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

maroke // Shutterstock

#18. Houston High School

– District: Germantown Municipal School District
– Enrollment: 2,013 (19:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

Studio KIWI // Shutterstock

#17. Independence High School

– District: Williamson County Schools
– Enrollment: 1,903 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#16. Dobyns-Bennett High School

– District: Kingsport City Schools
– Enrollment: 2,379 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

📧 Have breaking come to you: Subscribe to News 2 email alerts

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#15. Collierville High School

– District: Collierville Schools
– Enrollment: 2,885 (22:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

Ground Picture // Shutterstock

#14. Valor Flagship Academy

– District: Metro Nashville Public Schools
– Enrollment: 1,197 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

Joyseulay // Shutterstock

#13. Centennial High School

– District: Williamson County Schools
– Enrollment: 1,612 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

LStockStudio // Shutterstock

#12. L&N STEM Academy

– District: Knox County Schools
– Enrollment: 583 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

Canva

#11. Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts

– District: Hamilton County School District
– Enrollment: 644 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

| Check out more lists and rankings from across Tennessee

Canva

#10. Madison Academic Magnet High School

– District: Madison County School District
– Enrollment: 493 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

Canva

#9. White Station High School

– District: Shelby County Schools
– Enrollment: 1,983 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

Roman Kosolapov // Shutterstock

#8. Franklin High School

– District: Williamson County Schools
– Enrollment: 1,759 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

LBeddoe // Shutterstock

#7. Farragut High School

– District: Knox County Schools
– Enrollment: 2,005 (20:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

Canva

#6. Brentwood High School

– District: Williamson County Schools
– Enrollment: 1,739 (20:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

DenisProduction.com // Shutterstock

#5. Merrol Hyde Magnet School

– District: Sumner County Schools
– Enrollment: 670 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

Canva

#4. Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School

– District: Metro Nashville Public Schools
– Enrollment: 1,275 (21:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

⏩ Read today’s top stories on wkrn.com

Anna Jurkovska // Shutterstock

#3. Central Magnet School

– District: Rutherford County Schools
– Enrollment: 1,237 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

Canva

#2. Ravenwood High School

– District: Williamson County Schools
– Enrollment: 1,783 (19:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

Daniel Hoz // Shutterstock

#1. Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School

– District: Metro Nashville Public Schools
– Enrollment: 907 (20:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+