My Turn: Great things are happening at Truckee High School |

My Turn: Great things are happening at Truckee High School

John Neary
Special to the Sun

Deborah Lewis’ online comment on and#8216;’ on March 23rd was confusing and without merit. In reference to the new Sierra charter school she said: and#8220;This will be great. I hope it’s an improvement on the substandard level of education at Truckee High School. I think it’s a joke the level of education kids are receiving at the high school.and#8221;

I do not know what information may have led you to this conclusion but I want to share a few facts about Truckee High School.

Truckee High offers three advanced courses in chemistry and physics, eight honors courses in math, English, science and biology and eight Advanced Placement courses in math, English, biology, chemistry, US history and Spanish. Thirty-nine AP English literature students took the AP exam in the fall and 33 passed with a score of 3 or higher out of a possible 5; 133 of our 706 students are going to take the AP exams in biology, calculus, chemistry, English, Spanish, US history and French in May.

School-wide, students exceeded the California Standards Test growth target for 2009 earning an Academic Performance Index (API) score of 803; a 25 point increase from the 2008 score. Future plans of the Class of 2009 had 41 percent heading to a four year college, 35 percent heading for a community college, 7 percent going to a trade or technical school, 0.2 percent entering the military and 17 percent going to work. Selected members of the Class of 2009 were honored with over $140,000 in scholarships and other awards in June of last year and attended such schools as St. Mary’s of Moraga, Santa Clara University, University of San Francisco, University of Arizona, University of Colorado, Universities of California, Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz, all of the campuses of the California State University system and several other colleges and universities. Several students went on to community colleges and technical/trade schools, and some to the American Musical Dramatic Academy, Joffrey Ballet School and the M I Music Institute.

In a letter dated Nov. 23, 2009, the California Business for Education Excellence has named Truckee High School as an Honor Roll School for 2009 due to the “…outstanding success your school has made in raising student academic achievement. After reviewing student achievement data for every public school in California, your school stood well above the rest in getting your students to grade level proficiency.”

It has been well publicized that THS won Nevada 3A state championships in volleyball, girls soccer, football, alpine skiing and Nordic skiing. The girls cross country team came in second in the state, boys soccer played in the state semi-finals, tennis sent nine girls and nine boys to the regional tournament and the girls golf team sent four to the state tournament in Las Vegas. Our state champion volleyball team was also the Academic State Champions and girls tennis and football teams were both runners up. Seventeen of our fall athletes were named to the Nevada All State Scholar team. NIAA offers an award for the school that has the highest score of varsity teams in three areas: academics, athletics, and sportsmanship. The NIAA Award of Excellence standings updated through winter sports season has Truckee (1,530 points), a two-time past Class 3A champion, holding 160-point lead over the other league schools.

The band students have had an incredibly successful year playing at all the home football games. The jazz band entertained at Back to School Night and the Excellence in Education gala at Northstar. Twenty-four members of the music program were accepted into the Region V High School Honor Band. Additionally, two students were selected for the Capital Section Honor Band and will play with the music department at Sacramento State. The symphonic band also played at the opening ceremonies of the new Recreation Center in Truckee and the Ritz Carlton Highlands, and participated in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Olympics at Squaw Valley.

It is obvious to me, and I hope to you, that Truckee High School students and staff have accomplished a great deal thus far this year and with the outstanding teachers and motivated students we can look forward to more great things in the future. Ms. Lewis, I would like to invite you to visit campus at your convenience to see first hand what is really going on at Truckee High School.

John Neary is the principal Truckee High School. He can be reached for comment at


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