Students at more than 600 high schools took the Ohio Graduation Test in 2012, but no other school faired as well as the Cleveland Early College High School.

“We are very excited about being number one,” said Principal Carol Lockhart. “We checked, double checked, triple checked, to be honest with you.”

The school scored in the top 10 last year and Lockhart said they worked hard to keep testing levels within those boundaries.

Cleveland Early College High School was founded in 2002 and was once housed in the Corlett Building. By 2006, it called the John Hay campus its new home.

There are about 220 students and they needed a 3.5 GPA to get in, but the competitive nature of the school keeps students pushing forward.

“If your friend has all As, and you have As and Bs, you’re going to be mad about it,” said senior Tashe McGinnis. “You’re going to be like, ‘What did she do to get that?'”

The school gets the top students from across the Cleveland Metropolitan School and they start after their freshman year. Seniors at the school also take classes at Cleveland State University.

Students also come from diverse backgrounds that can make it difficult for them to focus on school work.

“We have to help them understand we can’t change where you are,” said Lockhart. “This is the family you were born into. But we can help to elevate their thinking about their future. If we can do that we can help most of our kids elevate themselves out of poverty.”

The school boasts a 100 percent graduation rate, and 100 percent acceptance colleges and universities where students apply.

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