District working to improve high schools as Dreyfoos, Suncoast rank among top 10 in Florida

Posted at 7:28 PM, Apr 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-25 19:28:52-04

A few local high schools are once again near the top of the list of the best high schools in Florida.

Suncoast community high ranks 9th and Dreyfoos School of the Arts came in 10th on the U.S. News and World Report's annual ranking of the best high schools in the state.

“We're so excited, this has happened numerous times,” says Dr. David Christiansen, Deputy Superintendent of  Palm Beach County Schools. “Top ten in the state is just a tremendous honor.”

Even with that high praise, not every school in the county is making the grade, according to the study.

While the graduation rates and college readiness rates at Suncoast and Dreyfoos are at or near perfect, other schools in the district fall short.

“Our mission is a world class education,” Dr. Christiansen says.

Dr. Christiansen says that's what the district's 5 year strategic plan, put into place this school year, is all about.

One goal - make sure the students are ready for high school by focusing on the building blocks: elementary and middle school.

“The minute they come in to the high school...we're clear on what their needs are and we have individual plans for each student.”

Dr. Christiansen says the hope is to have graduation rates at 90% or higher in the county over the next few years.

Another goal: teach skills that go beyond academics.

“This is not only about how you do on a test. This is about how you look people in the eye, shake their hand - some soft skills that go a long way in life.”

One thing that could harm that progress - a looming teacher shortage.

The district says it's aware of that and is now making a push for so called 'non-traditional' candidates.

That includes everyone from doctors to lawyers to engineers - anyone who has a passion for teaching.

Here’s info on some upcoming job fairs:

GladesFest Teacher Job Fair
Hiring teachers for the 12 schools in the Glades Tri-city area
Thursday, May 11 from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Glades Area Office
Annual Glades Salary Supplement of $3,750
To register and apply for teaching positions visit

Teach Palm Beach Teacher Job Fair
Saturday, May 20 from  7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Park Vista High School
Register by May 13 and apply for teaching positions at