Cedarburg – Cedarburg High School and Grafton High School were among the Wisconsin high schools featured in Newsweek’s rankings of “America’s Top High Schools.”

At a rank of 145th, Cedarburg ranked third in the state, behind Nicolet (61st) and Kettle Moraine Global School (130th). It was a significant jump up the list from last year’s ranking of 268.

Newsweek evaluated schools based on a number of factors, including standardized test scores, acceptance and enrollment rates in college, SAT and ACT participation and scores on AP tests.

The Bulldogs scored an 80.8 on Newsweek’s college-readiness scale, which is measured based on a number of factors including standardized test scores, acceptance and enrollment rates in college and scores on SATs, ACTs and AP tests.

Cedarburg students averaged a score of 26 on the ACT in 2015. The school’s graduation rate is 99.3 percent and 89.3 percent of students are college-bound, according to Newsweek.

“When you get a recognition like this, it is a testament to the work we do to continue to do the right things to provide the very best, high-quality education to our students,” said Cedarburg Superintendent Todd Bugnacki, who added that the recognition is worth celebrating by more than just the students and staff.

“It’s important to remember that we don’t do this for the recognition,” he said. “We do what’s right for the kids and none of that happens in isolation. This recognizes parent support and community support for our kids being diligent, committed and dedicated to a vision they want to achieve.”

Grafton ranked 381st on the list.

The Black Hawks scored 74.7 on Newsweek’s college-readiness scale. The school boasts a 99.4 percent graduation rate and 86.1 percent of students are college-bound, according to Newsweek.

“Whenever you get recognized by a national organization, that’s a great thing to celebrate at not only the high school level, but it’s a statement for our K-12 system as a whole,” said Grafton Superintendent Jeff Nelson. “You have to have a great foundation and strong system in place where, regardless of whether you’re receiving recognition, you are trying to reach every student every day.”

Putting goals like that into practice is something Grafton’s Director of Teaching and Learning Dianna Kresovic said is always on the forefront of her mind.

“We are always talking about the importance of having a growth mindset regardless of what number we are on a list,” Kresovic said. “Being named on a list is a great accomplishment, but we’re always thinking about what we can do to improve, what we can do to be better against our own standards, not necessarily in competition with others.”

BY THE NUMBERS - Cedarburg


College readiness


Graduation rate




Counselor-student ratio


Student retention rate


SAT/ACT Composite Score


Average SAT Score


Average ACT Score


Average AP Score



College readiness


Graduation rate




Counselor-student ratio


Student retention rate


SAT/ACT Composite Score


Average ACT Score


Average AP Score

AT A GLANCE – Other Milwaukee-area schools

61 Whitefish Bay High School, fell from 30th in 2015

130 KM Global School in Wales, up from 496th in 2015

145 Cedarburg High School, up from 268

209 New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School, up from 264

285 Greendale High School

299 Nicolet High School, down from 289

337 Hamilton High School

341 School for Arts and Performance in Wales

381 Grafton High School

444 Muskego High School

461 Franklin High School

481 Waukesha West High School

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