Columbia HS named a ‘most influential public high school’

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Columbia High School was ranked No. 21 among 50 of the most influential public high schools in the United States by Academic Influence. CHS was identified as a top 50 U.S. public high school based on the accumulative influence of its alumni.

According to its website, Academic Influence is “a team of academics and data scientists working to provide an objective, non-gameable influence-based ranking for the people, schools and disciplinary programs that make up higher education.” Academic Influence ranks schools based on the influencers associated with them, with both faculty and alumni considered. It uses machine learning to track influence and map the relevant connections between people and institutions. Based on AI’s analysis, ranked schools display higher concentrations of influential people associated with them. Influence is based on web traffic analysis and citations of alumni associated with these high schools.

“After learning so much about Columbia’s rich history, I am not surprised that CHS was selected as one of the most influential public high schools in the country. This is why our Alumni Hall of Fame is always one of the highlight events of the year,” CHS Principal Frank Sanchez said. “Of course, we’re not going to take it easy; our faculty just can’t wait to see what our current students will do in the future to keep Columbia on top of this ranking.”

According to AI, as part of the group of top 50 public high school schools in America, CHS is distinctive and has developed programs tailored to the needs of its students, but also shares a few common factors with the other ranked high schools, including highly-trained faculty members, a thoughtfully selected curriculum, advanced course offerings designed to prepare students for college and careers, and an atmosphere that promotes achievement and innovation.

Other N.J. high schools on the list are Princeton High School at No. 33 and Montclair High School at No. 45. The full list of ranked high schools can be found at