Sometimes bigger is better.

In South Dakota, several of the largest high schools in the state are in the top ten ranking of the state's best high schools.

Along with using traditional data from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics, and the U.S. Census Bureau, the website Niche.com decided to rank the best schools in America on what they call the 'entire student experience'.

To do that, they de-emphasized SAT and ACT scores and instead included things like diversity, clubs and activities, sports, and even food.

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When all of those factors were considered, Washington High School in Sioux Falls reigned supreme in South Dakota.

The school received its highest marks in diversity and extracurricular activities, while its lowest grade was in the food category:

  • Diversity: A+
  • Clubs and Activities: A
  • Sports: A
  • Administration: A-
  • Teachers: A-
  • Academics: B+
  • Health and Safety: B+
  • College Prep: B+
  • Resources and Facilities: B
  • Food: B-

Overall, three Sioux Falls public high schools were among the Top Ten in the state, including the schools with the two biggest enrollments - Roosevelt (2,451 students) and Lincoln (2,052 students).

Hill City High School is the smallest high school in the Top Ten with just 154 students.

BEST PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS IN SOUTH DAKOTA (Niche.com overall grade) 

  1. Washington High School – Sioux Falls (A)
  2. Brandon Valley High School – Brandon (A)
  3. Hill City High School – Hill City (A-)
  4. Dakota Valley High School – North Sioux City (A-)
  5. Lincoln High School – Sioux Falls (A-)
  6. Hamlin High School – Hayti (A-)
  7. Roosevelt High School – Sioux Falls (A-)
  8. Brookings High School – Brookings (B+)
  9. Mitchell High School – Mitchell (B+)
  10. Stevens High School – Rapid City (B+)

TRENDING FROM RESULTS-TOWNSQUARE SIOUX FALLS:

Know Your South Dakota College and University Mascots

The college football experience is an ultimate high for football fans and it takes several other teams to make that happen week after week during the season.
Just think about what goes into gameday? First and foremost, the players and coaching staff who put in hours and hours of practice and training to play in front of their fans. Then there's field prep, game officials, live broadcasts, concessions, and on-the-field entertainment. Yep, entertainment.

Second to the game, who do you watch? The cheerleaders? The band at halftime? What about the mascot? That's a job not many people can do.
I asked Sioux Falls native and former Cagey mascot for the Sioux Falls Canaries and Little Red & Herbie for the Nebraska Huskers Nate Welch about being a mascot:

  • What does it take to be a mascot?
  • "Losing a bet or filling an opportunity!" Welch says, "An internal energized desire to love life. After meeting great performers who are introverts out of costume, they become the center of attention when they take the stage. And also feeding off the performance of others."
  • Why does the mascot never talk?
  • "Know your role and shut your mouth. You are there to entertain. Tell the story with your actions and not your voice."
  • Advice to someone putting on that costume for the first time?
  • "Remember you are now in a costume. Have fun. Otherwise, you're just a dork in tights. If the fur ain't flying you ain't trying."

Nate Welch has moved on from his days as a mascot to Executive Director of the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Company in Vermillion, South Dakota.

So, can you name the mascots at our South Dakota Colleges and Universities? Check out the gallery below:

The 6 Types of South Dakota Drivers You Deal With Every Winter

Every year it snows in Sioux Falls. We may live in denial during the spring and summer, but it happens.

When the snow falls on the Falls, life in the city does not stop. We all still have to go to work, school, and the liquor store...um I mean go get snacks.

When you tackle the snowy routes around town you tend to run across six types of drivers in the snow.

See How School Cafeteria Meals Have Changed Over the Past 100 Years

Using government and news reports, Stacker has traced the history of cafeteria meals from their inception to the present day, with data from news and government reports. Read on to see how various legal acts, food trends, and budget cuts have changed what kids are getting on their trays.