| 17 Feb 2015 | 04:42

    High schools are responsible for putting the finishing touches on students before they head off to college, the workforce or other life-broadening endeavors. Good schools know how to push teens to their limits, while keeping their feet planted firmly on the ground and giving them the support they need to develop into young adults. The public, private and religious schools profiled in these pages were selected with the input of our advisory board and other school insiders, and they represent just one slice of New York City's diverse education universe. Please note: the Blackboard Awards are not a competition or ranking; our focus has always been on identifying the variety of schools where a vibrant, caring and challenging learning community thrives. By spotlighting these schools, we hope to inspire greater dialogue and positive developments throughout the city's educational community. In the following pages, readers can also learn about an East Side school with a new approach to special needs education, and three outstanding principals from Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. As always, there are several handy charts with stats for both public and independent schools. Finally, our "Constructive Criticism" section features candid comments about local schools from the people who have a front-row seat in the classroom: parents and students. To make sure your opinion is included next year, or to nominate a principal or teacher for a 2009 Blackboard Award, visit our website, [www.BlackboardAwards.com](http://www.blackboardawards.com). -Charlotte Eichna, Blackboard Awards Project Director

    Outstanding Public High School: [Hunter College High School]

    Outstanding Private High School: [The Packer Collegiate Institute]

    Outstanding Religious High School: [Abraham Joshua Heschel High School]

    The Edge Award for Rising Star Public School in Williamsburg: [Williamsburg Preparatory School]

    Rising Star Public High School: [New York City Museum School]

    Rising Star Religious High School: [The Jewish Institute of Queens]

    Citation for Special Needs Programming: [The Rebecca School]

    [Constructive Criticism]

    Principals of the Year: [Beth Lubeck-Ceffalia], P.S. 132

    Principals of the Year: [Harvey Katz], P.S. 117

    Principals of the Year: [Bob O'Brien], P.S. 75

    Public High Schools, By the Numbers: [DOWNLOAD THE PDF] (88.5KB)

    Tuition Directory of Independent High Schools: [DOWNLOAD THE PDF] (38.6KB)

    Independent High Schools, By the Numbers: [DOWNLOAD THE PDF] (47.4KB)