(STACKER) — As filmmaker and writer Nora Ephron said during a ’96 commencement address at Wellesley College, “Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.” If that’s the case, high school may be one of the greatest dress rehearsals of all.

It’s a place where students explore their interests, dive into extracurricular activities, finally get the freedom to choose their own classes, and prepare for college or the workplace. For many of these students and their families, public education is key: 48.1 million students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools in 2020; and there are almost 24,000 public high schools in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

For many anxious parents, getting their kid into the best of these public high schools is of the utmost importance. Some families even move homes to get into better school districts. However, among all of these thousands of schools, a few stand out for their academic excellence, incredible track records, and the future success of their young students.

Stacker compiled a list of the best public high schools in North Carolina using rankings from Niche. Here’s how it breaks down: Niche uses eight factors for its rankings, with each factor given a different weight. A whopping 60% of the score is based on academics and grades, which is calculated using state assessment proficiency tests, SAT/ACT scores, and survey responses. From there, culture and diversity, parent and student surveys on their overall experiences, and teachers each contribute to 10% of the score. Finally, scores for each school’s clubs and activities, health and safety, resources and facilities, and sports constitute 2.5% each.

Keep reading to find out which public high schools are the best in your state.

#25. Wayne Early Middle College High School
– School district: Wayne County Public Schools
– Enrollment: 236 (20:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#24. Isaac M. Bear High School
– School district: New Hanover County Schools
– Enrollment: 237 (23:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#23. Community School of Davidson
– Location: Davidson
– Enrollment: 1,398 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#22. Central Academy of Technology & Arts
– School district: Union County Public Schools
– Enrollment: 857 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#21. Highland School of Technology
– School district: Gaston County Schools
– Enrollment: 553 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#20. Wake Early College of Health & Sciences
– School district: Wake County Schools
– Enrollment: 339 (25:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#19. Lake Norman Charter School
– Location: Huntersville
– Enrollment: 2,103 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#18. Philip J. Weaver Education Center
– School district: Guilford County Schools
– Enrollment: 342 (10:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#17. Weddington High School
– School district: Union County Public Schools
– Enrollment: 1,623 (21:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#16. Carrboro High School
– School district: Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
– Enrollment: 867 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#15. Research Triangle High School
– Location: Durham
– Enrollment: 561 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#14. STEM Early College at Nc A&T. Su
– School district: Guilford County Schools
– Enrollment: 187 (23:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#13. Early College of Forsyth
– School district: Winston Salem/Forsyth County Schools
– Enrollment: 262 (27:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#12. Woods Charter School
– Location: Chapel Hill
– Enrollment: 514 (11:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#11. William G. Enloe High School
– School district: Wake County Schools
– Enrollment: 2,458 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#10. Ardrey Kell High School
– School district: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
– Enrollment: 3,352 (21:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#9. Chapel Hill High School
– School district: Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
– Enrollment: 1,522 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#8. Wake NC State University STEM Early College High School
– School district: Wake County Schools
– Enrollment: 254 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#7. Marvin Ridge High School
– School district: Union County Public Schools
– Enrollment: 1,835 (21:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#6. East Chapel Hill High School
– School district: Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
– Enrollment: 1,521 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#5. Panther Creek High School
– School district: Wake County Schools
– Enrollment: 2,539 (21:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#4. Green Hope High School
– School district: Wake County Schools
– Enrollment: 2,503 (20:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#3. Raleigh Charter High School
– Location: Raleigh
– Enrollment: 562 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#2. The Early College at Guilford
– School district: Guilford County Schools
– Enrollment: 208 (27:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#1. North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
– Location: Durham
– Enrollment: 680 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+