LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

BUFFALO, N.Y. - There's little surprise atop Business First's annual rankings of Western New York's middle schools.

That's where you'll find Williamsville's Transit Middle School for the fifth year in a row.Students there did exceptionally well on state math and English exams last year.

Buffalo's City Honors is also in second place for the second year in a row, followed by two private schools: Lew-Port's Stella Niagara Education Park, and Williamsville's St. Gregory the Great.

Another Williamsville school, Casey Middle School rounds out the top 5.

Eight out of the top ten schools are in Erie County, as are 22 of the top 25.

One of the schools that's just outside the top 10 deserves some special recognition- St. Benedict's school in Amherst went from 59th place last year to 14th.We spoke with the principal about how the school's philosophy is making a difference for kids there.

"It's not just centered around 6th, 7th and 8th grade," said St. Benedict's principal Molly Halady. "There's a lot of communication that occurs among the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade, as well as in the primary. So all of our intervention begins as early as possible and it moves itself up the ladder. So the middle school team is not an anomaly. We don't exist in a vacuum and we look to expand beyond the walls of the middle school."

Here's the full list of the top 20:

1. Transit MS (Williamsville)

2. City Honors School (Buffalo)

3. Stella Niagara Education Park (Lewiston-Porter)

4. St. Gregory the Great School (Williamsville)

5. Casey MS (Williamsville)

6. St. Mark's School (Buffalo)

7. St. Christopher's School (Sweet Home)

8. St. Peter School (Lewiston-Porter)

9. Heim MS (Williamsville)

10. Mill MS (Williamsville)

11. St. John the Baptist School (Alden)

12. Holy Ghost Lutheran School (Niagara-Wheatfield)

13. East Aurora MS (East Aurora)

14. St. Benedict's School (Amherst)

15. St. John the Baptist School (Kenmore-Tonawanda)

16. Nardin Academy ES (Buffalo)

17. Christian Central Academy (Williamsville)

18. St. John Vianney School (Orchard Park)

19. Amherst MS (Amherst)

20. Clarence MS (Clarence)

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE