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Best cities: $100,000-$199,999

From northern boomtowns to modernized Quaker townships, these top 10 cities offer families excellent public schools and median home prices between $100K and $200K.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Fort Thomas, Ky.

Education quality score: 94.22
Median home price: $176,960
Population: 15,298

Is it something in the water? Our lists contain numerous schools on the Ohio River, and Fort Thomas is one of the most impressive. Built on “dark and bloody ground” where Cherokees battled Shawnee and Miami warriors, Fort Thomas has emerged with an athletic record that's as famous in Kentucky as Man o’ War. Highlands High School has won 18 football state championships, and the girls are equally tough, raking in six state titles in cross-country, two in soccer, and two in track.

Academically, the district also dominates. For 15 consecutive years, Fort Thomas has been the highest-ranked K-12 school system in Kentucky. Students average 606/613 on their SATs, 100 points higher than the national average. Parents get high marks for their involvement as well, and 63.8% of the teachers have master’s degrees. Recent success is owed to the young superintendent, John Williamson — his resume includes four master's and an award for Kentucky English Teacher of the Year. He’s currently promoting health: After losing 55 pounds, he set about improving the district’s cafeteria nutrition and began offering classes in exercise science, herb gardening, and dance.

Explore Fort Thomas schools

Photo credit: ekalb

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

04/6/2010:
"Hooray for you,North Royalton. Keep up the good work. Wonder if the schools around you were also in competition? Ones such as Doylestown, Medina, Wadsworth? Ohio is a great place to live for the 'buck'. "
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