Tacony Academy Charter School is No. 1.

Not in the City of Philadelphia.

Not in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

In the country.

The Philadelphia Public League school at the foot of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge in the Northeast section of the city in late May became the first high school in the nation to earn Level 2 status in the Schools Honor Roll program. The program was recently initiated by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

“Our coaches just embraced this,” Tacony athletic director Paul Rieser said. “We all believed that the better we can be as coaches, the better we can be as athletic directors, the better our kids will be.”

The Schools Honor Roll is designed to promote professional development for high school coaches by completing online education courses through the NFHS Learning Center. Most of the courses are free. The fee for those that charge is being paid by the school district, Philadelphia Public League president James Lynch said.

In earning Level 2 status, more than 90 percent of the coaches at Tacony Academy completed sports-specific courses, along with courses that focus on first aid and safety, heat-illness prevention, and mental-health and suicide prevention.

Tacony has 13 varsity coaches, Rieser said.

Athletic director Paul Rieser of Tacony Academy Charter helped the school become the first in the nation to achieve National Federation of High Schools Honor Roll Level 2, as more than 90 percent of the staff completed coaching education classes online through the NFHS program.
TOM GRALISH / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER 
Athletic director Paul Rieser of Tacony Academy Charter helped the school become the first in the nation to achieve National Federation of High Schools Honor Roll Level 2, as more than 90 percent of the staff completed coaching education classes online through the NFHS program.

“We congratulate the coaches and administration at Tacony Academy Charter School in becoming the first high school in the nation to complete the necessary courses to earn Level 2 status in the School Honor Roll,” NFHS executive director Karissa Niehoff said in a statement. “This is a tremendous accomplishment and a strong indication of the school’s commitment to professional development for its coaches.”