By Len Ramirez

GILROY (KPIX) — New rankings for the top high schools in America are out and leading the Bay Area is a school in Gilroy, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy is ranked 42nd in the nation and 3rd in California, according to the report.

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“We’re very proud of our school,” said principal Sonia Flores, who credits the school’s early college model — which allows students to take college courses while still enrolled in high school — and its small size for its success.

“We have only 300 students, so we are able to give a lot of individual attention to each of them and each individual student has their plan for success,” said Flores.

“They will actually come up to you if they feel you are not doing your best,” said senior Brandon Krueger.

Senior Gerardo Reyes said the school’s location on the campus of Gavilan Community College makes a big difference.

“You really get a sense of maturity and the sense that we’re striving for something better,” said Reyes.

The rankings were based several academic charts including the number of students taking and passing Advanced Placement tests.

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Schools were also ranked on the performance of minority and low income students.

“Everyone here is chasing their dream,” said Jane Tovar, a junior.

The school, which is also known as GECA, has a minority enrollment of 78 percent. Many of the students come from from farmworker families.

“All these kids are coming here because they want to succeed in life,” said sophomore Cesar Arias.

Senior Ciara Mullen said the success of thw school proves something important.

“Everybody can be successful, no matter where you come from,” she said.

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Other top Bay Area schools are Pacific Collegiate Charter in Santa Cruz which placed 44th nationally. Mission San Jose High in Fremont took 90th nationally while Monta Vista High School in Cupertino ranked 96th across the nation.