2011 National Winners

American Education Solutions, Inc.
Dr. Ronald P. Simpson
Distinguished Magnet Schools of Excellence Award

Hartford Magnet Middle School
Hartford Public Schools
Hartford, CT
Principal: Sally A. Biggs
Grades: 6-8
Theme(s): Science & the Arts

Hartford Magnet Middle School (HMMS), the highest performing school in Hartford, educates 611 students in grades 6 - 8 from 32 towns in the Greater Hartford Area. Marking its tenth year as a Hartford Public Schools Host Inter-District Magnet School, HMMS received the prestigious recognition as a New England League of Middle Schools Spotlight School.

Hartford Magnet Middle School opened in September of 2000 and is part of a larger urban magnet school vision called The Learning Corridor. The Learning Corridor is a path in Hartford that includes Trinity College, four interdistrict magnet schools, a Girls' and Boys' Club, the Institute of Living, and the Hartford Children's Medical Center.

HMMS boasts a demanding program of studies and a culture of high expectations which builds on a rigorous academic foundation by emphasizing two complimentary disciplines: science and the arts. The performing arts and inquiry based science approach to learning are the foundation of our high academic standards. Our science program helps students develop analytical skills, understand the world in which they live, and become responsible citizens. The arts program helps students develop focus, discipline, imagination, judgment, personal drive, experience in teamwork, and attention to detail. HMMS students participate in theater, dance, vocal/instrumental music and inquiry based science courses. The multiple partnerships with local art and science organizations afford our students the opportunity to study with leading, practicing artists and scientists.

Designated as a Hartford Community School, HMMS aims to combine teaching and learning with the delivery of an array of social, health, child, and your development services, while emphasizing community and parental involvement.


Dr. Donald R. Waldrip
Elementary School of Excellence Award

Center for Inquiry at School #84
Indianapolis Public Schools
Indianapolis, IN
Principal: Dora Brook
Grades: K-8
Theme(s): International Baccalaureate World School and Inquiry-Based Learning

The Center for Inquiry at School 84 is a Magnet Option School within the Indianapolis Public Schools district. The International Baccalaureate's Primary Years and Middle Years Programmes provide the framework for the Center for Inquiry at School 84 (CFI/84) to become an international community of life long learners. CFI/84 exists to prepare students for a life that will call on them to be caring, collaborative, and globally minded. Making connections and asking questions as we learn together positions us to participate in the never ending journey of learning. Our school environment is a vibrant, dynamic place that draws in students and adults seeking a community with which to participate in the joy of inquiry, social action, and global responsibility.

The Center for Inquiry staff has a passion for inspiring children to use inquiry, critical thinking, and problem solving skills to learn about our world and make it a better place for everyone.  We serve students in kindergarten through eighth grade, and the focus of our magnet is inquiry-based learning.

Center for Inquiry at School 84 is located on the near northside of Indianapolis in the Meridian Kessler neighborhood. The school received Primary Years Programme authorization in the summer of 2009 and is a candidate school for Middle Years Programme looking forward to their authorization visit in December 2010. CFI/84 is a 2010 Magnet School of Excellence award recipient.


DKH Consulting Services, Inc.
Elementary School of Excellence Award

Farmington Woods IB/PYP Magnet Elementary School
Wake County Public School System
Cary, NC
Principal: Winston Pierce
Grades: K-5
Theme(s): International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme

Farmington Woods International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme is based on the International Baccalaureate philosophy that embraces inquiry-based learning driven by student questioning and interests, and focuses on global understanding. Believing that children learn best when they are actively engaged in inquiry, classroom instruction revolves around students collaborating and problem-solving about ideas and concepts that are relevant, significant, challenging and engaging. This guided inquiry allows students to personalize their learning so that it becomes meaningful to them and therefore encourages them to think deeper and dream bigger.

As part of this emphasis on inquiry, there is the focus on seeing beyond the local and personal, and gaining an international perspective. Learning goes beyond the class and community as students and teachers explore the traditions, cultures and beliefs of others. Students begin to see themselves as a part of the world's people as they view the commonalities and differences of their own lives and families compared to others. An appreciation for all people comes from understanding the common threads that link mankind. As teachers and students inquire and explore about the world, its people, its laws and its principles, all work to develop the International Baccalaureate learner profile defined as being inquirers, risk-takers, communicators, and thinkers who are caring, knowledgeable, open-minded, principled, balanced and reflective.


Special Recognition Award

Cotswold Elementary IB/PYP World School
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Charlotte, NC
Principal: Denise Hearne
Grades: K-5
Theme(s): International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme

The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program at Cotswold Elementary builds a foundation in learning through inquiry, foreign language, and action through service learning. Students participate in six units of inquiry each year. These units build upon each other and inquiry becomes more open ended as students progress through the grade levels. The exit project of the IB PYP is called the exhibition. This takes place in the final year or 5th grade. Students work in collaborative groups to conduct an open ended inquiry based on a real world issue of interest. Students choose a creative way to present their findings at the exhibition.

Students attend Spanish classes each week and learn the basics of another language. Foreign language instruction is continued outside of the foreign language classroom through authentic opportunities. Students use their knowledge of the Spanish language on the morning student led news, during special events, and at assemblies.

Action is another important element of the IB PYP. Students are taught to reflect, choose, and take action after participating in their units of inquiry. Examples of action include starting a compost pile at home, donating toys to Goodwill, or making healthy food choices.

The mission of Cotswold Elementary and the International Baccalaureate Organization is to develop the attributes of the IB Learner Profile in our students. These attributes define an internationally minded person who can be successful anywhere in the world. They are: balanced, caring, communicators, inquirers, knowledgeable, open-minded, principled, reflective, risk-takers, and thinkers. Opportunities to develop these attributes are provided throughout the school day and throughout the school building. Students are recognized for showing these attributes and reflect on their progress in becoming more internationally minded.


Hogan Lovells
New & Emerging School of Excellence Award

Mathematics, Science and Arts Academy - West
Iberville Parish Schools
Plaquemine, LA
Principal: Elvis J. Cavalier
Grades: 6-11
Theme(s): Cultivating an Academic Family in a Digital Environment

The Mathematics, Science and Arts Academy-West is the solution for Iberville Parish, a small, rural community that was losing students to surrounding districts and private institutions. In its three years of existence, the Academy has addressed the problems of the Iberville Parish school system and restored the faith of the community in public education by significantly reducing racial and socioeconomic isolation, increasing test scores, and influencing other public schools to raise their standards of teaching and learning. With a challenging core curriculum that is rich in technology and the arts, and with a supportive academic family comprised of faculty, students, and parents, the Mathematics, Science and Arts Academy-West prepares its students to be competitive leaders on a global scale.

Through our one-to-one Apple technology initiative, the Mathematics, Science and Arts Academy creates a learning environment filled with engaging project-based activities that synthesize core academic concepts with technology applications such as website building and podcast creation. But the true foundation of our success is the strong academic family created by faculty, students, and parents. Our faculty is a professional learning community who collaborates to ensure the success of every student. Our students take pride in their school, challenging themselves and each other to excel academically and to develop a philanthropic presence in the community. And our parents actively volunteer in student learning and school-sponsored community projects. Ultimately, through their use of advanced technology and the support of their school-based family, the students of the Mathematics, Science and Arts Academy-West will become globally-competitive scholars, will succeed and all post-secondary endeavors, and will develop a social cognizance that extends beyond family and neighbor.


2011 National Principal of-the-Year

Gina Calabrese 2011 POY

Gina Calabrese

Rotella Interdistrict Magnet School
Waterbury Public Schools
Waterbury, CT


2011 National Teacher of-the-Year

Lynn Washington 2011 TOY

Lynn Washington

Richland Northeast High School
Richland School District 2
Columbia, SC


2011 National Poster Contest Winner

2011 Poster Contest Winner

Autumn McDonald

Grade 5
Rotella Interdistrict Magnet School
Waterbury Public Schools
Waterbury, CT