Success Stories

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Journey Toward Certification

Completing the journey of magnet certification required steadfast diligence and a focus on the details. 
Meant as a tool to identify, reflect, and improve, the inaugural certification process resulted in fifty-five schools earning this recognition. Ten of the fifty-five schools’ performance indicators exceeded the norm and have received the accolades of being Nationally Certified – Demonstration Magnet Schools. Keep Reading


She Does it All 

MSA’s Region II Teacher of the Year, Bethany Birago, has quite an extensive resume. From serving as the Academy of Health Professions (AHP) Program teacher and Career and Technology Education (CTE) Department Chair at Western School of Technology and Environmental Science (WSTES) in Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) to serving as an instructor with the America Heart Association, she does it all.
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Supporting and Celebrating Diversity

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the second largest school district in the nation. It boasts a diverse student population, a multitude of schools (approximately 900), and reaches beyond the city limits to serve students in 31 smaller, surrounding municipalities. What makes LAUSD even more unique is their focus on racial integration. 
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Those Who Can, Teach

Mr. Matthew Waynee of LAUSD’s LAUSD / USC Media Arts & Engineering Magnet (USC MAE), has an illustrious background. He proves the old idiom, “those who can, do; those who can’t, teach,” false - he does and teaches (well). From his first years post undergrad in TFA teaching at a rural high school in Texas, to his ongoing work in the film industry and his dedication to his current role as a Cinematic Arts teacher at USC MAE, Mr. Waynee’s career is quite a balancing act and his success proves that it’s all worth it. Keep Reading

Elementary Engineering: Architecting a Lasting Curricula 

2016 has been a busy year for the students, teachers and leaders of Douglas L. Jamerson Junior Elementary School (DLJ) in Pinellas County. The school has earned a number of awards, including MSA's School of Excellence Award, they were named the top Elementary STEM program in the nation by the Future of Education Technology Conference, they are a National PTA School of Excellence, and they have also been named a Five Star School by the Florida Department of Education. Keep Reading


Implementing the Empowerment Method

Kathleen Decker, principal at Walter Bracken, Walter Long, and Hollingsworth STEAM Academies in Clark County School District, (CCSD), located in Las Vegas, Nevada, is not new to success. She was named MSA Principal of the Year in 2013 for her vibrant leadership skills and ability to turn around Walter Bracken, which in 2001 was a failing school. Since her initial MSA recognition, two more schools have been placed under her leadership. One ingredient of her success with all three schools is her use of the empowerment method. Keep Reading


G.W. Carver Cultivates Talent

The year 2016 has been a huge year for G.W. Carver student La’ Jasha Champion and her teacher, Mr. Matthew Kirkpatrick. Not only has La’ Jasha, a junior at G.W. Carver a High School in Aldine Independent School District,  gained recognition through Magnet Schools of America’s Annual Student Poster Contest, but she has also won awards for other art competitions as well, including the IWrite Book Cover Contest. Keep Reading


Alumni Voice: Maya Rhodan

Maya Rhodan grew up in the Southside of Chicago, Illinois. She began her magnet school career in elementary school at Murray Language Academy, a K-8 magnet school offering French, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish Language studies to its students.Immediately following her time at Murray Language Academy, Maya attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. Maya shares her alma mater with another esteemed alumna, First Lady Michelle Obama
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Learning as Exploration 

Bear Exploration Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology, a Blue Ribbon winning school in Montgomery, Alabama, has been a high performing magnet elementary since 1996. Blue Ribbon schools are schools recognized by the US government for exhibiting high levels of student performance and for making significant improvements toward closing the achievement gap. Keep Reading


From Struggling School
to Stellar School

In 2009, Martin T. Reid joined Arthur & Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts. Armed with a strong educational background, a B.S. from Florida A&M University, M.S. from Nova Southeastern University and an Ed. S. from The University of Miami, plus years of experience teaching and leading as a principal, Mr. Reid was ready for any challenge that Mays, a tough urban school with inner city problems, could send his way. Keep Reading


Going All In

Derek Burns, the principal at Douglas Creative Arts and Science Magnet Elementary School, insists that, “If you don’t go all in, it’s not going to work.” The “it” he is referring to here is Douglas’ magnet theme, the creative arts and sciences. Mr. Burns is heading into his third year at Douglas and he believes that allowing his faculty and staff the freedom to be creative, and modeling a strong commitment to infusing Douglas’ creative arts and sciences theme into everything they do, are the keys to building and sustaining a successful magnet school. Keep Reading


A Legacy of Leadership

Lee Magnet High School has been blessed with not one, but two exceptional principals: Nanette McCann and Sharon Sims. Under their guidance, the new magnet school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is bursting at the seams with potential as students are bonding in their temporary home at Valley Park on Bawell Street. The “Patriots” are ready for the great things that lay ahead of them at the new campus that is under construction and will be near completion by March 2016. Keep Reading


Magnificent Teacher and a Fine Human Being

Latoya Scott believes in taking a hands-on approach to helping her students at Atkins learn. “It’s all about what they are learning, not what I know,” said Scott, who is the chair of the science department at Atkins Academic & Technology High School. “It’s all about them. My role is as a facilitator.” Keep Reading 


Connecticut Magnet Schools Work Together

Connecticut is home to 86 magnet schools, serving nearly 40,000 students. Magnet schools are actively closing the achievement gap by offering the opportunity for a high-quality, integrated education to all students, making them some of the most sought-after public schools in Connecticut. However, magnet schools have been flat-funded by the state for six years. Lack of funding has become an increasing problem that threatens the future of magnet school programs across Connecticut. 
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Irmo pus artistic talents of special needs students on center stage

When Irmo High School International School for the Arts became a magnet school last year, school leaders and arts staff had a goal of making participation in the arts inclusive of all students in the school. That goal was realized this school year as students and staff held several events and performances, including two showcasing the artwork of special needs students at the school. 
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Celebrating world cultures and embracing diversity through two languages

Over the last few years, Collinswood Language Academy, a K-8 magnet school in Charlotte, North Carolina that serves about 750 students, has made remarkable strides as the state’s first dual language program. This once failing school now ranks first among all kindergarten through eighth grade schools in its district for meeting federal and state annual measurable objectives. Keep Reading 


The Leader in Me. A.B. Combs Leadership Elementary

A.B. Combs Leadership Elementary in Wake County embodies a learning-centered model that strives for leadership development in its students based on Dr. Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Keep Reading 



School for Creative Studies

The School for Creative Studies (SCS) is a secondary magnet school located in eastern rural Durham, NC just north of I-85 on a campus that housed the former Chewning Middle School. Chewning was plagued with a history of low performance, high poverty, and white flight. Keep Reading 



Hanes Middle School

Hanes Magnet School (HMS) is a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) themed middle school located in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School District in North Carolina. Hanes became a magnet school in 2005 and currently enrolls 1,057 kids in grades 6-8, which is a huge increase from its pre magnet days when enrollment was around 450. Keep Reading 



Mabel Hoggard Math and Science Elementary 

Mabel Hoggard Math and Science Elementary has the distinction of being the first elementary magnet school in Las Vegas, Nevada. With the support of a Magnet Schools Assistance Program grant it was converted into a magnet school in 1993 as part of the Clark County School District's desegregation efforts. Keep Reading