2019 National Magnet School Merit Award Winners
National merit awards are given to magnet schools that demonstrate a commitment to high academic standards, curriculum innovation, successful desegregation and diversity efforts, and strong parent and community involvement. To be considered for a merit award, member schools must submit an application that is scored by a panel of educators.
There are two categories of merit awards: (1) Magnet Schools of Excellence, the top merit award given to only a select group of magnet schools and (2) Magnet Schools of Distinction, the second highest award of recognition. The highest ranked magnet schools in the Excellence category are eligible to receive MSA’s highest national awards listed below.
- Miami Lakes Educational Center (Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Miami Lakes, FL) received the Dr. Ronald P. Simpson Distinguished Merit Award, which is named after MSA’s founding member. It is sponsored by American Education Solutions, Inc.
- Energy Institute High School (Houston Independent School District in Houston, TX) received the Dr. Donald Waldrip Award, which is named after MSA’s first Executive Director. The Waldrip Award is Magnet Schools of America’s second highest honor.
- Davis Bilingual Magnet Elementary (Tucson Unified School District, in Tucson, AZ) received the President’s Magnet School of Merit Award of Excellence. The President’s Award is Magnet Schools of America’s third highest honor bestowed on behalf of the President of MSA.
- MacFarlane Park Elementary (Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, FL) received the Elementary Magnet School Merit Award of Excellence.
- Wake STEM Early College High School (Wake County Public School System in Raleigh, North Carolina) received the Secondary Magnet School of Merit Award of Excellence.
- Reedy Creek Magnet Middle Center for the Digital Sciences (Wake County Public School System in Raleigh, North Carolina) received the New & Emerging Magnet School of Merit Award sponsored by Hogan Lovells, LLC
2019 Merit Awardee Profiles
Dr. Ronald P. Simpson Distinguished Award – American Education Solutions, Inc.
Miami Lakes Educational Center (MLEC) is an “A-rated” high school built around six rigorous, career- themed academies (Cambridge, Communications, Entrepreneurship, Health Science, Information Technology, and Applied Technology). Their 1216 students enroll in the required core curricula as well as career/technical courses they select within an academy and strand. The strands create a personalized school-within-a-school learning environment for their students. Their goal is to provide students with advanced academics, literature, mathematics, science, and social science choices— while incorporating training in real-world career skills, such as dental assisting and engineering, associated with the specific objectives of each academy and strand. Upon graduation, students will earn a diploma, industry certification and college credits that will accelerate their entry into their chosen college or career path.
Dr. Donald R. Waldrip Award –
Energy Institute High School is the first of its kind in the nation! Energy IHS is a whole school S.T.E.M. magnet program where instruction is delivered completely through project based learning. They are devoted to providing unique opportunities for students through project based learning, technology integration, and authentic industry partnerships. Their energy theme exposes students to careers in the energy industry, problems the industry is working to solve, and the global soft skills students need to be successful post high school.
President’s Magnet School Merit Award of Excellence –
Davis Bilingual Magnet elementary school has proudly promoted a “Spanish Immersion” Bilingual model for more than thirty-seven years. All teachers hold a Bilingual Endorsement and participate in on-going training in culturally responsive teaching and bilingual methodology. In order to provide a broad foundation for meaningful language learning, enrichment classes are provided for students in Art, Music, Gardening and PE using Spanish as the vehicle for instruction, while offering opportunities for cultural celebrations and transdisciplinary connections. The Tucson community embraces the program as one in which cultural diversity, “familia,” traditions and language learning are celebrated.
Elementary Magnet School of Merit Award of Excellence –
MacFarlane Park Magnet Elementary is nestled in the heart of West Tampa, located in the school district of Hillsborough County, Florida. Their 373 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, represent 34 nationalities, and are inspired to explore beyond their national borders and embrace 21st century learning. Their teachers develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who contribute positively to help shape the life of the school, community, and all of humanity. Special features of their instructional program include strings, world language, an increased focus on geography and culture, environmental issues, peace education, service and conflict resolution.
Secondary Magnet School of Merit Award of Excellence –
The Wake STEM Early College High School is a small public school of choice; a joint project between the Wake County Public School System and North Carolina State University. The theme of the school is College and Career Readiness through a STEM lens. All high school coursework focuses around the NAE’s Grand Challenges for Engineering making each course relevant to the future of society while embedding the “4 C’s of Education”. During the third year of high school,
students begin coursework at NCSU where they are integrated into the classes with the current student body. Through consistent involvement with local business leaders students learn and demonstrate career readiness skills preparing them for future success.
New and Emerging Magnet School Merit Award of Excellence – Hogan Lovells, LLC
The theme of Reedy Creek Magnet Middle School Center for the Digital Sciences is defined by: Embedding computational thinking pedagogy into all curricular areas; offering a menu of digital sciences electives to all students, including a multi-leveled robust mechatronics program; providing technology and software in classrooms and creativity suites to support projects; and fostering unique partnerships with industry leaders that enhance student and teacher learning and engagement. This coming together of unique electives, theme-related co-curricular activities, and core classes taught through the lens of computational thinking prepares students for their futures in a digital world. Working in a digital learning environment, students learn and practice collecting data, breaking it down, analyzing it, looking for patterns, and finding creative and innovative steps to solve problems.