Slide background

2018 Technical Assistance & Training Conference

Magnets by Design (MbD)
A Deeper Dive

October 3 – 5

The DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton
Columbia, South Carolina

Join MSA in Columbia, South Carolina October 3-5, 2018 for our Fall Technical Assistance & Training Conference as we continue to take a DEEPER DIVE into the world of the Standards of Excellence.


  • 2018 Magnet Superintendent of the Year
  • 2018 National Principal of the Year
  • 2018 National Teacher of the Year
  • 2018 Elementary Magnet School of Merit Award of Excellence
  • Five Demonstration Schools
  • Twenty-Four Certified Magnet Schools
  • Twenty-Five Merit Schools of Excellence
  • Forty-One Merit Schools of Distinction

Hear from industry experts who introduce you to NUTS & BOLTS 2.0 of the Five Pillars.

Practices & Attitudes: Advanced Theories & Protocols in ensuring a healthy, progressive and diversified student body and staff.

Research-based Practices on Inquiry 2.0: Collaboration and filling the gaps.

Thought-Leader Symposium: Magnet and District Relations

Advanced Professional Development (PD) Planning: Learn from practitioners on how embedded PD, coaching, and reflection tools result in exemplar models.

Building Your Magnet Champions: Parent Advocates = Voices that Matter and Are Heard

In collaboration with Lexington Richland School District 5 and Richland School District 2, we have an award winning line-up of speakers and schools planned.  Network with fellow teachers, school and district leaders, and school advocates; see first-hand exemplar schools in action. This is one conference you won’t want to miss!

PLUS: Tours of schools you do not want to miss!

The agenda has not yet been finalized for the meeting; check back for updates. The meeting events are as follows:

Wednesday, October 3  (2:00PM – 7:00PM)

  • Opening General Session
  • Breakout Sessions
  • General Session
  • Networking Reception

Thursday, October 4  (7:30AM – 5:30PM)

  • Breakfast on your own
  • School Tours
  • Luncheon Speakers
  • Breakout Session
  • PM Refresh
  • Breakout Session
  • Evening on your own

Friday, October 5  (8:00AM – 12:00PM)

  • Breakfast on your own
  • General Session: Panel & Discussion | Maree SneedHogan Lovells
  • Closing


Wednesday, October 3

Dr. Stephen Hefner
MSA’s 2018 Magnet Superintendent of the Year

This annual award recognizes the important work of leadership within our school districts to keep magnet schools a priority in the portfolio of school choice options. Dr. Hefner’s unyielding focus on expanding school choice by creating magnet options in District Five has been the catalyst for school improvement districtwide. Spanning nearly 30 years, Dr. Hefner has facilitated the creation of numerous magnet schools and programs in two South Carolina districts, many of which have been recognized by Magnet Schools of America as Schools of Excellence and Schools of Distinction, and achieved designation as Nationally Certified Magnet Schools. In District Five, Dr. Hefner has also helped school leaders secure two multi-million dollar federal Magnet School Assistance Program (MSAP) grants, including a $10.3 million grant in 2013 and $13.7 million grant announced last fall.


Thursday, October 4

Dr. Baron R. Davis
Superintendent, Richland School District Two, SC

An educator for more than 20 years, Dr. Baron R. Davis is Richland School District Two’s Superintendent. Davis served a transition year as the superintendent-elect prior to assuming leadership of the district in 2017. In one of his first tasks as Superintendent, the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, Davis lays out his vision for partnering with our families, staff and community to make Richland Two the premier school district.  Read more…


Thursday, October 4

Dr. Christina S. Melton
Superintendent, District Five of Lexington & Richland Counties, SC

Christina Melton adopted an Emerson quote as her personal mantra when she became an education leader.  “Do not go where there is a path. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”  Dr. Melton’s trail has been classroom teacher, school administrator, district administrator, and now, Superintendent in School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties.  The schools she served earned various accolades and formed innovative community partnerships to support student achievement.  South Carolina’s ETV recorded a documentary on Dr. Melton’s leadership as a case study and tool kit to assist other schools with transformation.  As a district administrator, she and her team have created innovative instructional and professional development models which have attracted state and national attention.  Dr. Melton believes in leaving a trail of academic excellence and community engagement.  Read more…


Friday, October 5

Maree Sneed
Senior Counsel, Hogan Lovells

Maree Sneed is recognized in the education industry as a lawyer who helps school districts, independent schools, educational institutions, and educational companies solve their most complex problems. For three decades, clients have sought Maree’s advice as a result of her experience working in the education system, her legal acumen, her public policy work, and her ability to make connections between the education and legal arenas.  Read more…


*Check back for updates.


MSA Member Non-Member
Early Bird
Register on/before September 4



Register between September 5 – 24



After September 24



*If you have any questions, please email or call (202) 824-0672.

Policies & Procedures (please read carefully!)

Online registration ONLY

Cancellations and requests for refunds must be submitted in writing via email to no later than September 4, 2018.  A $150 administrative fee will be assessed on all cancellation and refund requests, if made on/before September 4, 2018.  Absolutely no refunds will be considered after this deadline (September 8, 2018).  Faxes and verbal cancellation/refund requests will not be accepted.

A $50 fee will be assessed after September 4, 2018 to transfer registration from one individual to another.  Registration transfer requests must be submitted in writing via email to by September 24, 2018.

Registration fees may not be credited to membership or future MSA events.

Payment must be received within 21 days of registration.

Please mail all checks to: Magnet Schools of America | P.O. Box 45739 | Baltimore, MD 21297-5739

All registrations with purchase orders (PO): please email a copy of the document to or fax to 202-737-0100 within 10 business days of registering.

Credit Card payments may be processed online during the registration process. Onsite payments and purchase orders may be accepted at Onsite Registration with a credit card guarantee. Only cash, credit/debit card or corporate/district pre-printed checks will be accepted.



DoubleTree by Hilton Columbia

2100 Bush River Road
Columbia, SC 29210
(803) 744-0130

$159 per night plus tax (single/double)
Breakfast for two included.
Courtesy shuttle available, call hotel for details.

  • CHECK-IN: after 3:00 PM
  • CHECK-OUT: 12:00 PM

*The group block expires on Friday, September 10, 2018, so please make your reservation today.  Room rate is not guaranteed for all nights and is based on availability.

All reservations must be secured with a valid credit card along with a first night’s deposit.  Checks and major credit cards are acceptable to establish prepayment.  All credit cards used to prepay the room deposit will be charged immediately.  Individual reservations must be cancelled no later than Friday, September 10, 2018 to avoid forfeiture of the first night’s deposit.

Reserve Room

Delta Air Lines is pleased to offer special discounts for Magnet Schools of America.

Please click here  to book your flights.

You may also call Delta Meeting Network® at 1.800.328.1111* Monday–Friday7:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (CT) and refer to Meeting Event Code NY2EC.

*Please note there is not a service fee for reservations booked and ticketed via the reservation 800 number.

Learn how to become a Nationally Certified Magnet School

Raise the level of performance consistent throughout school districts nationwide and creates a platform from which all magnet schools can flourish. Magnet Schools of America’s national certification process is designed to recognize the hard work of the best magnet schools in the nation and to help them as they grow.

Translate »