Anne Fennell from Mission Vista High School Named 2017 National Magnet School Teacher of the Year.


Anne Fennell from Mission Vista High School, Vista Unified School District, California Named 2017 National Magnet School Teacher of the Year

Washington, DC May 2, 2017 – Magnet Schools of America (MSA), the national association for magnet and theme-based schools is pleased to announce that Anne Fennell from Vista Unified School District’s Mission Vista High School in Oceanside, California is the 2017 National Magnet School Teacher of the Year. Through a competitive application process, Ms. Fennell was selected from a group of eight Regional Teachers of the Year dispersed across the country. The award was announced during MSA’s 35th National Conference in Los Angeles, California on April 29, 2017.

University of Colorado and University of San Diego Alumna, and founding faculty member of Mission Vista High School, a dual magnet high school in Vista Unified School District, Ms. Fennell is currently the Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair, teaches three levels of music composition through technology and three levels of steel drum ensemble. As a classroom teacher, Anne Fennell focuses on educating the whole student. In her own experience as a student, Anne Fennell was told by a band teacher that music ‘wasn’t for her’ and through this initial criticism Fennell persisted. This negative experience (and future positive experiences with teacher-mentors) inspired Ms. Fennell to never give up on any student. She says that, “…all students have the capacity to learn, and errors can be a point of growth, not an opportunity to quit.”

Prior to starting Mission Vista High School with a team of other like-minded educators, Fennell taught K-6 general music at Mission Viejo. She later took another K-6 music teaching position in Garden Grove Unified Schools where she learned more about the art of teaching and learned how to effectively integrate music into other academic subjects. These experiences prepared Fennell for her role at Vista Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (K-8). Here she taught music, integrated music into all other subjects, and also began writing curriculum and supporting other professional teachers in arts integration. Fennell’s range of unique roles and experiences qualified her to establish Mission Vista’s programs in coordination with her colleagues and develop curricula for the courses she teaches now. Ms. Fennell is practiced in educating students as well as leading other professionals in arts integration across curricula.

Upon receiving the award, Fennell said, “I am truly honored to receive the Magnet Schools of America Teacher of the Year Award. I am thrilled to be a part of Magnet Schools of America and to share this resource that guides schools to be their best. As a magnet school teacher, I have had the opportunity to create innovative programs to engage students and to grow as an educator, which is directly related to the endless possibilities magnet programs provide. I love my students, their creativity and energy, and all that they strive to achieve every day. This award is truly a part of who they are and represents each of them as I am given the opportunity to facilitate their creative, academic, and personal growth.”

The National Magnet School Teacher of the Year Award was established in 2010 and is given annually to an outstanding magnet school teacher who is acknowledged by their peers, parents and students for their exemplary contributions made to their profession. These educators have demonstrated their skill and ability to inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn, as well as their aptitude for building relationships with parents and members of their community.

To learn more about the Magnet Schools of America Teacher of-the-Year Award, please visit


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