Magnet Schools of Merit Awards

MSA’s National Merit Awards program honors the top magnet schools in the United States. These awards recognize magnet schools that demonstrate commitment to high academic standards, curriculum innovation, successful desegregation and diversity efforts, and consistent delivery of high quality educational services to all stakeholders.

MSA established two categories of awards:

Magnet School of Excellence Awards are given to only a select group of magnet schools that have demonstrated the highest level of excellence in all facets of the merit award application.

Magnet School of Distinction Awards are the second level of awards given to magnet schools that have met all the basic requirements outlined in the merit awards scoring rubric.

All schools that apply for merit awards must be current members of Magnet School of America and are required to submit an application that is scored by a panel of educators.

Magnet schools that are the highest ranked in the “excellence category” are eligible to receive monetary awards and the chance to be named the nation’s top Elementary, Secondary or New & Emerging Magnet School. One of the schools of excellence will be selected to win $5,000 – which is attached to the Dr. Ronald P. Simpson Distinguished Merit Award, considered the most prestigious merit award.

Award Programs

Magnet National Principal of the Year Award – this award recognizes an outstanding school leader who has succeeded in providing innovative programs that promote equity, diversity and academic excellence for students in magnet schools. This individual is chosen from a group of regional principals of the year.

Magnet Teacher of the Year Award – this award recognizes an outstanding, dedicated full-time teacher who exemplifies excellence in academic achievement via innovative programs that promote equity and diversity for students in magnet schools. This individual is chosen from a group of regional teachers of the year.

MSA Superintendent of the Year Award – established in 2015 this award recognizes an innovative superintendent with strong leadership skills, particularly in developing and supporting magnet schools/programs. The candidates must demonstrate a commitment to improving the quality of education in their school district through the development and implementation of magnet programs/schools that are of high quality and that have diverse enrollments and a commitment to the support of magnets at the local, state and national levels, involvement in education, and ability to build good employee relations among teachers and staff members.

President Donna Grady-Creer District Award for Magnet Sustainability established in December 2013, acknowledges a school district that exemplifies equity, excellence, and diversity while sustaining magnet programs and schools against all odds.

Magnet Schools Poster Contest is a national initiative that engages and encourages students to highlight and promote magnet schools as part of the annual celebration of National Magnet School Month in February.

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.

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