2018 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.
This year, 389 magnet schools applied for national merit awards, making 2018 the most competitive year in the award program’s history. 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.
- East Career and Technical Academy (Clark County School District, NV) 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.
- Van Nuys High School (Los Angeles Unified School District, CA) 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.
- Liberty Elementary STEM Museum Magnet (Broward County Public Schools, FL) 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.
- Farmington Woods International Baccalaureate PYP Magnet Elementary (Wake County Public School System, North Carolina) received the Elementary Magnet School Merit Award of Excellence.
- Young Women’s Preparatory Academy (Miami-Dade County Public Schools, FL) received the Secondary Magnet School of Merit Award of Excellence.
- McCaw STEAM Academy (Clark County School District, NV) received the New & Emerging Magnet School of Merit Award sponsored by Hogan Lovells, LLC.
2018 Merit Awardee Profiles
Dr. Ronald P. Simpson Distinguished Award – American Education Solutions, Inc.
East Career and Technical Academy is a Magnet Schools of America Nationally Certified Demonstration School. It is a Title I School and the only five-star high school in Nevada that serves a free and reduced lunch student population of over 60 percent. Students at East Tech enroll in one of eight themes such as construction technology, culinary arts, health information management, or marketing and hospitality. All of these programs are divided into three houses to promote a smaller learning community environment. It is part of the Clark County School District in Nevada.
Dr. Donald R. Waldrip Award –
Van Nuys High School offers three magnet programs: medical; performing arts; and science, technology, and math. Each magnet program is infused with a college preparatory core curriculum of mathematics and sciences regardless of study. The arts include a variety of creative opportunities including dance, theater, voice, music, film, and stage technology. It is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District in California.
President’s Magnet School Merit Award of Excellence –
Liberty Elementary is a STEM museum magnet school that seeks to prepare students to become problem solvers who can compete in a global society. It integrates STEM instruction and activities throughout the school day. Students at Liberty Elementary demonstrate their content knowledge by completing semester long cross-curricular STEM projects that are showcased twice yearly when the school is transformed into a museum. It is part of Broward County Public Schools in Florida.
Elementary Magnet School of Merit Award of Excellence –
Farmington Woods Elementary embraces inquiry based learning with a focus on global understanding. It seeks to empower critical thinkers through a rigorous IB curriculum that fosters lifelong learning, international mindedness, and citizenship. It is part of the Wake County Public School System in North Carolina.
Secondary Magnet School of Merit Award of Excellence –
Young Women’s Preparatory Academy is the first single-gender public school in Miami. It was established in 2006 as a one-to-one technology leadership magnet school for 6-12th grade girls.
The school’s leadership theme is based on Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. It is part of Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida.
New and Emerging Magnet School Merit Award of Excellence – Hogan Lovells, LLC
McCaw STEAM Academy engages students in the critical areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math with a focus in geological science. The goal of the school is to help students become innovators and critical thinkers while developing a growth mindset that begins with goal setting. This all takes place during an extended day that allows students to participate in Makerspace, Robotics, and Fine Art Labs as well as engage in the Design Thinking Process in its Discovery Center. It is part of the Clark County School District in Nevada.