# MSA2019 Highlights | National Merit Awards | In the News
37th National Conference Was #MoreThanYouCanImagine
#MSA2019 was truly more than we could have ever imagined. The conference brought together 1,200 magnet leaders and educators to celebrate top-performing schools and learn best practices on curriculum, leadership and school design.

Nearly 100 participants joined early to dive deep into the world of STEM. From AI to project-based learning, our educators, school district leaders, curriculum specialists and more were able join with experts from HP and Creative Learning Systems to learn and apply new STEM programming ideas ready to bring back home.
Numerous participants raved about this year’s school tours. Baltimore County Public Schools really outdid themselves with more than 20 unique tours across the district. The students then came to the #MSA2019 conference with a phenomenal showcase of talent each day. We aren’t going to call out favorites, but you should really check out our twitter feed for some amazing videos of the performances. 

Our keynote, Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, kicked off the conference by encouraging all educators to tell our stories. That’s exactly what happened for the next 48 hours. The networking discussions, the examples that were showcased across more than 80 deep dive and breakout sessions, the ideas shared with exhibitors and partners - all kept coming back to our participants telling their stories of success. 

The real stories on Magnet Schools came to life as we recognized 19 Certified Demonstration Schools and more than 100 Certified Magnet Schools, awarded 109 Magnet Schools of Excellence and 179 Magnet Schools of Distinction and honored our regional principals and teachers of the year. 
Todd Mann, Executive Director of Magnet Schools of America presents Kyle Rudich of Chatsworth School of Baltimore County Public School District, Maryland with 13th Annual National Student Poster Contest award.
We were excited to present this year's award for the 13th Annual National Student Poster Contest to 5th grader Kyle Rudich of Chatsworth School of Baltimore County Public Schools, Maryland. All of our poster contest winners shared some beautiful stories - through art!

The conference culminated with our top awards (see the next story!) and an energizing closing keynote from Baltimore County's own Sean McComb - Assistant Principal at Pleasant Plains Elementary School and 2014 Teacher of the Year. And, of course, we celebrated in style during a fabulous closing reception .
Thank you to all who made this conference such a huge success. To our exhibitors and sponsors, to #TeamBCPS, to our staff, volunteers and Board - and most importantly to our members who joined, participated and shared ideas - thank you!

We can’t wait to see you all next year in Clark County, Nevada!
Photos: Jonathan Smith/Pure Light Images
Magnet Schools of America announced its 2019 awards recipients during #MSA2019.

“We are thrilled to honor our 2019 national awardees and recognize magnet schools that encourage innovative curriculum and academic excellence, and promote diversity in the classroom,” said Todd Mann, Executive Director of Magnet Schools of America.
Dr. Ronald P. Simpson School of Excellence Award winner,
Miami Lakes Educational Center, Miami Lakes, Florida.
All 2019 national awards recipients were officially honored at the National Merit Award Celebration on Saturday, April 13. They included:

  • Miami Lakes Educational Center of Miami-Dade County Public Schools (Miami Lakes, Florida) – Awarded the Dr. Ronald P. Simpson School of Excellence Award, MSA’s most prestigious award for magnet schools. Miami Lakes Education Center is one of only two dual-delivery schools in the district – providing vocational training as well as high school academics with a unique blend of programs that integrate career and technical education.
  • Energy Institute High School of Houston Independent School District (Houston, Texas)Awarded the Waldrip Award, MSA’s second highest national award. Energy Institute High School offers engineering and core classes through program-based learning, technology integration and partnerships with engaged community businesses.
  • Mr. Warren Drake, Superintendent for East Baton Rouge Parish School System (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) – Awarded Magnet School Superintendent of the Year. Superintendent Drake has been continuously praised for efforts to expand theme-based programs in his school district. During the 2017-2018 academic year, Woodlawn Middle and High School launched new magnet programs focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The district also secured a $15 million STEM-based grant from the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) under Mr. Drake’s leadership.
  • Davis Bilingual Magnet Elementary of Tucson Unified School District (Tucson, Arizona) - Awarded the Magnet Schools of America President’s Award on behalf of the current and former Presidents of MSA. Davis Bilingual has promoted a “Spanish Immersion” Bilingual model for more than 37 years. All teachers hold a Bilingual Endorsement and participate in on-going training in culturally responsive teaching and bilingual methodology.
  • Wake County Public School System (Raleigh, North Carolina) – Awarded the Donna Grady-Creer District Award for Magnet Sustainability. Wake County Superintendent Cathy Moore accepted the award for the county’s successful pursuit of equity, excellence and diversity in the classroom – qualities that create a strong magnet culture that benefits students for years.
  • Dr. Sabrina J. Suber, Principal at Richland Northeast High School (Columbia, South Carolina) – Awarded Magnet School Principal of the Year. Under Dr. Suber’s outstanding leadership, Richland Northeast has grown its Career and Technology Education program and made the International Baccalaureate (IB) program available to all students, furthering the school’s professional development plan and improving student learning. 
  • Walter Carter, Teacher at Milford Mill Academy (Baltimore, Maryland) Awarded the National Magnet Teacher of the Year Award. Walter Carter is an automotive service technical teacher at Milford Mill Academy who demonstrates excellence in teaching, community outreach and parental involvement. Walter recently expanded Milford’s program to promote internships and externships, allowing students to get hands-on experience for the skills they learn in school.
  • MacFarlane Park Elementary (Tampa, Florida) – Awarded the Elementary Magnet School of Merit Award of Excellence. MacFarlane inspires its students to positively shape their community and the world through an exceptional IB program that explores peace education and conflict resolution.
  • Wake STEM Early College High School (Raleigh, North Carolina) – Awarded the Secondary Magnet School of Merit Award of Excellence. Wake STEM’s students participate in a project-based learning program, and have the opportunity to earn both a high school diploma and college credits from North Carolina State University.
  • Reedy Creek Magnet Middle Center for the Digital Sciences (Raleigh, North Carolina) – Awarded the New & Emerging Magnet School of Excellence Award. Reedy Creek is the only digital science middle school in the country and prepares its students to use technology as a collaborative and innovative tool.

Congratulations to all of our National Merit Awardees!
Do You Want to Become Certified Next?
The application for Cohort V National Certification is now open!

Why become a nationally certified magnet school? When you apply for Certification, you are looking at your school through the "lens of excellence." Certified schools are rated as one of the "best of the best" magnet schools in the nation - giving you the opportunity to market your school and seek support in new ways.

The certification application cost is $1395 per school. Cohort V will onboard in August of 2019 and run through June of 2020.

Click here to start the application process. (Those going through the application process m ust be a paid member of MSA and plan to renew membership by August 1st for the 2019-2020 school year.)

Questions? Email  [email protected] . We look forward to assisting you in this process!
New Career and Technical Education (CTE) Funding Opportunity
The U.S. Department of Education is now accepting applications for the  Innovation & Modernization discretionary grant program . This program, authorized by Perkins V, is designed to identify, support and rigorously evaluate evidence-based and innovative strategies and activities to improve and modernize CTE and align workforce skills with labor market needs.

Subrecipients of Perkins Title I formula funds (e.g., LEAs and community colleges) as well as certain consortia identified in the law are eligible to apply. Not less than 25% of the funds available for grants must be awarded to recipients in rural areas, if a sufficient number of applications of sufficient quality are received from applicants serving rural communities.

Applications will be accepted through June 14, 2019.
Check out the great coverage of our National Merit Awardees:

Two Wake County magnet schools were named among the best in the US - The News & Observer, Raleigh, North Carolina

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e-Choice | April 2019