School District Five schools receive Merit Awards from Magnet Schools of America

Leaphart Elementary School STEAM Magnet and Spring Hill High School Career Pathways Magnet, both part of the Lexington-Richland School District Five, have received prestigious Merit Awards from Magnet Schools of America (MSA), the national association for magnet and theme-based schools.

Leaphart Elementary School STEAM Magnet has been recognized as a National Magnet School of Distinction, while Spring Hill High School Career Pathways Magnet has been named a National Magnet School of Excellence. Additionally, Spring Hill High School achieved the status of a Certified Demonstration School in September.

Leaphart Elementary School STEAM Magnet offers a comprehensive interdisciplinary curriculum focusing on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). The curriculum emphasizes authentic, project-based learning and design thinking, encouraging students to take risks, experience failure, and persevere through challenges.

Principal Courtney Sims expressed gratitude for the recognition, acknowledging the dedication of the school community in making the STEAM magnet program successful. Sims highlighted the passion and commitment of the staff, students, and families at Leaphart, emphasizing that their collective effort has been instrumental in the continued success of the magnet program.

Spring Hill High School Career Pathways Magnet is an all-choice, all-magnet, public high school offering five focus programs: Engineering, Entertainment, Entrepreneurial, Environmental Studies, and Exercise Science academies. These academies immerse students in high-tech, real-world environments, enhancing college and career readiness through themed, standards-based curriculum.

Dr. Michael Lofton, Principal of Spring Hill High School, expressed pride in being recognized as a 2024 Top Magnet School of Excellence by Magnet Schools of America. He commended the staff for their dedication, ranking, and national recognition, as well as the students who embrace “The Spring Hill WAY” by striving for excellence daily. Dr. Lofton also acknowledged the crucial support from parents that contributes to the school’s continued national recognition.

Both schools will be formally recognized and receive their merit awards during an awards ceremony at Magnet Schools of America’s National Conference, hosted by New York City Schools from April 16-20, 2024.

To be eligible for national merit awards, members of Magnet Schools of America must submit a detailed application, which is then scored by a panel of educators. Evaluation criteria include demonstrated ability to raise student academic achievement, promote diversity, provide integrated curricula and instruction, and establish strong family and community partnerships aligned with the school’s magnet theme.

Sara Wheeler, School District Five Magnet Director, emphasized the significance of this achievement, stating that the recognition signifies these schools are among the best in the nation, showcasing their outstanding work and dedication to excellence. For more information about the national merit awards program, you can visit Magnet Schools of America’s website.

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