Seven City Magnet Schools Among the Nation’s Best

(Wednesday, April 8, 2015) Magnet Schools of America, the nonprofit professional education organization dedicated to promoting the achievements of magnet schools across the nation, has recognized seven Hartford Public Schools with Magnet School Merit Awards, acknowledging them as some of the best in the country.
Three of those schools — Annie Fisher STEM Magnet School, led by Principal Joseph F. Kopf; Breakthrough Magnet School, under the leadership of Principal Julie Goldstein; and Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy, headed by Principal Sally Biggs – all received MSA’s highest Merit recognition, the Magnet School of Excellence Award.
The remaining four schools – Great Path Academy, under Principal Tory Niles-Outler; Noah Webster MicroSociety Magnet School, led by Principal Jay Mihalko; Pathways Academy of Technology and Design, headed by Principal David Goldblum; and the Sport and Medical Sciences Academy, under the direction of Principal John P. Laverty – received the second highest category of recognition, Magnet School of Distinction.
This year, Merit Awards were bestowed on 208 public magnet schools and theme-based programs located in 14 states.
“These awards are a testament to our ability offer innovative, outstanding educational opportunities to our students,” said Hartford Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez. “I want to congratulate and thank the staffs and principals at these schools for their hard work that earned them this high level of recognition.”
In addition, Erin E. Wilson, a STEM instructional coach for Math and Literacy at Annie Fisher STEM Magnet, was named 2015 Teacher of the Year for Region 1, which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Ms. Wilson, from South Windsor, has been a Hartford Public Schools elementary school teacher for more than 13 years and, last year, was appointed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to serve as co-chair of the Connecticut Common Core Task Force. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Hartford, teaching graduate courses in Math Methods and Reading and Language Arts instruction.
“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and humbled by this acknowledgement,” she said. “I am most proud to not only represent the teaching community in Region 1, but to represent the city I have dedicated my educational career to – Hartford.”
Principals and representatives from the recognized schools will receive their school’s merit awards at the 33rd National Conference on Magnet Schools in Raleigh, NC, from April 22 to April 25. Schools ranked in the excellence category – Annie Fisher STEM, Breakthrough Magnet and Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy — are eligible to be named the nation’s top Elementary, Secondary or New & Emerging Magnet School and one school of excellence will also be selected for the prestigious Dr. Ronald P. Simpson Distinguished Merit Award, as the school that most exemplifies a commitment to diversity, high academic standards and curriculum innovation.
Hartford Public Schools have won the Simpson Award twice. In 2014, it was presented to the Pathways Academy of Technology and Design; and in 2011, the Simpson Award was won by Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy.

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