Ten Hartford Schools Receive Magnet Merit Awards

Spotlight on Excellence   Issue 24    March 10, 2013

Ten Hartford Schools Receive Magnet Merit Awards

Ten Hartford public schools have been selected by Magnet Schools of America to receive Magnet Schools of Merit Awards, recognizing them as among the best schools of their kind in the United States. Seven of those schools – STEM Magnet at Annie Fisher, Breakthrough Magnet, Classical Magnet, the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy, Noah Webster MicroSociety Magnet, the Sport and Medical Sciences Academy and University High School of Science and Engineering – were named Magnet Schools of Excellence, the top category given to selected schools around the country. Three other schools – Environmental Sciences at Mary Hooker, Kinsella Magnet of Performing Arts and the Pathways Academy of Technology and Design – were named to the second category of awards, Magnet Schools of Distinction.

In a related development, Rachael L. Manzer, the STEM coach (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) at the Annie Fisher, was named Magnet Teacher of the Year for Region 1, which encompasses the New England states. Mrs. Manzer, a certified teacher in Connecticut for 20 years, is one of seven schoolteachers nationwide that have been selected to go on a suborbital space flight under NASA’s Teachers in Space Program. “These are hard-earned and well-deserved honors,” said Superintendent Christina M. Kishimoto. “They validate the district’s reform governance approach, designed around a diverse portfolio of successful schools, to put us on the leading edge of educational reform. Families are engaged and children are learning.”

The schools selected as Magnet Schools of Excellence will be competing for the prestigious Dr. Ronald P. Simpson Distinguished Merit Award; given annually to the one magnet school in America that most exemplifies a commitment to diversity, high academic standards and curriculum innovation. The last Hartford school to win the Simpson Award was the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy in 2011. In 2012, Magnet Schools of America also recognized University High School of Science and Engineering as the top magnet high school in the country.

All of the award presentations will be made in early May at the 31st Annual Magnet Schools of America National Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There are an estimated 4,000 magnet schools in the United States. Hartford Public Schools manages 16 of them with themes ranging from STEM to the arts to Montessori, serving area children from age three. Magnet Schools of America is a non-profit organization, developed in the 1980s, to provide support, professional development and leadership and sponsor programs, events and student scholarships to the nation’s magnets schools.

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