A Wake County school and one of the district's teachers have been named the best in the United States by the nation's leading magnet school organization.
Farmington Woods Elementary School in Cary received Magnet School of America's Elementary Magnet School of Merit Award, given annually to the nation’s top elementary magnet school. The organization also named April Guenzler, a kindergarten teacher at Brooks Elementary School in Raleigh, as its 2018 National Teacher of the Year.
The awards, which were given Saturday at the group's national conference in Chicago, are the latest recognitions given to the Wake County school system's magnet school program. Wake's magnet schools offer specialized programs to try to fill and diversify schools that might otherwise be under-enrolled and have high concentrations of low-income students.
Farmington Woods offers the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, which focuses on encouraging international-mindedness and developing students physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically. The award was based on the school's academic excellence, diversity, family and community partnerships, high-quality instructional systems and innovative curriculum and professional development.
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Guenzler has taught for 16 years at Brooks Elementary, which operates extensive partnerships with local museums, arts centers and government organizations as part of its museums magnet theme. The Magnet School Teacher of the Year award goes to an educator who has demonstrated excellence in the teaching profession, community and parental involvement.
"My goal is to make learning fun and meaningful for all students and to form friendships with my students and their families that will last a lifetime," Guenzler said on her website.