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These 2 Wake County magnet schools were named among the best in the US

Wake magnet schools video

Video produced by the Wake County Public Schools highlights its magnet school programs in advance of the Magnet Schools of America’s 33rd National Conference being held April 22-25 in Raleigh.
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Video produced by the Wake County Public Schools highlights its magnet school programs in advance of the Magnet Schools of America’s 33rd National Conference being held April 22-25 in Raleigh.

Two Wake County schools have won top honors from the nation’s leading organization for magnet schools.

Wake STEM Early College High School in Raleigh was named the top magnet secondary school in the nation by Magnet Schools of America. The trade organization also gave Reedy Creek Middle School in Cary its New and Emerging Magnet School Award.

“National merit awards are presented annually and are only given to the most prominent magnet schools in the country,” Todd Mann, executive director of Magnet Schools of America, said in a news release. “These extraordinary schools have been through a rigorous review process and adhere to the five pillars of magnet school excellence.

“Merit awardees embody the best in public education and should be celebrated as such in their community.”

The awards, which were given Saturday at the group’s national conference in Baltimore, are the latest recognitions for 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.

The Wake school system also picked up the Donna Grady-Creer Award for Magnet Sustainability at the conference. Organizers said Wake got the award for “exemplifying equity, excellence and diversity while sustaining strong and dedicated support for magnet schools..”

Wake STEM is a partnership of the Wake school system and N.C. State University where students can graduate in five years with both a high school diploma and college credit. The school focuses on the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

“Wake STEM is humbled to receive this award, as the success of our school truly demonstrates the power of collaboration,” Principal David Schwenker said in a news release.

Reedy Creek offers a digital sciences theme in which “students become problem solvers who think critically and creatively, and who use technology as a tool for collaboration and innovation,” according to Wake’s website.

“As a magnet school only in its third year of implementation, this is an amazing honor,” Reedy Creek principal Trent Evans said in a news release.

Last year, Farmington Woods Elementary School in Cary was named the best magnet elementary school in the nation and April Guenzler, a kindergarten teacher at Brooks Elementary School in Raleigh, was named the best magnet school teacher in the country.

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T. Keung Hui has covered K-12 education for the News & Observer since 1999, helping parents, students, school employees and the community understand the vital role education plays in North Carolina. His primary focus is Wake County, but he also covers statewide education issues.
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