Miami Lakes Educational Center named Best Magnet School in USA

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 0 Comments

Miami Lakes Educational Center named Best Magnet School in USA
Miami Lakes Educational Center (MLEC) is the best magnet school in the country according to the Magnet Schools of America (MSA). Of the nearly 4,400 magnet schools across the country, MLEC received the top award at the annual National MSA Conference.
“Winning the prestigious Magnet Schools of America award is another example of Miami-Dade’s belief that all children have the potential to soar to extraordinary academic heights when they are exposed to curriculum that is cutting-edge and robust,” said Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho.
MSA is a non-profit organization that works with schools across the country to promote and encourage learning and equity including: Racial and economic diversity, immersion programming, civil rights and academic excellence. Each year, the organization honors the best schools, programs and educators in the country.
A first for Miami-Dade County Public Schools “No other school in the District has achieved this,” Dr. Robert Strickland, administrative director of Choice and Parental Options told the group of administrators, teachers and students present at the School Board building to celebrate the award.
MLEC is the first school in Miami-Dade County to have earned the most prestigious award, the Dr. Ronald P. Simpson Magnet School of Merit award. The award highlights the quality of a magnet school’s foundational pillars: Academic standards, curriculum innovation, parent and community involvement, specialized teaching and diversity.
“We focus on all the pillars,” said assistant principal Michael Windisch. “For example, one of the main pillars of a magnet school is diversity and we make sure our school attracts students of different cultures, socioeconomic statuses and varying abilities.”
In fact, MLEC’s students originate from over 33 countries and speak over 11 different languages at home. Many of them are first-generation Americans or immigrants themselves. They commute every morning from as far north as Broward County and as far south as Homestead from 17 different zip codes for the chance to earn industry certifications, obtain career and technical training while also taking Advanced Placement and Cambridge courses.
“We have 23 unique career pathways that allow students to earn over 32 industry certifications.” said Beatriz Sears, vice principal. “Almost every student graduates from MLEC with not only a highschool diploma, but an industry certification and the skills needed to be successful in their chosen college and career.” Success is a team effort.
Like graduation, awards like these are not the result of one school year or one program. MSA was looking to recognize schools that demonstrated exemplary commitment to academic standards, curriculum innovation, desegregation/diversity efforts, specialized teaching staffs and parent and community involvement. In other words, a track record of engagement with all stakeholders.
“This outstanding achievement honors and celebrates the dedication of MLEC’s teachers and administrators who provide students with a rigorous, well-planned education in a field of their choice, aptly preparing them for college and career,” said School Board chair Perla Tabares Hantman.
MLEC underwent a lengthy application process, and advanced through several rounds. Before the ultimate test, a school-site visit.
“The team walked the halls of MLEC, they visited classrooms across campus. They met with parents, community partners and students and saw firsthand what MLEC does every day,” said principal Lourdes Diaz. “This award validates the hard work and dedication of our teachers and 1,200 students.”
“Miami Lakes Educational Center winning this award is phenomenal, it is history in the making,” said Jose Bueno the North Region superintendent.

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