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Published on March 22nd, 2016 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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District Five earns prestigious Magna Award for best practices, innovative programs

Pictured: Students in the Center for Advanced Technical Studies’ welding program work on a project.

CHAPIN – Lexington-Richland School District Five has been named a first place winner in the 22nd annual Magna Awards program sponsored by the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA’s) flagship magazine, American School Board Journal (ASBJ).

The Magna Awards is a national recognition program that honors school board best practices and innovative programs that advance student learning. For more than 20 years, the Magna Awards panel of independent judges has reviewed programs that showcase school district leadership, creativity, and commitment to student achievement. All the 2016 winners are highlighted in the April issue of ASBJ and will be recognized during the NSBA’s 76th Annual Conference in April.

“Public schools work tirelessly to improve student achievement,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director of NSBA. “These Magna Award-winning districts are some of the finest examples of the creativity and dedication of our public school leaders across the nation.”

District Five Board Chair Robert Gantt said, “We are thrilled to receive this national recognition. Our board is truly dedicated to providing the very best education to all our students.”

Fifteen first place, 15 honorable mention, and three grand prize winners were selected from three enrollment categories: under 5,000 students, 5,000 to 20,000 students and over 20,000 students. District Five earned the first place Magna Award for programs at The Center in the 5,000 to 20,000 students category.

Opened in 2012, The Center provides a standalone facility for District Five students to build technical skills, gain certifications and earn college credits. Attended by students from the district’s four high schools, The Center offers high tech courses in a wide variety of areas from biomedical science and agricultural science to alternative energy and welding. The school has earned several national awards, including: a High Schools That Work (HSTW) Platinum High Achievement School designation, a national Teacher of Excellence Award, and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) certifications.

“We are extremely honored to be recognized as part of the Magna Awards,” said Dr. Bob Couch, director of the school. “Awards like these would not be possible without the vision of our board, support of our district and involvement of our community. The programs here are providing a pathway for success for students, and we will continue to pursue excellence at The Center.”

District Five Board Vice Chair Ellen Baumgardner added, “It is exciting that the vision of the board, the hard work of the district and the innovation at The Center are being recognized nationally. The Center is truly a model for career-focused education.”

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