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Magnet Programs Take Top U.S. Honors

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NEWS

Excelling Magnet Program

SCHOOL: The Van Nuys Science Magnets rewarded for their excellence and innovation in education.

Jack Beckham-Smith | Opinions Writer
April 12, 2018


It’s no secret that the Van Nuys magnet programs are some of the best. The triple threat has been pulling kids in from the far reaches of northern San Bernardino and the sweltering heats of downtown LA. But now, VNHS magnet programs are certifiably spectacular.

Bestowed upon the school by the Magnet Schools of America, VNHS magnet programs have won a slew of awards this year. Of only five schools in Los Angeles County, Van Nuys was named a National Magnet School of Excellence.

Being placed in the top five magnets of the nation, VNHS is on its way to potentially earning the place as the nation’s top magnet school. However, competition is stiff as the school is competing against the nation’s best elementary, middle and high schools.

Van Nuys’ Medical and Stem magnets were each awarded an “Excelling Magnet” certificate due to its high standing on the Magnet Performance Index.

Running on a five-pillar platform, the Index takes into account of the school’s diversity, innovative curriculum and professional development, academic excellence, quality of instructional systems and family and community partnerships.

The coordinated magnet trio consisting of Principal Yolanda Gardea, Performing Arts Coordinator Fanny Arana and Math/Science Magnet Coordinator Dawn Brown also received “MAGIE” awards for their ability and innovativeness at promoting their magnet themes.

These three administrators took many measures to get the school qualified for the award. One of the main scales in which the school is judged is in a questionnaire that was answered by Ms. Arana and Ms. Brown. The two worked in their specified fields, or as Ms. Arana puts it, “She’s (Ms. Brown) numbers, I’m words.”

After the responses, MSA sent representatives to review the school. Keith Abrams, the Director of Integrated Magnets, came out from his office in downtown to accompany the MSA’s tour around the school. Sandra Gephart Fontana, the Local District Northeast director, also attended the tour.

Many magnet parents also came to attend the tour to demonstrate the school’s community ties.

Ms. Gardea, Ms. Arana and Ms. Brown escorted the large tour from class to class, allowing the MSA representatives to ask students questions such as: “What do you like about this school? Why’d you choose Van Nuys? How far do you have to travel to get to Van Nuys?”

From tours in Van Nuys to tours in Chicago, the trio will be traveling to the MSA Conference in Chicago, Illinois to accept awards. The school may be able to win up to $5,000 for its performance. However, that monetary gain pales in comparison to the possibility of being named the nation’s top magnet school.


Jack Beckman-Smith is currently an opinion writer for The Mirror. He joined journalism during his sophomore year and is now in his second year as a writer.

Jack enjoys discussing anything political, philosophical, or related to society and culture. On the political spectrum, he stands between Libertarianism and moderate conservatism. In his spare time, he enjoys running, practicing piano, and playing video games.


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Magnet Programs Take Top U.S. Honors