Two School District Five schools receive Merit Awards from Magnet Schools of America

Two Lexington-Richland School District Five schools have received Merit Awards by Magnet Schools of America (MSA), the national association for magnet and theme-based schools.

Nursery Road Elementary-Arts Magnet (NRES-AM) has been named a National Magnet School of Excellence and Spring Hill High School Career Pathways Magnet has been named a National Magnet School of Distinction.

Nursery Road Elementary-AM is the only elementary school in School District Five that offers expanded arts for students as well as arts integration in the core classes. Once a week, students experience dance, theater, instrumental or general music, and visual or media arts in their Related Arts rotation. While in the core classes, the instrumental or general music teacher and the media or visual arts teachers co-teach with classroom teachers to facilitate arts integrated lessons. Integrating the Arts in the classroom creates a deeper understanding of cross-curricular content.

“At Nursery Road Elementary School- Arts Magnet, we embrace the responsibility of educating the whole child, and nurturing our students’ artistic skills in order to unlock their genius,” said Nursery Road Elementary School Acting Principal Karey Fisher. “Encouraging their success within the arts is how we create amazing things and change this world for the better. Receiving the National Magnet School of Excellence by Magnet Schools of America affirms our dedication to diversity and commitment to academic standards. The NRES-AM Administration and Staff are proud to be among this select group of magnet schools around the nation.”

Spring Hill High School Career Pathways Magnet is a comprehensive all-choice, all-magnet, public high school that offers five focus programs to students from grades 9-12 including: Engineering, Entertainment, Entrepreneurial, Environmental Studies and Exercise Science academies. Through these academies, students are immersed into high tech, real-world environments which develop core knowledge, ignite imagination and make learning relevant by using themed standards-based curriculum. This approach enhances college and career readiness by guiding students to make critical connections between their educational journey and the dynamic world.

“We are so excited and thrilled that Spring Hill High School has once again been named a National Magnet School of Distinction by Magnet Schools of America,” said Spring Hill High School Principal Dr. Michael Lofton. “This award celebrates the hard work, dedication, and commitment of our teachers, students and parents. The award belongs to our entire school family and I could not be more proud of what we are accomplishing each and every day The Spring Hill WAY.”

The schools will be recognized and receive their awards during an awards ceremony held at Magnet Schools of America’s 40th National Conference hosted by Dallas Independent School District in Dallas, Texas April 18-22, 2023.

To receive a national merit award, members of Magnet Schools of America must submit a detailed application that is scored by a panel of educators. These schools are judged and scored on their demonstrated ability to raise student academic achievement, promote racial and socioeconomic diversity, provide integrated curricula and instruction, and create strong family and community partnerships that enhance the school’s magnet theme.

“This is a great accomplishment for our schools,” said School District Five Magnet Director Sara Wheeler. “The Magnet Schools of America’s Merit Awards program recognizes member magnet schools annually that exemplify excellence. This recognition demonstrates that these schools are being honored for their outstanding work, which means they are among the best in the nation.”

To learn more about the national merit awards program, visit