By Fred Halstied

LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Clark County School District (CCSD) still struggles when it comes to education as a district. On Wednesday, the district received national awards from Magnet Schools of America (MSA) during its annual conference that was recently held in Los Angeles.

At the conference, MSA announced it had picked CCSD Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky as its “Superintendent of the Year.” In making the announcement, MSA said “This annual award recognizes the important work in leadership within our school districts to keep Magnet Schools a priority in the portfolio of school choice options. During his tenure as superintendent, he has supported the expansion of Magnet Schools by 44 percent, which educate more than 30,000 students across 37 schools offering 114 programs of study.”

MSA also applauded Skorkowsky for the district’s improvement in the graduation rate and for CCSD receiving 49 MSA national merit awards during the past two years.

“On behalf of all the teachers and administrators who have made this happen, I would like to thank Magnet Schools of America for recognizing the efforts and progress CCSD has made in expanding the quantity and quality of our programs,” said Skorkowsky.

MSA also honored Walter Bracken STEAM Academy, which was selected for the Elementary Magnet School Merit Award of Excellence. In 2013, MSA named Katie Decker Principal of the Year. Decker is working towards replicating the success at Bracken through CCSD’s Franchise School program in which she serves as principal of three central valley elementary schools.

“Our entire staff, students, parents and community partners are extremely proud of this award,” said Decker. “This is evidence that a strong team can accomplish anything. We are excited to have this new designation for our school,” she said.

Thurman White Academy of the Performing Arts is just getting its Magnet program rolling, but it has already caught the attention of the MSA, as the CCSD school was chosen as the recipient of the New and Emerging Magnet School Merit Award of Excellence.

The school’s emphasis on the arts has given students with opportunities to explore the stage and develop their talents through drama, theater, band, orchesta and choir programs.

“We are very excited to share this award with our staff, students, teachers, parents, and community partners,” said Principal Andrea Katona. “We have been able to foster some amazing partnerships through our Arts Council with many talented local artists that help us bring our classrooms to life and offer students hands on experiences. We are honored and humbled to think that just two years ago we started this new adventure and in such a short time have accomplished so much.”

Gia Moore, CCSD’s director of Magnet Schools and Career and Technical Academies, is pleased with the recognition CCSD’s schools received for its Magnet programs.


“CCSD Magnet progrmas have been the trusted choice option for almost 25 years and are designed to serve all students,” said Moore. “The success of our schools can be attributed to the support we receive from our district and community and the fantastic work of our students, teachers, and leadership at our schools,” she said.


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