The Magna Winners' Circle

By Cecile S. Holmes

Enterprise, innovation, and a creative approach to best practices in public education are hallmarks of the three grand prize winners in the 2009 Magna Awards competition.

Sponsored by American School Board Journal with the support of Sodexo School Services, this year’s top winners—Indiana’s Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, Oregon’s Springfield Public Schools, and Washington state’s Bridgeport School District—showcase the strength, tenacity, and resilience of school leaders.

The grand prize winners, who will receive $4,000 each for their scholarship funds, were selected by an independent panel that culled through more than 340 applications. grand prize winners, winners, and honorable mention recipients were selected in three enrollment categories—under 5,000, 5,000 to 20,000, and over 20,000. All of the honorees are recognized in a special ASBJ supplement that accompanies this issue.

This year’s top projects are diverse. They include a program, targeted in part to the offspring of Latino farm workers, which offers college credit in high school and encourages students to pursue postsecondary education. Another grand prize winner effectively encourages literacy through book giveaways achieved through community partnerships. Yet another brings history alive by teaming local historians and community leaders with students.

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