Magnolia Heights has done it again.
The school solidified itself as one of the top learning institutions in the country by being recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for the second time.
Representatives from Apple and other special guests from around the state of Mississippi crowded into the Magnolia Heights Gym last Thursday to formally present the award to the school.
“I am humbled to stand before you today,” said Shane Blanton, Executive Director of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) who addressed approximately 330 junior high and high school students from Magnolia Heights. “There are over 40,000 students in MAIS around the state and in neighboring states. How does it feel to be on top?”
Magnolia Heights was renewed as an Apple Distinguished School for 2016-2018 through an application process, which is submitted by the school using the iBook program every two years. The school also earned the award from 2014-16 for its integration of Apple technology into classroom curriculum.
Apple also lists five other requirements for the award which include visionary leadership, innovative learning and teaching, ongoing professional learning, compelling evidence of success and a flexible learning environment.
The company does not disclose the number of Apple Distinguished Schools in the state of Mississippi or across the country.
Marvin Lishman, headmaster at Magnolia Heights, addressed the congregation and thanked the faculty, staff and students at the school. He also showed special appreciation to Lynn Savage, Director of Communications at Magnolia Heights, for heading up the project.
Lishman read an excerpt from the last page of the school’s iBook submission which states “In just a few short years Magnolia Heights’ online program has matured and changed beyond expectations. The faculty, staff, administration, trustees and parents have embraced this new learning paragon and are committed as strong as ever to propelling it to even greater heights. As a result, our students have flourished and for that we are grateful.”
“Our story is not finished and we look forward to what’s next in our journey,” Lishman stated in his closing remarks. “This was a family effort and we had so many people put in their time with this project to help us get to this point.”
Magnolia Heights took full advantage of Apple technology during the 2015-16 school year by expanding its programs. Students from both 7th and 8th grade joined upper classmen and were equipped with MacBooks.
The school purchased extra iPad carts that were used in elementary classrooms. MacBook carts were also made available to 5th and 6th grade students.
Magnolia Heights also incorporated online textbooks and resources in its classrooms to utilize some programs that are currently being used at four-year universities.
Those programs have benefitted student athletes, who are often on the road traveling to games during school hours, with many advantages. It provides them with a “rolling study hall” where they are able to do class work on their computers despite being absent from school.
Some other officials who attended the ceremony were Walt Starr, Field Representative for Congressman Trent Kelly and Senatobia Mayor Alan Callicott.