Magnet Schools of America, at its national conference in Long Beach, awarded Poly High School's PACE its Magnet Program of Distinction. Magnet grant writer Nancy Gray received an award of appreciation, and a Cabrillo High School student, Dashaun Watson, won a $1000 scholarship. Superintendent Chris Steinhauser was also honored by MSA as an important supporter of schools of choice.
As Long Beach's first magnet program, PACE is now officially recognized as one of the finest magnets in the U.S. Standards for the award include high academic achievement, curriculum innovation, successful desegregation efforts and consistent delivery of quality services.
The original PACE grant application was written 27 years ago by Nancy Gray, who has since won millions of dollars in federal funding for other magnet grants. A retired employee of the district, she has a long-standing working relationship with the U.S. Department of Education and is now a grants consultant for a private firm. All 64 magnet programs now operating in the district are a result of her work.
At the MSA luncheon, Cabrillo co-principal Cynthia Terry introduced Watson and described Cabrillo's magnets, Computer Art/Animation and Pre-engineering.