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Hattie Cotton STEM Magnet Elementary earns national award

Hattie Cotton STEM Magnet Elementary School has been named a 2013 Magnet School of Distinction by Magnet Schools of America (MSA), the National Association for Magnet and Theme-Based Schools. Elnora Mitchell-Furdge, Ed.S., Hattie Cotton’s principal, has led the school since 2011 after it became a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) magnet school. Hattie Cotton is part of a STEM continuum that includes Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School and Stratford STEM Magnet High School.  Under this leadership, the school earned the “Reward” school designation from the Tennessee Department of Education for ranking among the state’s top schools for growth in student achievement in 2012.

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“Hattie Cotton STEM Magnet has a wonderful staff, parents and community. Together, we provide our children a positive school climate and the opportunity to develop socially and excel academically,” said Mitchell-Furdge.

“Magnet schools throughout the country are being awarded for their excellence in demonstrating student achievement, innovative and engaging instruction and curriculum, community engagement, professional development, and a commitment to diversity,” says Magnet Schools of America Executive Director, Scott Thomas. “This is a competitive process that awards only a small fraction of the magnet schools nationally.  Schools that win our Merit Awards represent the best in education, innovation, equity and opportunity for all students in our nation.”

To receive a merit award, MSA member schools must submit a detailed application that is scored by a panel of educators. There are two categories of merit awards: (1) Magnet Schools of Excellence, the top award given to a select group of magnet schools, and (2) Magnet Schools of Distinction, the second highest award of recognition.

Mrs. Furdge will accept the school’s merit award at an awards ceremony at the 31st National Conference on Magnet Schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma, May 5-8, 2013.

Hattie Cotton School has no admission requirements; enrollment is open to children who are zoned to attend as well as to children who apply through the district’s school choice process. Named in honor of Hattie Reeder Cotton, a Nashville teacher for 49 years, the school serves more than 400 children in grades pre-K through 4 at 1033 West Greenwood Avenue in Nashville.