EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Warren Drake, superintendent of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System (ERBPSS), has been named Superintendent of the Year by Magnet Schools of America (MSA).
MSA is the national association for magnet schools and recognizes the "important work of leadership within the East Baton Rouge Parish School System to keep magnet schools a priority in the portfolio of of school choice options."
“Superintendent Drake has done a phenomenal job building magnet school culture in his district. Because of him, more East Baton Rouge Parish students have access to a high-quality magnet education. We are grateful for his leadership, and thrilled to celebrate his accomplishments,” said Todd Mann, executive director of MSA.
The Superintendent of the Year is chosen based on the following criteria:
Leadership skills, particularly in developing/supporting magnet schools and programs
Commitment to improving the quality of education in his or her district by development and implementation of high-quality magnet programs and schools with diverse enrollments
Commitment to support magnet schools at the local, state, and national levels
Involvement in education
Ability to build good employee relations among faculty and staff
MSA says according to date from a 2016 study, there are about 4,340 public elementary and secondary magnet schools nationwide serving almost 3.5 million students.
During his time as superintendent, Drake has made efforts to expand theme-based programs in EBRPSS. In the 2017-18 school year, a program focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) launched. The district secured a $15 million STEM-based grant from the Magnet Schools Assistance Program for the project under Drake’s leadership.
“I am deeply honored to be the recipient of the National Magnet Schools of America Award. As the superintendent of a district with students of diverse needs, I understand the importance of Magnet Programs, a choice option that has provided thousands of families with the opportunity to enroll and embrace innovative and specialized programs, which is the reason I have expanded seats in magnet schools,” Drake said. “During my tenure as the superintendent, I am constantly amazed at what our Magnet Programs have to offer our children. The principals, staff, students, parents and the community are a critical foundation for the success of our specialized programs; however, I recognize that it’s the strong leadership from the Director of Magnet Programs, Theresa Porter, who works tirelessly to make sure the programs in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System are not only known for its excellent programs locally, but also at the national level.”