Cool School: Academic Magnet High School - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Cool School: Academic Magnet High School

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A rigorous curriculum, and competitive environment, Academic Magnet High School in Charleston county is one of the top high schools in the nation. We're in North Charleston for our Cool School of the week.

Academic Magnet High School is a county wide magnet high school. It opened in 1988 on Burke campus, and has more than 600 students in grades 9 through 12. Every course is taught at honors or advanced placement level. Students qualify based on their academic accomplishments: GPA; test performance; writing samples; and teacher recommendations. Every student takes four years of math, science, social studies, English and a foreign language.

Academic Magnet has a long list of awards and accomplishments, and is ranked number ten in the nation by U.S. News and World Report for 2006 and 2013. Principal Judith Peterson says, "The cool aspect of our students is that they come from all over the county. They represent a variety of nationalities and ethnicities. There are great diversities in the way they think, their sense of humor, things that are important to them. They have a desire to talk about serious subjects in maybe not quite so serious a way. They're just great to be around." Tenth grade student Kyle Saavedra says, "It's such a great environment to learn and thrive, also meet new people. I just met so many new people from all around the Charleston area, and they also encourage me to do my best in school." Science teacher Murray Eicher says, "It's incredibly challenging. We push the kids. The nice thing about is the kids push us academically, all the time. So we're all kind of in the same boat constantly challenging each other." "It's great. I love it. Wonderful environment, wonderful teachers, and it's a lot of fun," says tenth grade student Vaibhav Mohanty. Ninth grade student Keb Mosley-Kellum says, "I like the small numbers, so you get a better sense of community. You know everybody and academics obviously are high. It's a challenge." "Academic Magnet is one of the best schools I ever went to. I feel like everybody here is a huge family. I feel really connected to friends and teacher here, it's a great school," says ninth grade student Haven Xu.

Academic Magnet High School has a waiting list for several grades next year. Students present plays in spanish. Every student completes 90 hours of community service prior to graduation. Academic Magnet has an extensive sports program with thirteen different sports and three competitive clubs, triathlon, sailing, and crew. They also have state championships in soccer, golf, and swimming.

Coming up Wednesday on News 2 Today, we'll tell you about the school's senior thesis project.

We want to hear about the good things going on at your school. Send an email to Octavia at omitchell@wcbd.com. Maybe your school will be the next Cool School of the week.

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