Irmo High Middle School International Academic Magnet has been named a nationally certified magnet school by Magnet Schools of America (MSA), the national association for magnet and theme-based schools.

The Lexington-Richland School District Five middle school was among 31 schools nationwide to successfully complete a rigorous nine-month evaluation process and “demonstrate through evidence, reflection, and strategic action that it has established the best practices entailed in the Magnet School Standards of Excellence.” 

“Irmo Middle School International Academic Magnet is dedicated to creating an educational environment that is rich in global connections and service learning opportunities for our students,” said Cassy Paschal, Irmo Middle School principal.  “Earning the recognition of being a Nationally Certified magnet school through Magnet Schools of America is an honor as well as a culmination of years of hard work and dedication.”

The national certification process is based on the Standards of Excellence and the five pillars of magnet schools: diversity, innovative curriculum and professional development, academic excellence, high-quality instructional systems, and family and community partnerships. Together, these qualities define the common elements of exemplary magnet programs.

“The certification process recognizes the highest quality schools in public education. Nationally certified magnet schools illustrate and emulate rigorous theme-based curriculum, ensure diverse settings in which students thrive and are prepared for the future,” said Kelly Bucherie, Director for Magnet School Leadership, Magnet Schools of America.  “We commend your school’s staff, students, families, and partners for their active roles in supporting your cognizant efforts to thrive for excellence. Being recognized as a Nationally Certified Magnet School is a tremendous honor and accomplishment.”

Irmo Middle School was one of five schools in School District Five to receive a federal Magnet School Assistance Program (MSAP) grant in 2013 to bolster magnet offerings. At the start of the 2014 school year, Irmo Middle School officially opened the doors to the International Academic Magnet.

This certification makes Irmo Middle School the fourth certified magnet school in School District Five joining Dutch Fork Elementary School Academy of Environmental Sciences, Irmo High School International School for the Arts, and Spring Hill High School Career Pathways Magnet.

“I am so incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication by Irmo Middle School International Academic Magnet in attaining recognition as a Nationally Certified Magnet School,” said Sara Wheeler, Magnet School Program Director for School District Five.

Irmo Middle School International Academic Magnet will be recognized during a ceremony held at Magnet Schools of America’s 38th National Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 13-17, 2020. 

To learn more about the Magnet Schools of America Standards of Excellence Certification program, please visit