Martin T. Reid named 2016 National Principal of the Year
Magnet Schools of America honors principal of Arthur & Polly Mays
Conservatory for turning struggling school around against all odds
MIAMI, FL — Magnet Schools of America (MSA) honored its finest principals, teachers, and schools at the MSA National 2016 Conference held in Miami the first week in May. Martin T. Reid, who serves as principal of Arthur & Polly Mays Six-12 Conservatory of the Arts, received top honors, being deemed the National 2016 Principal of the Year. A once dying school with a small magnet program, Arthur & Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts School now has a waiting list to get in. The driving force behind this Cinderella story is the school’s devoted and visionary leader.
Arthur & Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts School, whose 1935 building is designated as a historical site, was one of the first schools to offer a K-12 education to African Americans during segregation. Over time, it became a junior high, high school, middle school and finally what it is today, a Sixth-12th grade magnet school for students interested in the visual, performing, and communicative arts. Reid became principal of Mays Middle School in 2009. He wrote the initial concept paper for the establishment of the Conservatory, which was accepted and approved by the district, becoming the first six-12 grade school in Miami-Dade County.
In the seven years as principal, Reid changed the school for the better, promoting equity & diversity among the students as well as equitable academic success for all students. “I feel that I have the best job in the world because on a daily basis, I get a chance to make a difference in the lives of my students by ensuring they receive a high quality education that prepares them for their future endeavors,” states Principal Reid.