National Merit Award Winner: Zoo Magnet!

Zoo magnet has received this award for 2 consecutive years


The Zoo Magnet is a smaller learning community part of North Hollywood High it is located across from the LA Zoo. The Zoo magnet recently earned the National Magnet School Merit Award. 

The Nation Magnet School Merit Award is an award of excellence by the Magnet academy. This award demonstrates the “commitment to high academic standards, curriculum innovation, successful desegregation and diversity efforts, and a strong parent community involvement”. 

The Merit award is not an award you are nominated for rather you have to apply in order to be reviewed and considered. The schools are then reviewed by a panel of educators and then scored accordingly. 

Our own Zoo magnet is a smaller community of students. The zoo campus is near the LA Zoo and focuses on animal studies and biological science as mentioned above.

Zoo magnet has a separate campus, but Freshman and Sophomore fluctuate between the Main Campus and the Zoo Campus because they have P.E (Physical Education) on the main campus. The students who attend Zoo Magnet follow a block schedule unlike on the main campus. 

Genesis Bandenebro, Zoo Crews next treasurer describes, “Notably, Zoo Magnet has had the privilege to work alongside the Los Angeles Zoo to implement innovative methods of teaching and learning. Our incredible teachers have found innovative ways to pair teaching with fun adventurous activities that encourage students to think critically and form profound confidence in themselves.” The Zoo Magnet has been given opportunities most Magnets don’t get. 

The next Zoo crew president, Allison Xichol speaks on this topic by describing, “I know Zoo Magnet should get this award because we are the only school that offers the program to have one on one time with zookeepers and animals at the LA zoo.” 

The Zoo Magnet is unique to different schools. Not only do they have the chance to work with zookeepers and animals, they have an amazing community. Bandenebro says, “Because of our small campus, we are able to build close bonds with our fellow students, staff, zookeepers, etc. building our sense of community.” She continues by saying, “The Zoo community is a collective effort made daily by our staff and students to foster personal growth and success. We are fortunate to have such dedicated staff and students that allow us to form strong partnerships.”

Xichol speaks about the community efforts, “For example every Wednesday, its wellness Wednesday where people can go outside or in other classes and just hang out. For women’s history month, we did a presentation and for Halloween we decorated pumpkins. We take advantage of our small community to provide an experience most large schools cannot provide, strengthening our community.” 

Bandenebro describes how she contributes to her community, “Weekly, alongside Allison Xicol we create activities centered around the betterment of our student’s mental health.” Xichol says her part, “I am on the chair for Wellness Wednesday and I do my best to attempt to make sure many people get involved with our activities.” 

Bandenebro has worked alongside other staff and students to better the Zoo community and work towards a bigger goal, to “create an atmosphere that is inclusive, supportive and more than anything welcoming.” 

The Zoo crew works hard to make the Zoo Magnet a welcoming community. All their work has been rewarded with this award.