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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. –One year ago the New Century Technology High School faculty embarked on a journey of reflection, improvement and growth.

After an intense application process, New Century has been named as one of only 55 nationally certified magnet schools by Magnet Schools of America.  They are also the only school in Alabama to earn this distinction.

New Century principal Sheila Roby said they work hard to stand out and make a name for themselves. Which is why they put a year’s worth of effort into a distinction that will do just that.

“We’re excited. It was a lot of hard work, but it makes it all worth it to be a nationally recognized magnet school,” she said.

Principal Roby said the recognition aligns with the students vision for their school.

“Well our students are very independent, and very strong-minded, as you will see when you talk to them later. But they know what they want out of life,” she explained.

That is evident when talking to student Morgan Gibson, who is already studying to be an engineer.

“I feel like New Century is harder than college, and I feel like this is really preparing me not just for college but for when I go into the workplace,” she said.

Such a distinction can only help improve Alabama’s reputation when it comes to providing quality education, something Gibson doesn’t take lightly.

“To me it just means that we really are progressing. For New Century to just be at the top, that’s a blessing. I love that we have this, and we’re the only school in Alabama,” she said.

And she also believes it’s well deserved.

“We’re the only magnet school, full magnet school, in the Huntsville City school system and I’m just so proud of us because we really do work hard. Our teachers push us really hard, so I was very happy,” Gibson explained.

More than 100 schools applied for the certification, including two others from Alabama.