Margate tends to be overshadowed by its larger neighbors, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach. Margate Middle School, however, is not about to be eclipsed by any other school, no matter where it’s located.
Right now, the school on Atlantic Boulevard is number one in the state of Florida in the Vocabulary.com competition, an example of how the students here strive for excellence.
“We are like a hidden gem,” said principal Earnest Toliver.
Margate Middle is a magnet school, with every student a part of the STEM program. It includes various areas of science, engineering, math and technology, including biomedical engineering, robot design, and civil engineering.
“Sixth grade, 7th grade and 8th grade, they all do research in their core classes, we got our training for teachers by working with FAU professors, they trained our teachers how to infuse STEM into language arts, reading, math, science, every single classroom,” Toliver said.
For the most advanced students, Margate Middle has an innovative program called Select Plus. It’s designed to prepare students for the rigors of AP and dual enrollment classes in high school. Kids in the program leave middle school having already taken up to six high school classes.
“What the kids get out of this program is that we’re creating a set of minds that they are technically and scientifically ready for high school,” said Roderick Daniel, the school’s lead STEM teacher.
Margate Middle is justifiably proud of its STEM magnet, but the school also excels in debate, it has an art club, and the concert band is superb, feeding musicians to the local high schools. 200 students are involved in the program, showing a science-intensive school has room for the arts.
“Our goal is for everyone here to have a good time here, have a lot of fun and to go on to play when they get to high school because that’s the step where they need to be,” said band director Kevin Strattan.
The deadline for registering kids for magnet programs in Broward is coming up next month, so now is the time for parents and their children to make decisions.