Howard Academy of the Arts is a visual and performing arts magnet school located in the heart of downtown Orlando. While the magnet began in 2012, it is entering its third year of being a zoneless school, with 100% of new students being enrolled through the magnet program. Students come to Howard from all over Orange County, with the current sixth graders coming from over 90 different elementary schools.
In addition to providing a strong academic focus, the curriculum and programs are designed to enrich, inspire and support students who have a demonstrated interest and/or ability in the visual and performing arts. Howard offers beginning through advanced course opportunities in theatre, dance, chorus, band, orchestra, piano, guitar, visual art and digital art. While many OCPS schools offer similar classes in these areas, HMS is designed specifically for students who are seeking a middle school experience where the arts are the primary focus.
Principal Kimberly Beckler comes to Howard with a unique professional background in education, counseling and theatre, and she is thrilled to be at Howard for her second year. Her career in education began in 2001 when she moved to Germany to teach English as a Second Language, and in 2004 she started her career with OCPS as a high school psychology teacher. Since then she has held a wide variety of positions at K-12 and district, including teacher, SAFE Coordinator, AVID Coordinator, MTSS Coach, CRT/Instructional Coach, District Counselor (district lead for character education), assistant principal, and Senior Administrator for the SELC. When not at school, she is usually found spending time with her family, including her husband Justin, her daughter Lila (8), her son Elliott (6) and her dog Zoe (11).