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Howard Middle School Academy of Arts is a visual and performing arts magnet school located in the heart of downtown Orlando. While the magnet began in 2012, we are now in our second 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 our current sixth graders coming to us from over 90 different elementary schools.
In addition to providing a strong academic focus, our 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. We offer 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, our school is designed specifically for students who are seeking a middle school experience where the arts are the primary focus.
Principal – Kimberly Beckler
Mrs. 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 Southeast Learning Community. 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).
Assistant Principal – Emily Archie
Mrs. Archie is so excited about joining the team at Howard. She started her teaching career working as an elementary teacher within the inner city of Cleveland, Ohio. She finished her 10th year there working as a supervisor in the Office of School Improvement. Her family relocated to Orlando, where she started at Rosemont Elementary, and then branched off into secondary schools starting with Chain of Lakes Middle School. She has served as a Reading teacher, Reading Coach, Academic Dean and as an Assistant Principal. She was very excited to get “the call” that she was moving to Howard Middle School because she has always had a deep love for the arts. She is looking forward to supporting the staff, students and families.
Assistant Principal of Instruction – Robert Walker
Dr. Bob Walker is in his 15th year in education. Over the years he has taught English and literature at the high school and university level, been a testing coordinator and an academic dean. Dr. Walker holds degrees from Rollins College, Virginia Tech and The University of Central Florida. He is trained in Restorative Practices through IIRP and has presented at state and national conferences on RP. Dr. Walker is also a GLSEN inclusive schools trainer and has served on AdvancED accreditation review teams. In his free time, Dr. Walker serves as adjunct faculty advising doctoral candidates and teaching educational leadership courses with National Louis University.