Seven schools from around the state – including Nation Ford High School – have been selected as finalists for the 2020 Palmetto’s Finest awards.

This selection comes after extensive evaluations by a committee of fellow educators and previous Palmetto’s Finest winners. The application process includes elements on student achievement, instructional programs, professional learning communities, and school culture. 

Last fall, 17 South Carolina schools submitted a 20-page application followed by an onsite visit from a review committee. The seven finalists are currently undergoing a second evaluation before the winners are selected this spring.

Each school will have the opportunity to celebrate with their local community, as the winners will be announced through a live stream to each finalist school on March 24. 

The seven finalists:

Nation Ford High School, York School District 4 (Fort Mill)

Fairforest Elementary School, Spartanburg School District 6

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Walker Gamble Elementary School, Clarendon School District 3

White Knoll Elementary School, Lexington School District 1

Woodland Elementary School, Greenville County Schools

Batesburg-Leesville High School, Lexington School District 3

Dutch Fork High School, Lexington-Richland School District 5

The South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) presents the awards each year to schools which offer the best in innovative, effective educational programs. The Palmetto’s Finest Award is celebrating its 42nd year and is one of the most coveted and respected awards among educators.

“We are excited to recognize some of the outstanding and innovative schools in our state. They represent the many excellent school communities serving South Carolina’s families,” said Beth Phibbs, SCASA Executive Director.

SCASA, the professional organization for school leaders in South Carolina, has more than 4,400 members. From professional development opportunities and research, to publications and legislative advocacy, SCASA’s focus is to support school leaders in providing the best possible education for South Carolina’s young people.

Greg "Ricky Bobby" Rickabaugh has lived in the Fort Mill and York County community since 2006. He has covered the area while a reporter for The Charlotte Observer and a freelance writer for The Fort Mill...