Okatie Elementary named finalist for Palmetto's Finest

sbowman@islandpacket.comJanuary 8, 2014 

FILE: Students from Okatie Elementary School celebrate after superintendent Jeffrey Moss announces that they were one of the five South Carolina schools being awarded a 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools award during an assembly at the school in Sept. 2013. The school's School Improvement Council was honored March 24, 2014, with the Dick and Tunky Riley Award for School Improvement Council Excellence.

DELAYNA EARLEY — Staff photo Buy Photo

  • 'Palmetto's Finest'

    Announced March 26, 2014, the winners of the 2014 Palmetto's Finest awards are:

    • Okatie Elementary.

    • Midland Elementary School in Galivants Ferry.
    • Forestbrook Middle School in Myrtle Beach.
    • Camden High School.
    • Fairfield Magnet School for Math & Science in Winnsboro.

    Okatie Elementary's victory marked the third Palmetto's Finest win for Beaufort County schools in just three years. Beaufort Middle and Hilton Head Island High schools won the award in 2012.

Okatie Elementary School was named one of nine finalists Wednesday for the 2014 Palmetto's Finest Schools award from the S.C. Association for School Administrators.

Bluffton High School also was in the running but was not a finalist.

The announcement comes several months after Okatie was recognized as a national Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

"Okatie is definitely on a roll," superintendent Jeffrey Moss said in a news release. "They've got a terrific leadership team, an outstanding faculty and staff, and tremendous support from their parents and community partners."

The finalists were selected from 17 schools after extensive evaluations by fellow educators and previous Palmetto's Finest winners. The selection process includes reviewing student achievement, instructional programs and school culture.

Bluffton High was a semifinalist for the state's best high school. Last year, it earned a S.C. Palmetto Gold Award from the state Department of Education.

Okatie is one of two elementary schools that are finalists for the award. Usually, two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school are selected as winners, according to Hannah Pittman, SCASA director of professional development.

The nine finalists -- which include schools in Horry, Berkeley and Spartanburg counties -- will receive a second site visit.

The winners will be announced March 26, Pittman said.

Beaufort Middle and Hilton Head Island High schools won the award in the 2011-12 school year. No schools from the Beaufort County School District received it last year.

Okatie Elementary principal Jamie Pinckney said she hopes the school can continue its success.

"We're very, very proud of our progress and the awards we have received so far, and continue to strive," she said. "We know we have great things happening at Okatie."

Follow reporter Sarah Bowman at twitter.com/IPBG_Sarah.

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service