Walker Gamble named finalist in Palmetto's Finest


NEW ZION - Walker Gamble Elementary School is one of seven finalists in the 2020 Palmetto's Finest awards.

"We are humbled and excited for this recognition," Walker Gamble Elementary Principal Allen Kirby said. "We definitely have something special here at Walker Gamble. We're excited for our faculty, staff, students and their parents and our district."

Describing the experience as awesome, Kirby said Walker Gamble has one more onsite visit from the review committee before the winners are announced through a "live stream" to each finalist school at 1:45 p.m. March 24.

"It's awesome," Kirby added. "We're ready."

The seven finalists were chosen from 17 South Carolina schools that submitted 20-page applications. Each school had an onsite examination by a review committee before the seven finalists were chosen.

The seven finalists include: Clarendon School District 3's Walker Gamble Elementary School, Spartanburg School District 6's Fairforest Elementary School, Lexington School District 1's White Knoll Elementary School, Lexington School District 3's Batesburg-Leesville High School, Lexington-Richland School District 5's Dutch Fork High School, Greenville County Schools' Woodland Elementary School and York School District 4's Nation Ford High School.

The application process is extensive and includes student achievements, instructional programs, professional learning communities and school culture.

The South Carolina Association of School Administrations presents the awards each year to schools that offer the best in innovative, effective educational programs. Palmetto's Finest is celebrating its 42nd year recognizing a few of the state's finest schools. The Palmetto's Finest awards are viewed as the most coveted and respected awards in the academic community.

"We are excited to recognize some of the outstanding and innovative schools in our state," Beth Phibbs, SCASDA executive director, said. "They represent the many excellent school communities serving South Carolina's families."

With more than 4,400 members, SCASA is a statewide organization for school leaders and offers professional development opportunities and research, publications and legislative advocacy for its members. The focus of SCASA is to support school leaders in providing the best possible education for South Carolina's young people.