Flowertown nominated as national Blue Ribbon school
The Jolly Old Elf on the roof of Flowertown Elementary School in Summerville on Friday wasn’t St. Nick.
“You’re kind of chuckling because I look like Santa Claus,” Dorchester District 2 Superintendent Joe Pye told more than 1,000 students and teachers assembled on the field below him. “You’re wondering, what would make me get on the roof, an old man like me?”
Decked out in a blue hat and tie and waving a blue pompom, Pye, accompanied by administrators and faculty members also dressed in blue, climbed to the roof to announce that Flowertown was one of five schools in the state nominated for the 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards by the S.C. Department of Education.
It’s the only local school to receive the honor.
Pye was the first principal of Flowertown, which was built in 1979 as a K-2 school. In 1997, all elementary schools in the district went to a K-5 grade configuration.
“We are very humbled that … we are representing the state of South Carolina as one of the top schools,” said Pye.
The program, run by the U.S. Department of Education, honors public and private schools that are either high-performing or that demonstrate gains in student achievement despite having a high percentage of disadvantaged students.
Flowertown is the first school in the district nominated for the award since the mid-1990s. Oakbrook and Summerville elementary schools were both National Blue Ribbon winners in 1993-94 and Knightsville Elementary was in 1996-97.
Principal Donna Goodwin said she learned about the nomination a couple of weeks ago but had to keep it a secret until the official announcement.
“I’ve been biting my tongue all this time,” she said. “I think I have a hole in it.”
Per federal guidelines, South Carolina can nominate five schools annually. Nominated schools can submit an application to the U.S. Department of Education. The recipients will be announced in 2013.
The other nominees are: Okatie Elementary; Beaufort County School District; Mayo High School for Math, Science, and Technology, Darlington County School District; Ware Shoals Elementary; Greenwood School District 51; and New Prospect Elementary; Spartanburg School District 1.
Of more than 138,000 schools in the United States, only about 6,000 have received the honor in 29 years. Marrington Middle School of the Arts in Berkeley County was named a 2012 National Blue Ribbon school.
Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or www.facebook.com/brindge.