COLUMBIA — Four local schools are among eight finalists statewide for the 2013 Palmetto’s Finest Schools Awards.

Fort Dorchester Elementary and Ashley Ridge High schools in Dorchester School District 2 and Hanahan Middle School and Marrington Middle School of the Arts in Berkeley County are among the finalists.

Last fall, 18 South Carolina schools submitted a 20-page application and received an onsite examination visit by a review committee.

The SC Association of School Administrators presents the awards each year to schools that offer the best in innovative, effective educational programs. The finalists will be named on March 11.

Other finalists are: Hammond Hill Elementary School, Aiken County; Jesse Boyd Elementary School, Spartanburg 7; CrossRoads Middle School, Lexington District 5; and East Clarendon Middle/High School, Clarendon 3.