Charleston County home to Lowcountry’s only school to receive Blue Ribbon honors

Belle Hall Elementary School in Mount Pleasant is the only Lowcountry school to receive...
Belle Hall Elementary School in Mount Pleasant is the only Lowcountry school to receive recognition as a National Blue Ribbon school in 2021.(Storyblocks)
Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 5:10 PM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - A Charleston County elementary school is the only Lowcountry school in the state to receive National Blue Ribbon Schools honors for 2021.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recognized five South Carolina schools nominated by state Education Superintendent Molly Spearman for the honor, which is based on schools’ overall academic performance.

The five South Carolina schools recognized in Cardona’s announcement are:

  • Belle Hall Elementary School - Charleston County School District
  • Clemson Elementary School - Pickens County School District
  • Mayo High for Math, Science and Technology - Darlington County School District
  • Meeting Street Academy - Spartanburg School District Seven
  • Powdersville Middle School - Anderson School District One

“The entire Belle Hall Elementary School community takes great pride in this prestigious recognition,” Principal Kevin Conklin said. “For over three decades, the teachers, parents, staff, and community members have collaborated to create this extraordinary environment for students. Over the years, we’ve upheld our reputation of ‘Rigor and Relationships,’ which features high expectations and support for all learners bolstered by adults working together closely every day.”

Belle Hall Elementary School in Mount Pleasant is one of only five South Carolina schools to be...
Belle Hall Elementary School in Mount Pleasant is one of only five South Carolina schools to be recognized in the National Blue Ribbon Schools program for 2021.(Live 5/File)

Belle Hall Elementary School is the first school in the Charleston County School District to receive this award since Buist Academy in 2017.

“We are extremely proud of these five South Carolina schools that have been honored nationally for their academic excellence,” Spearman said. “This award is testament to the hard work of students, teachers, staff, and families in these communities. These five schools are models of excellence for our entire state and nation.”

The five South Carolina award winners were recognized in the “Exemplary High-Performing Schools” category, meaning they are among the state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content, the state’s education department says.

The program, now in its 39th year, has given nearly 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The U.S. Department of Education invites National Blue Ribbon Schools nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education.

Conklin said Belle Hall Elementary is beginning to plan for ongoing celebrations this school year to highlight the accomplishment.

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