Okatie Elementary School earns 2013 National Blue Ribbon award - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Okatie Elementary earns 2013 National Blue Ribbon award

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BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) -

A Lowcountry elementary school is being recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon school.

Hundreds of young students filled Okatie Elementary's cafeteria eager to find out what was happening.

The blue lights, balloons and cupcakes with blue icing were a big hint.

"The U.S. Department of Education has selected Okatie Elementary as one of this year's National Blue Ribbon schools. So congratulations," said Dr. Jeffrey Moss, Beaufort County School superintendent.

As a National Blue Ribbon school, Okatie Elementary will serve as a model school of good public education.

"For the Secretary of Education to say, 'If you want to see what is going right in public education, go to Okatie Elementary and watch what they're doing [is great],'" Moss said.

"It's kind of like the Superbowl of school," said Okatie Elementary Principal Jamie Pinckney.

It's a huge honor especially for her as she's been with the school since it opened 11 years ago.

"It is the biggest educational moment of my life, I never even dreamed that we would become a National Blue Ribbon school," said Pinckney.

"I was so proud that I had all these good teachers and all the nice students and then finally the blue ribbon award and all the other awards we have in the cafeteria," said fourth-grader Lillian Long.  

Okatie Elementary was one of five South Carolina schools nominated for the National Blue Ribbon award. The other four schools also won.

This is the second time a Beaufort County school has been named a National Blue Ribbon school. Beaufort Elementary School earned the first in 1998.

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