Okatie Elementary School wins third education award with 'Palmet - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Okatie Elementary School wins third education award with 'Palmetto's Finest'

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OKATIE, SC (WTOC) -

Okatie Elementary School has set an unprecedented state education record.  

Just six months ago, the U.S. Department of Education recognized it as a National Blue Ribbon School.  

This past Saturday, the school earned the 2014 Riley Award for School Improvement Council Excellence. 

And on Wednesday, the school was named one of Palmetto's Finest.

Students, teachers and staff were on pins and needles as they waited to hear the big news Wednesday afternoon.

"Not even a hint, a clue, nothing! And we were very, very nervous," said Principal Jamie Pinckney.  

And soon, the moment finally arrived.

"Okatie Elementary!"

It's an unprecedented feat to earn all three honors during the same academic year.

Pinckney has been with the school since it opened almost 12 years ago.

So what's their formula for success?

"We do what's best for student achievement, building relationships with community members and involving our parents more, and this is the realization of that," she said.  

"To complete the trifecta of three awards, never before accomplished in the state of South Carolina, I think truly sets the stage and the mark for what we all aspire to do," said Beaufort County School Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Moss.

To top off their success hat trick, the entire school joined in for their own happy dance before getting the party started with balloons and a DJ.

Students said they're proud, not just for the three awards, but for what they get to be a part of every day.

"My teachers are very determined and very helpful, we are determined to become one of the best schools ever known," said fifth grader Patrick Tracy.  

"It's really fun to be in Okatie because the students and even the teachers really bond with the kids and it's really fun," added Vincent Mattis.  

Okatie Elementary proved that they know how to work hard and play hard. 

Okatie Elementary also won a Palmetto Gold State award in 2012 for Overall Academic Achievement and a Silver for Closing Academic Gaps.

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