HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Horry County Schools Early College High School was one of just 342 schools in the nation to earn the National Blue Ribbon Schools designation for 2017, based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps between student subgroups.
The school's students learned of the distinction at an assembly held at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Early College High School campus, at the Conway location of Horry Georgetown Technical College. Early College High School was one of just five schools in South Carolina to be named a Blue Ribbon School.
Early College High School was recognized by the South Carolina Department of Education in the "Exemplary High Performing Schools" category, meaning it was among the state's highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.
According to a news release from the Department of Education:
Students at Early College High get the chance to receive a very unique education, blending four years of high school and two years of college into one four year program.
Thursday, students and faculty gathered in the cafeteria for the big celebration enjoying cupcakes and juice.
Principal Kandi Fleming said just to be nominated for a National Blue Ribbon was an honor in itself.
"It's just a very humbling experience, I'm just so proud of everybody that has had a part in this," said Fleming.
ECHS accepts about 100 9th grade students each year, all of which must be first generation college students.
In 2016, 78% of the graduating seniors received scholarships totaling $2.7 million.
Below is a full list of local schools who have previously received the National Blue Ribbon School designation:
- Academy for the Arts, Science, and Technology Myrtle Beach 2001-02
- Carolina Elementary School Hartsville 2009
- Carolina Forest Elementary School Myrtle Beach 2004
- Carver Elementary Florence 2008
- Conway High School Conway 1984-85
- Conway Middle School Conway 1992-93
- Easterling Primary School Marion 1996-97
- Forestbrook Elementary School Myrtle Beach 2000-01, 03, 12
- Forestbrook Middle School Myrtle Beach 2015
- Lake City Primary School Lake City 1993-94
- Lakewood Elementary School Myrtle Beach 2015
- Mayo High School for Math, Science & Technology Darlington 2013
- Midland Elementary School Galivants Ferry 2009
- Myrtle Beach Intermediate School Myrtle Beach 2015
- Pate Elementary School Darlington 2004
- Royall Elementary School Florence 2014
- St. Andrew Catholic School Myrtle Beach 2005
- St. James Middle School Surfside Beach 1994-96
- Socastee Elementary School Myrtle Beach 2014
- Socastee High School Myrtle Beach 1990-91