Palmetto's Finest


Palmetto's Finest Schools

Each spring since 1978, SCASA has recognized a few schools which offer excellent instruction and outstanding leaders, augmented by strong family and community involvement and a supportive business community.

Initially presented only to two elementary schools and one middle school, the award was expanded in 1996-97, with the support of Carolina First Bank, to include a high school.

The selection process includes a comprehensive review of a school's program, focusing on the key question: "What impact is this school making on the lives of students and the community, and is it deserving of the Palmetto's Finest Award?"

2023-24 Timeline

  • To be eligible to apply, the principal must be a member of SCASA, and must have been principal in the applicant school for the entire previous two school years. The school's state accreditation must be in good standing. Winning principals must be able to serve on the Palmetto's Finest Selection Committee for future awards.
  • Application Deadline: October 9, 2023 by 11:59 p.m. NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • Email applications to All emailed applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. on October 9, 2023.
  • Independent readers evaluate applications and recommend semifinalist schools for initial site visits. Members of the SCASA Palmetto's Finest Awards Committee visit the schools.
  • Finalist schools are selected and notified. Awards committee members return for a second site visit.
  • April 2024 Palmetto's Finest Announcement - The Palmetto's Finest announcement will be announced remotely from SC ETV.  Finalists will watch the announcement from their schools via live streaming. All finalists receive statewide recognition and a plaque. The four or five winners also receive a "Palmetto's Finest School" banner, bumper stickers for all their staff members, and a Palmetto's Finest ring for the principal.
  • Click on the following link to download the application:​


2022-23 Winners

  • Lake Murray Elementary School, Lexington School District 1
  • Lake Murray Elementary School, Lexington-Richland District 5
  • John W. Moore Middle School, Florence School District 1
  • Woodmont High School, Greenville County Schools
  • Southwood Academy of the Arts, Anderson School District 5

Palmetto's Finest Winners Since 1978