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Horry County's Loris Middle School defeated Beaufort Middle School to earn the title of "Palmetto's Finest" in a statewide contest to honor outstanding schools, educators from across the state learned at a ceremony Tuesday in Columbia.
Beaufort Middle School was one of three middle schools named finalists for this year's Carolina First Palmetto's Finest Schools Awards. The third was Kelly Mill Middle School in Richland County.
In an email to school district leadership and county Board of Education members, Superintendent Valerie Truesdale praised Beaufort Middle's "valiant effort" .
"Congratulations to all the staff, parents and students at BMS who did a fabulous job in becoming a finalist for the best in the state," she wrote.
The S.C. Association of School Administrators has given the awards annually since 1978. It recognizes two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school that offer excellent instruction and outstanding leadership, augmented by strong family, community and business involvement, according to the association's website.
Carole Ingram, principal of Beaufort Middle School, said she's proud the school earned finalist standing.
"We're one of the three best in the state, and we'll sure take that," she said.
Ingram said she looks forward to receiving feedback and suggestions for improvement from the expert educators who evaluated the school to see how it compares with others across the state.
"We're continuous learners," Ingram said, adding she and her staff hope to compete for the award again next year.