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Moore Middle School named top school in SC

The students and staff at John W. Moore Middle School had plenty of reason to celebrate Wednesday afternoon: the school was named Palmetto’s Finest. Moore received this prestigious award from the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA).


To be considered for the award, schools submitted an extensive application, where things like student achievement, instructional programs, school culture and professional learning community were evaluated. They also received an onsite visit from the Palmetto’s Finest committee; the ten finalists announced in January, including Mooore, received a second onsite visit from the committee.


Moore was the only middle school finalist in the Secondary Category, beating several prominent high schools to bring home the award.


Principal April Leroy and some of her staff gathered in the school media center to watch the live-streamed announcement while teachers and students watched with them from their classrooms via Google Meets. Afterward, cheers could be heard all over the school as Leroy visited the 6th, 7th and 8th-grade hallways with a megaphone, celebrating the achievement with her students.


“We are thrilled for the recognition of being named a Palmetto’s Finest School,” Leroy said. “I am incredibly proud to work alongside our amazing staff. The time, effort, and dedication they pour into our students daily is invaluable.  The students of Moore are truly Palmetto’s Finest because they are proud and invested in their education. I know John W. Moore Middle School is a special place and this award is evidence of the positive culture and strong community we have created. We will continue to strive for academic excellence and are honored to be part of Florence One Schools.”


F1S Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools Greg Hall was on hand at Moore to watch the live-streamed ceremony.


“I am so proud of Ms. Leroy, the staff, and the students of Moore Middle School for earning the Palmetto’s Finest award,” Hall said. “This recognition rewards all of the hard work they have done and continue to do. I can’t agree more that John W. Moore Middle School is the best in the state!”

A release from SCASA noted that, “Moore’s vision is to develop well-rounded critical thinkers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) to create productive, responsible citizens who are prepared to succeed in an evolving society.”


SCASA said the winning schools “are models of innovation throughout our state—they set the standard of excellence by creating an outstanding school culture which includes setting high expectations and providing numerous opportunities for leadership.”


A recording of the live-streamed ceremony can be viewed at