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School Earns 'Excellent' In State Report Card

Tue, 10/10/2023

McCORMICK COUNTY – In only its third full year in operation, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Agriculture at John de la Howe earned an “Excellent” rating in the latest round of School Report Cards released Tuesday by the South Carolina Department of Education and the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee.

The school collected a score of 98 out of a possible 100 points. The Report Cards highlight student performance information and other elements of school quality and effectiveness for the 2022-2023 school year.

“All of the praise and honor goes to our amazing students, parents, faculty, staff, Board of Trustees, Foundation Board, Alumni Board, Members of the SC General Assembly, and last but not least, Principal Greg Thompson,” said Dr. Timothy Keown, president of the S.C. Governor’s School for Agriculture. “Without each of those groups working collaboratively, a school rating of 98 would not have been possible in only three short years within our new mission. This rating is proof of the quality of education our students are receiving from our ultra-talented faculty. We have had many reasons to celebrate over the last few years, but this is the pinnacle of success for our school thus far!”

According to the State Report Card, 95.8 percent of graduates at the S.C. Governor’s School for Agriculture completed their secondary educational careers “college or career ready.” In addition, the school earned an “Excellent” rating for school climate, which gauges teacher and student perceptions of instructional focus, safety and working conditions at the school campus. The school’s 100 percent graduation rate also helped earn the school an “Excellent” rating.

Statewide, 22.5 percent of schools received an overall rating “Excellent,” the highest rating in the state’s education accountability system. That represents an almost two percent increase from the previous year.

The State Report Cards were released during an event at Kelly Edwards Elementary School in Williston, located in Barnwell County.

“One of the greatest joys of this job is visiting schools like Kelly Edwards Elementary, to see firsthand how strong principal leadership – paired with high-quality curriculum and professional development for teachers – is building a culture of academic achievement and proving that all students can attain excellence,” said State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver. “The faculty, staff, and students at Kelly Edwards are living proof of the progress that is possible with a clear vision and alignment of resources around what matters most: student success.”

Looking ahead to the future, Superintendent Weaver said “we must redouble our efforts to support early literacy using the Science of Reading, a strategy that we already see showing strong promise in SC’s ELA scores. We must also focus the same attention on boosting effective math materials and instruction. Our students will never get a second chance at their education, and our urgent priority must be equipping them with the foundational skills they need for success in school and life.”

The full reports for all schools are available online at