IRMO, S.C. — Dutch Fork High School has been named one of seven finalists for the 2020 Palmetto's Finest School Award. 

This prestigious title is given to SC schools after extensive evaluations from other educations and former Palmetto's Finest winners by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators

"We're excited about that," the school's principal Dr. Gerald Gary said, "We are excited whenever an external group of educators come in and take a look at our school and give us some feedback so we are excited about the process."

Dutch Fork is one of three Midlands schools nominated this year and one of two high schools. 

"I don't know too much about the other finalists but I know Dutch Fork is a great school, great supportive community, parents, great students, great teachers," Dr. Gary said, "Our senior class just finished winning the fourth consecutive football state championship. Last year we were 2019 baseball state championship winners. Our STEM program is top 25 in the country. We just had two students, Lauren Chen and Caitlin Kunchur be recognized as in the top 40 scientists in the country so... outstanding."

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In order to be considered for this award, schools must submit a 20-page application and undergo an on-site exam from a review committee. They have had one already and will have another now that they are finalists. 

"We just think we have the total package. Lots of schools have great academics and great athletics but we've got academics, we've got athletics, we've got fine arts, we've got culture, we've got a supporting community, super board, superintendent and leadership," Dr. Gary said, "we just think we're the entire package." 

Winners will be announced on March 24.

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