March 7, 2023 - The School District of Pickens County is excited to announce that Forest Acres Elementary School has been named a Finalist for the 2023 NIET Founder’s Award. The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) announced today that Forest Acres is one of five schools that have received $10,000 as finalists for NIET’s 2023 Founder’s Award. The prestigious Founder’s Award was created by Lowell Milken in 2008 to honor one school in the United States each year for exceptional implementation of NIET’s principles to build educator excellence and advance student success. Each school will be honored during NIET’s national conference in Indianapolis on March 23, culminating in the announcement of the grand prize winner and a cash prize of $50,000 for the school.
Founder’s Award recipients are selected by NIET based on several factors, including their efforts to make instructional excellence the cornerstone of school improvement, plans for regular professional learning focused on real-time needs of teachers and students, creating a culture of collaboration and reflection, and leveraging teacher leaders to drive student growth.
"Our 2023 NIET Founder’s Award finalists come from diverse educational settings yet share one common truth: Talented educators are the foundation for student success," said NIET Founder Lowell Milken. "Each finalist announced today – Desert Thunder, Forest Acres, Dr. Lonnie Green, William Henry Burkhart and Slaughter – has created powerful environments for teachers to lead and for students to take charge of their learning. We commend these models for embodying our mission of building educator excellence to give all students the opportunity for success."
Learn more about how Forest Acres Elementary earned this honor.
Forest Acres Elementary School joins fellow finalists Desert Thunder School (Avondale Elementary School District, Arizona); William Henry Burkhart Elementary (Perry Township Schools, Indiana); Slaughter Elementary School (East Feliciana Public Schools, Louisiana); and Dr. Lonnie Green Elementary (San Felipe Del Rio CISD, Texas) in contention for the $50,000 Founder’s Award grand prize.
Group Release for all Finalists: https://www.niet.org/newsroom/show/pressrelease/Five-Schools-from-Arizona-Indiana-Louisiana-South-Carolina-and-Texas-Named-Finalists-in-Prestigious-NIET-Founders-Award
Photo Gallery: https://www.niet.org/newsroom/show/photos/Inside-the-Classrooms-of-the-2023-NIET-Founders-Award-Finalists