West End Elementary Wins National Award

West End Elementary Earns National Honor!
Posted on 02/02/2021
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The National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (NAESPA) has announced that the South Carolina Department of Education has selected West End Elementary School in Easley, SC as a National ESEA Distinguished School.  West End is one of just 67 schools in the nation--and the only school in South Carolina--to earn this recognition for exceptional student achievement in 2020.

Read more about West End Elementary's award-winning work here!


The award recognizes schools who meet targets in one of three categories:

  • Category 1: Exceptional student performance and academic growth for two or more consecutive years.
  • Category 2: Closing the achievement gap between student groups for two or more consecutive years.
  • Category 3: Excellence in serving special populations of students (e.g. homeless, migrant, English learners, etc.).

West End achieved their award in Category 3.

“Our faculty and staff are honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Dr. Angie Rodgers, principal. “It speaks to our belief that all students are capable of amazing growth in the classroom. This recognition is a credit to the hard work of the entire West End community.”

"The promise of public education is that our schools provide opportunity to every child to succeed, no matter their background," said, Dr. Danny Merck, SDPC Superintendent. "This award shows that West End may keep that promise better than any school in our state. Dr. Rodgers and her team do outstanding work trying to meet the needs of every child who walks through their doors. This recognition is no surprise to those of us who have watched West End through the years."

A project of NAESPA, the National ESEA Distinguished Schools Program publicly recognizes qualifying federally funded schools for the outstanding academic achievements of their students. It highlights the efforts of schools across the country making significant improvements for their students. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) provides additional resources for vulnerable students and federal grants to state educational agencies to improve the quality of public elementary and secondary education.

The Association is a membership organization made up of State ESEA Program Administrators, and their staff from each of the states and territories, charged with managing their state federal education program. They ensure compliance with federal regulations, but more importantly work to see that all children — especially those living in economically disadvantaged conditions — have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education. NAESPA implements the National ESEA Distinguished Schools Program to highlight selected schools that have successfully used their ESEA federal funds to improve the education for all students–including economically disadvantaged students. More information about all National ESEA Distinguished Schools is available on the ESEA Network website: www.ESEAnetwork.org.