Hammond Hill finalist for state award

Eight schools around South Carolina have been chosen as finalists for the 2013 Palmetto's Finest Schools Awards, and one of them is Hammond Hill Elementary.

The awards include elements of student achievement, instructional programs, professional learning communities and school culture.

"It has been a big year for us here at Hammond Hill," Principal Janet Vaughan said. "We are extremely pleased to be selected as one of three elementary schools. We have to have something that is working right."

The school is currently celebrating its 60th anniversary. In November, Hammond Hill was named as a National Blue Ribbon recipient.

"That is the highest award a school can achieve," Vaughan said. "We are also honored to be considered for a state award that focuses on innovative programs and academic success."

The past year has also included a courtyard renovation and being featured in the Tour of Homes.

The other schools included in the nomination are Fort Dorchester Elementary, Jesse Boyd Elementary, CrossRoads Middle, Hanahan Middle, Ashley Ridge High, East Clarendon Middle/High and Marrington Middle School of the Arts.

Hammond Hill will face another round of judges who will visit each of the elementary schools. It has already been chosen as one of the top three from a narrowed-down field of 12, according to Vaughan.

The school also plans to hold an event on March 11 at 4 p.m. for parents and students in the school's cafeteria, and will feature a stream of the program where the award will be given out.