Pickens school leader named SC Elementary Principal of the Year

COLUMBIA ­— The South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) has named Jessica Patterson the 2020 South Carolina Elementary Principal of the Year.

Patterson is the principal of Chastain Road Elementary School in the School District of Pickens County.

“We are pleased to announce that Jessica Patterson has been named the SCASA Elementary Principal of the Year,” said Beth Phibbs, executive director of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators. “She is a visionary leader whose dedication to the students, teachers and community creates a positive climate and culture for students to succeed.”

“Mrs. Patterson has truly been a transformative principal at Chastain Road,” SDPC superintendent Danny Merck added. “She has led the charge to bring 3K and Montessori classes to her community, and she has been a steady influence as we begin to transition our Liberty-area schools to a primary and intermediate school model. In the midst of changes, she has guided her Title 1 school to an ‘Excellent’ report card rating and a Palmetto Silver Award. Her leadership has made a lasting impact on the Liberty community.”

Patterson was selected from an outstanding field of administrator candidates by a veteran panel of judges. The other finalist for 2020 SC Elementary Principal of the Year was Linda Norton, principal of Watkins-Nance Elementary School in Richland School District One. The criteria used in the selection of this award are set by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. The state sponsors are Horace Mann and Herff Jones.

SCASA, the professional organization for school leaders in South Carolina, has more than 4,400 members.