Staff members from the Charter Institute at Erskine traveled to Gray Collegiate Academy in West Columbia Wednesday to celebrate the school's recent accomplishment. Erskine named Gray one of its 20221-2022 Gold Schools of Excellence.

According to school officials, GCA scored in the top 25% of all South Carolina Department of Education high schools in both English and Algebra End of Course exam scores. That placed them in the Gold category for the Charter Institute at Erskine's Schools of Excellence. GCA had no average end-of-course exam scores below the 25th percentile, which made them one of the highest performing high schools in the Institute's portfolio.

"We have tasked our schools with creating high academic outcomes for students, and Gray is doing just that," said Superintendent of the Charter Institute at Erskine, Mr. Cameron Runyan.

GCA's curriculum features an innovate model where students can attend classes for one half of the school day and devote the other half to athletics, a job, or other extracurricular activities. The school is known for its dual enrollment program, allowing students to earn up to two years of college credit while still onsite in high school at no cost to students or families.

School leader Dr. Brian Newsome spoke to the students at Wednesday's award presentation. He said the award banner will be placed on the school wall as a reminder for everyone to continue pursuing greatness.

"When you look up [at the banner] you say, I know what the expectation is, to do my best today," he said.

He also mentioned the amount of growth the school has undergone in the past few years, now with 673 students and a waiting list. Newsome voiced his enthusiasm to everyone for being able to obtain the Gold School of Excellence award.

"I'm excited to accept this award on behalf of the hard work from our faculty, staff, students and administration. I'm excited to serve as principal to watch this growth firsthand. Our future is bright, and I look forward to continued success in the future."

Additional information about the School of Excellence Awards can be found on erskinecharters.org.

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