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Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award 2011


First Annual Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSCTM Award for Excellence

South Carolina Archives and History Center, Columbia, SC
October 26, 2011 at 4:30 p.m.

Congratulations to SC Teaching Fellows, winner of the $10,000 Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award for Excellence!  In the rigorous screening process, Teaching Fellows scored highest in three of the four areas rated (research; evaluation; maximization of resources; and sustainability & replicability). Many thanks to BB&T for their generous sponsorship of the award.

We also congratulate our two finalists: American Reading Company's 100 Book Challenge at Clinton Elementary School in Lancaster and the Reading Recovery Training Center at Clemson University . These two outstanding programs received $1000 awards provided by the Riley Institute.


Finalists were selected from ten semi-finalists, who include:

Honoring highly effective education initiatives in South Carolina

The Riley Institute at Furman and South Carolina Future Minds partnered to present the first annual Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award for Excellence to an outstanding education initiative in South Carolina. Candidates were selected from initiatives in the Riley Institute’s WhatWorksSC clearinghouse, a web-based resource for educators, students, the community and policy makers.  A $10,000 cash prize will be awarded for enhancement of the winning program.

The winner was announced and the award presented as the culminating event of the annual South Carolina Public Education Partners meeting on October 26th at the SC Archives and History Center in Columbia. Three finalists were highlighted prior to the announcement of the winner.

A confidential, non-partisan selection committee consisted of representatives from the South Carolina State Board of Education, a major South Carolina-based corporation, a South Carolina institution of higher education, and a representative from each of two highly-regarded national education foundations. Initiatives considered for the Dick andTunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award for Excellence showed convincing data concerning program effectiveness.


WhatWorksSC ties strategies for world-class schools in South Carolina to promising in-state initiatives, and includes policy papers written by state leaders, case studies and an evolving clearinghouse of initiatives that explore and exemplify key strategies for improving South Carolina’s public schools. WWSC is continually seeking information about exemplary education initiatives and welcomes ongoing nominations for consideration for succeeding year’s awards.

Creation of WWSCTM was driven by “In Their Own Words: A Public Vision for Educational Excellence in South Carolina.” This study, the largest ever done in South Carolina and unique nationally, details key strategies for creating world-class schools in South Carolina, derived from 3000 focus group hours with more than 800 stakeholders.

It was conducted by the Riley Institute in 2005 and 2006 with funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Press Coverage

Pre-Event Press Coverage:  The StateWashington ExaminerNews 4, Charleston, SCAiken StandardCharlotte ObserverFox Carolina, Greenville, SC (this story hit a number of outlets, and this is a sampling)

Post-Event Press Coverage: Lake Wylie PilotThe Post and CourierCERRAEducation Week TeacherThe Republic

Many thanks to our co-presenters, South Carolina State Board of Education and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, and for the generous support from the award sponsor BB&T, SCASA/Colonial Life, Childs & Halligan, P.A. and SCETV.