PICKENS COUNTY, SC (FOX Carolina) Chastain Road Elementary's leader was honored with a new title on Wednesday: South Carolina Principal of the Year. 

Mrs. Jessica Patterson was selected by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) out of several fine leaders in the state. 

Pickens County Superintendent Dr. Danny Merck said Patterson has played a key role in transforming Chastain Road Elementary in her tenure as principal. 

"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," said Merck. "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!”

The criteria used in the selection are set by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. Patterson was up against Linda Norton, of Watkins-Nance Elementary in Richland. 

"She is a visionary leader whose dedication to the students, teachers, and community creates a positive climate and culture for students to succeed.”

Beth Phibbs, Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, said of Patterson. 

Patterson received her award at her school on Wednesday, December 4 surrounded by both her loved ones and school family. 

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