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College of Education

Harold C. Johnson Elementary School Improvement Council named winner of 2024 Riley Award for SIC Excellence

Contact: Tom F. Hudson, Executive Director, SC School Improvement Council 803-777-7658 or

Monday, April 29, 2024

COLUMBIA – The School Improvement Council (SIC) of Harold C. Johnson Elementary School in York School District 1 has been named the recipient of the 2024 Dick and Tunky Riley Award for School Improvement Council Excellence.

The award was presented Saturday afternoon during a SC School Improvement Council (SC-SIC) awards program and luncheon at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia.

The annual Riley Award for SIC Excellence was created in 2002 to highlight the significant contributions made to public education by the 12,000 School Improvement Council members who volunteer in every public school in the state. The award is named in honor of the former SC Governor and U.S. Secretary of Education and his late wife, recognizing the couple’s longstanding commitment to quality public education.

“The Harold C. Johnson School Improvement Council has done some very important work this past year and is very deserving of this statewide recognition,” said SC-SIC Board of Trustees Chair Stewart Cooner. “The direct impact that local SICs can have makes lasting and positive change for our schools, students, families, and communities. This SIC is a splendid example of what civic engagement at work for public education can achieve.”

Among the Harold C. Johnson Elementary SIC’s efforts for 2022-23 was its work to increase parent involvement; responding to parent input to strengthen communication with families, to include sharing school news with them over multiple formats; serving as a parent advisory group during the district’s calendar creation process, including successfully advocating for a half-day dismissal for teachers to conduct parent conferences; and having SIC members participate in strategic change training to help focus future efforts.

Presented with Honorable Mentions for their work last school year were: Lake Forest Elementary SIC (Greenville County Schools); Lemira Elementary SIC (Sumter School District); Sterling School SIC (Greenville County Schools); and Stratford High SIC (Berkeley County School District).

Part of the Center for Education Partnerships within the University of South Carolina College of Education, the SC School Improvement Council (SC-SIC) was established in state law over 45 years ago to provide the member training, technical assistance, statutory accountability, and other operational resources necessary for the continued success of the community-based SICs in each of the state’s 1,110-plus K-12 public schools.

More information on SC-SIC’s programmatic efforts – and those of this and previous years’ award winning local SICs – can be found online at

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