Sharon Cagle, the principal of Aiken Elementary School, said her excitement grew after reading an e-mail from the South Carolina Department of Education.
The message, which she received in late September, stated that the school had been named a national No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School of excellence.
"Everybody started running in here and I went, 'Guess what - I can't tell you' because it was embargoed information until that Friday," Ms. Cagle said.
On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett, R-S.C., will give the school a flag that flew over the nation's Capitol in recognition of its achievements.
Aiken Elementary is rated in the top 10 percent academically statewide. Many of its pupils come from lower-income families.
Ms. Cagle and Stacia Nuessle, an Aiken Elementary first-grade teacher of the year, attended a Blue Ribbon ceremony in Washington D.C.
"Our school is outstanding because of the people," Ms. Cagle said.
"The award goes to our teachers, our staff, our parents and our community. An excellent school reflects the community and we have an excellent community," she said.
Reach Nathan Dickinson at (803) 648-1395, ext. 109, or firstname.lastname@example.org.