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Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence (BJACE) named Palmetto’s Finest


Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Image of Jasper County and Beaufort County School District logos

COLUMBIA, SC – Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence (BJACE), also known as ACE, has been named a 2024 Palmetto’s Finest School. This recognition underscores the outstanding achievements of BJACE, its leaders, educators, students, and business partners.

Teachers, school supporters, and education leaders from around the state tuned into SCETV on Tuesday, April 23, to learn which four schools across the state would take the top honors. The schools underwent an intensive application process requiring self-evaluation, peer review, and two on-site examinations. The application and visits verified evidence of exceptional student achievement, instructional programs, professional learning communities, and school culture.

BJACE serves more than 350 students from eight high schools in Beaufort and Jasper counties. Established in 1975, BJACE has been pivotal in career and technical education (CTE) in the Lowcountry. Offering 13 Career and Technical Education programs programs, each leading to recognized industry certifications, BJACE ensures students’ readiness for college and careers. Over the past two years, 100% of students attending BJACE return to their high schools “college and career ready.” In addition, ACE offers free dual-enrollment course options in both CTE and ELA. Each year, its students compete regularly, winning numerous Skills USA state championships. With a student-centered approach and a dedicated staff, ACE has an impact on its community with an extensive alumni network and graduates thriving in professional settings throughout the Lowcountry and beyond. 

"It is such a great accomplishment for BJACE to be named 2024 Palmetto's Finest,” said Jasper County Superintendent, Dr. Rechel Anderson. “Congratulations to all who work tirelessly to ensure that the scholars of Beaufort and Jasper are afforded an opportunity to embrace the many academic career pathways that lead to endless career opportunities. I look forward to watching BJACE continue to soar!"

Dr. Michael Lovecchio, BJACE principal, expressed appreciation, saying, "I speak on behalf of the BJACE students, faculty, and staff, expressing our gratitude and humility upon being named a Palmetto's Finest school. This achievement not only highlights the excellence at BJACE but also underscores the collaborative spirit shared by Beaufort and Jasper Counties, our eight feeder high schools, and the unwavering support of two dedicated superintendents and school boards."

Beaufort County School District Superintendent, Dr. Frank Rodriguez, appreciates the dedicated focus BJACE students exhibit, "Every semester I meet with students from BJACE and am always so impressed with their maturity, future plans, and skills and talents. They are the best example of why BJACE is so deserving of this recognition."

“The Palmetto’s Finest award winners exemplify innovation across South Carolina,” said Beth Phibbs, South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) executive director. “They set the standard of excellence by cultivating vibrant school environments with high expectations and providing numerous opportunities for academic enrichment.”

SCASA is the professional organization for school leaders in South Carolina, with a membership of more than 5,400. From professional development opportunities and research, to publications and legislative advocacy, SCASA’s focus is to support school leaders in providing the best possible education for South Carolina’s young people. As a state affiliate of three national associations for school leaders, SCASA also works on the national level.

Supporting video footage:

Supporting photos of ACE: Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence - Google Drive

To schedule an interview with BJACE, please reach out to JCSD Public Information Officer, Travis Washington, at or BCSD Communications Officer, Candace Bruder, at