News release: Dick and Tunky Riley education award finalists selected

Katie Quine
Marketing and Communications Manager
The Riley Institute at Furman University



Riley Institute to announce winner in virtual celebration October 6th

GREENVILLE, S.C.—Three South Carolina initiatives supporting public education are being recognized for their effectiveness in improving student outcomes. The Alternative Pathways to Educator Certification program, Monaview MAGIC Initiative, and Spartanburg First Steps/Quality Counts have been named finalists for the 10th annual Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award.

Presented by Furman University’s Riley Institute, the WhatWorksSC Award ceremony is one of the biggest celebrations of public education in the state and will take place virtually this year on October 6. The winner will be announced by former U.S. Secretary of Education and S.C. Governor Richard W. Riley.

More about the 2020 Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award finalists:

  • Spartanburg First Steps/Quality Counts (Spartanburg) creates high-quality learning environments and promotes best practices for teachers that help prepare students for success in school and life. By providing targeted professional development, mentorship and coaching, and nationally recognized assessments, Spartanburg First Steps/Quality Counts lays the foundation for continuous improvement.
  • Alternative Pathways to Educator Certification (APEC) Program (Columbia) recruits, prepares, and retains quality teachers in critical-need schools and districts in South Carolina. The Columbia College program offers an innovative certification alternative that incorporates a year-long teacher residency with compensation, mentoring, and graduate coursework.
  • Monaview MAGIC Initiative (Greenville) fosters social, emotional, and educational growth in students by equipping families with resources and knowledge that help them thrive. Monaview Elementary School students enrolled in the program receive targeted math and reading instruction, are taught organizational skills, and participate in activities that promote overall wellbeing.These programs were selected from a large pool of entries based on effectiveness as evidenced by their research, resource allocation, and sustainability by a committee of corporate leaders and education experts. The winner will be awarded a $10,000 cash prize, and the two finalists will receive $1,000 each. All will become members of the Riley Institute’s WhatWorksSC Clearinghouse, an online resource that collects and shares key strategies for improving South Carolina’s public schools, and be featured on South Carolina ETV’s, which compiles thousands of media resources for teachers and students from pre-K through 12th grade.
  • The live Zoom event will take place on Tuesday, October 6 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend this celebration of demonstrated excellence in South Carolina public education. Register by visiting

    The Riley Institute would like to thank the following WhatWorksSC 2020 sponsors for their generous support: South Carolina Association of School Administrators, South Carolina Education Association, South Carolina School Boards Association, the South Carolina Afterschool Alliance, and South Carolina ETV. This event is also made possible with support from the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee.

    For more information, contact Katie Quine at 864.294.3368 or email

    About the Riley Institute at Furman University

    Furman University’s Richard W. Riley Institute broadens student and community perspectives about issues critical to South Carolina’s progress. It builds and engages present and future leaders, creates and shares data-supported information about the state’s core challenges, and links the leadership body to sustainable solutions. It is committed to nonpartisanship in all it does and to a rhetoric-free, facts-based approach to change. Learn more at