Public schools in Memphis, Nashville and Trousdale County were honored Monday evening as winners of the fifth annual SCORE Prize for being leaders in student learning in Tennessee.

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education, also known as SCORE, presented top awards to:

  • Delano Optional School, a technology focus school in Shelby County Schools, in the elementary school category;
  • New Vision Academy, a charter school in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, in the middle school category;
  • The Soulsville Charter School, part of Shelby County Schools, in the high school category;
  • Trousdale County Schools, in Middle Tennessee, in the district category.

The SCORE Prize awards $10,000 to each school winner and $25,000 to the district winner.

Nearly 1,500 people attended the awards event, hosted by SCORE founder and chairman former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist, at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.

Nine schools and three districts were selected as finalists based on student achievement data and site visits.

“The SCORE Prize winners and finalists demonstrate that success is possible in settings as diverse as our state — rural, urban and suburban; large and small; magnet, charter and traditional public schools,” SCORE President and CEO Jamie Woodson said. “The true winners are the students who are seeing academic success because their teachers and school leaders hold high expectations, while their parents, families and communities support them.”

SCORE also presented $1,000 scholarships to Anderson County fifth-grader Nicholas Reynolds, Johnson City sixth-grader Yeleeya Li, and Tipton County senior Weston Downing for their essays or video entries describing how one of their teachers helped them overcome an academic challenge.