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Pair of Burke scholars honored for performance in college courses

Charleston, SC – Burke High School is proud to announce Janiya Gowans  and Leyna Stock were recently named to the Honor Society of the National  Educational Equity Lab (also known as the Ed Equity Lab), which is a non profit that works to bridge the gap between high school and college for  students from low-income communities. Gowans and Stock, both juniors,  finished in the top 20 percent (academically) of all scholars nationwide  taking dual credit Ed Equity Lab courses from prestigious colleges and  universities throughout the country.

Burke’s partnership with the Ed Equity Lab began in the fall of the current  school year; Burke is the only school in Charleston County School District with this opportunity. Burke’s first semester began with two courses, Poetry  in America (Arizona State University/Harvard University) and Cloud  Foundations (Arizona State University). A total of 32 students were enrolled  in the courses and, according to Executive Principal Cheryl Swinton, had  tremendous success.  

“This recognition affirms the academic capacity of our scholars when given  opportunity and access,” said Swinton. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to  partner with the National Education Equity Lab and we look forward to  expanding this opportunity to more of our scholars next year.” 

Stock received recognition for being in the top 15 percent of scholars  nationwide and Gowans received recognition for being in the top 20 percent  of scholars nationwide. They were honored at a virtual ceremony on  January 31, 2023. The event featured university professors, high school  teachers and administrators, district leaders, National Ed Equity Lab board members, and CEO Leslie Cornfeld. 

“These scholars’ success in rigorous college courses reinforces the fact that  talent is evenly distributed, opportunity is not,” explained Cornfield. “We  

aim to change that. Talented students from under-resourced high schools belong  in the best matched schools for them, including our nation’s top universities.  Together with our high school and university partners, we’re empowering  thousands of talented students around the country to show what they’re capable  of, and to build the skills, credentials, and the confidence to succeed in higher  education and beyond.” 

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, an Ed Equity Lab board member,  called this effort “game-changing” for students.  

“Democratizing access to higher education in our nation has never been more  critical,” added Duncan. “Efforts like this help us do just that.” 

Students at Burke are participating in more classes through the Ed Equity Lab this  semester: Western Way of War from Princeton University and Education of a Black  Girl from Spelman College. 

For additional information the Ed Equity Lab courses at Burke, contact Cheryl  Swinton at (843) 579-4815. 



About the Charleston County School District 

Charleston County School District (CCSD) is a nationally accredited school district committed to providing  equitable and quality educational opportunities for all of its students. CCSD is the second-largest school system in  South Carolina and represents a unique blend of urban, suburban, and rural schools spanning 1,300 square miles  along the coast. CCSD serves approximately 49,000 students in 88 schools and specialized programs. 

CCSD offers a diverse, expanding portfolio of options and specialized programs, delivered through neighborhood,  magnet, IB (international baccalaureate), Montessori, and charter schools. Options include programs in science,  technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); music and other creative and performing arts; career and  technical preparation programs; and military.