Posted on Thursday, May 7th, 2015 at 8:36 pm.
IRMO – Lexington-Richland School District Five Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hefner has been named state Superintendent of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA).
Hefner will now compete for the 2016 National Superintendent of the Year award sponsored by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), Aramark and VALIC. Hefner also won the SCASA Superintendent of the Year award in 2012, making him the only superintendent in South Carolina history to earn the honor twice.
“Dr. Hefner is a proven leader and consummate professional,” said Elizabeth “Beth” A. Phibbs, Executive Director of SCASA. “His vision to transform Lexington-Richland School District Five into a nationally and internationally recognized school district is providing unique learning opportunities for his students. He is highly respected in his community and among his peers. We are delighted that he has been chosen for this honor.”
After earning his bachelor’s degree at Southeast Missouri State College, Hefner began his career in education as a high school teacher in his home state of Missouri. He earned a master’s degree and his doctorate from the University of South Carolina. In 1974, he began work as a guidance counselor at Spring Valley High School. In 1994, he was named superintendent of Richland School District Two, where he served until 2010. He became superintendent of Lexington-Richland School District Five in January 2011.
Hefner has received numerous honors during his career in education, including the “Friend of Gifted Education” Award from the S. C. Consortium for Gifted/Talented Education in 1995 and the Educator of the Year award by the S.C. Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development in 1997. He was honored as “Distinguished Citizen of the Year” in 2003 by the local Boy Scouts of America organization. In 2009, Hefner received the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in the state of South Carolina. He was named South Carolina Athletic Administrators Association (SCAAA) Outstanding Superintendent in 2014.
District Five School Board Chairman Beth Hutchison said, “Dr. Hefner is a visionary who is completely focused on improving public schools so that they can best serve our children. He is constantly seeking new and better ways to educate and serve our students. Under his inspiring leadership, District Five has enhanced its legacy of academic excellence, while building new schools, establishing a national model for career-focused education, creating choice (options) for students and parents, and improving the safety and security of our schools…He is truly deserving of the SCASA Superintendent of the Year award.”