LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - During Monday evening's Lexington-Richland School District 5 board meeting, their leader announced that he would retire at the end of the school year.
Dr. Stephen Hefner read a statement during the meeting, stating he would retire at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.
He has served as the District 5 superintendent since January 2011.
"Serving as superintendent of District Five is an honor of the highest order," Hefner said. "I love public education, and I love this job. I have been blessed beyond measure. After 24 years as a superintendent, I believe that it is time for me to move on to the next season of my life."
The school district says Hefner has helped school leaders secure multimillion-dollar federal Magnet School Assistance Program (MSAP) grants, including a $10.3 million grant in 2013 and $13.7 million grant announced last month. The district's academic accolades also continued under his leadership, including top ratings, leading test scores and consecutive No. 1 school district rankings by Niche.com.
Among his many achievements, Hefner has received the "Friend of Gifted Education" Award from the S. C. Consortium for Gifted/Talented Education in 1995 and 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. In 2015, he became the only superintendent in South Carolina history to receive the South Carolina Association of School Administrators Superintendent of the Year award twice.
"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 for students and parents, and improving the safety and security of our schools," District Five School Board Chairman Robert Gantt said. "He will be sorely missed, but his legacy will last for many years to come."