Lexington County School District Three has a new Interim Superintendent. As of July 1st, Dr. Stephen Hefner assumed his position at the helm of the district, ready to guide the Panther Nation forward during the 2019-2020 school year or until the Board of Trustees appoints a new leader.
“I’m incredibly excited and eager to begin my work in Lexington County School District Three. Over the course of the past few weeks, I have met with numerous district staff members and plans are already in the works about how we can keep the positive momentum going during the new school year. I intend to uphold the strong educational values that are instilled in our faculty members, students, and the Batesburg-Leesville community and will do my very best to ensure that every child is being prepared in every way possible for post-graduation success,” said Dr. Hefner.
Dr. Hefner is an award-winning Superintendent who retired from Lexington-Richland School District Five in 2018 after leading the district for seven years. Prior to that, he served as Superintendent of Richland County School District Two from 1994 until 2010.
Dr. Hefner started his career in education as an English teacher in Poplar Bluff, Missouri in 1970 after earning his Bachelor’s Degree from Southeast Missouri State College. After serving for several years in the United States Army as a Chaplain Assistant, Dr. Hefner went on to earn his Master’s Degree in Counselor Education from the University of South Carolina in 1974 and his Doctor of Education Degree in Educational Administration from USC in 1985.
Dr. Hefner has received numerous awards and distinctions during his nearly five-decades-long career in education. In 2002 and 2016, Dr. Hefner was named as the Superintendent of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, becoming the first person in South Carolina history to receive the prestigious award twice. He was also awarded the Order of the Palmetto in 2009, which is the highest civilian honor that an individual can receive in the state of South Carolina.
Other notable honors from Dr. Hefner’s long list of achievements and accolades include
● Outstanding Educator of the Year Award from the South Carolina Association for
Supervision and Curriculum Development in 1997
● Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of South Carolina College of
Education in 2006
● Palmetto Pillar Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Technology
from the Greater Columbia (SC) Chamber of Commerce and the Information
Technology Council in 2007
● Community Champion Award from the United Way of the Midlands in 2010
● Commander’s Award for Public Service from the U.S. Department of the Army in
● William B. Harley Administrator of the Year Award from the South Carolina
Association of School Administrators in 2010
● Outstanding School Superintendent Award from the South Carolina Career and
Technology Education Administrators Association in 2015
● Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce in
Dr. Hefner is an active member of the community, having served on the Palmetto Health
Baptist Parkridge Hospital Advisory Board, the National Council for Learning and Civic
Engagement Executive Board, and the American Association of School Administrators
Governing Board. He is a member of Riverland Hills Baptist Church in Irmo.
Dr. Hefner and his wife, Lana, who is also a retired educator, have been married for more than 46 years. They have two daughters, Megan and Channing. Megan and her husband, Chris, live in Columbia. Channing and her husband, Blake, live in Chapin and have two daughters, Reagan (age 6) and Ellis (age 2).