Lexington-Richland 5 superintendent goes to head of class

Dr. Stephen Hefner
Dr. Stephen Hefner PROVIDED PHOTO

Lexington-Richland 5 Superintendent Stephen Hefner has been named state Superintendent of the Year by the S.C. Association of School Administrators.

He becomes the first superintendent in the state to receive the honor twice, after winning the award in 2002.

“Dr. Hefner is a proven leader and consummate professional,” said Elizabeth “Beth” Phibbs, executive director of SCASA. “His vision to transform Lexington-Richland School District 5 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.”

After receiving a bachelor’s degree at Southeast Missouri State College, Hefner began his education career as a high school teacher in his home state of Missouri. He received a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of South Carolina.

In 1974, he began work as a guidance counselor at Spring Valley High School and in 1994 was named superintendent of Richland 2, where he served until 2010. He became superintendent of Lexington-Richland 5 in January 2011.

Hefner will now compete for the 2016 National Superintendent of the Year award.

For the love of reading

Doby’s Mill Elementary School Principal Ginger Catoe has been named 2015 SCASL Administrator of the Year by the S.C. Association of School Librarians.

“Mrs. Catoe makes it clear that it is her expectation that all teachers and students will reap the benefits of the school library,” said Doby’s Mill Librarian Betsy Long, who nominated Catoe for the award. “It is evident that she views the biggest classroom in her school as an integral part of student learning.”

Catoe is a 14-year school administrator and is no stranger to recognition for her support of reading. In 2007, she was named Administrator of the Year by the S.C. State Council of the International Reading Association while she was the assistant principal at Doby’s Mill.

She was named S.C. Elementary School Assistant Principal of the Year by the S.C. Association of School Administrators in 2007 and Kershaw County School District Principal of the Year by her peers in 2010.

Safety first

Pine Ridge Middle School’s Resource Officer Dale Owen was named the 2014 School Resource Officer of the Year by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.

Owen has worked with the students and staff at the Lexington 2 school since 2013. In addition to his resource officer duties and assistance with school and athletics events, he founded the Pine Ridge Middle School Honor Guard, which currently has 70 members and takes part in various community service projects.