Dr. Stephen Hefner Named As Lexington Three’s Interim Superintendent

On Tuesday, May 14th, the Lexington County School District Three Board of Trustees voted to name Dr. Stephen Hefner as Interim Superintendent of the Batesburg-Leesville school system. Dr. Hefner will be replacing current Lexington Three Superintendent Dr. Randall Gary who is leaving his role at the end of June to serve as the new Superintendent of Spartanburg District Five. Dr. Hefner will assume his position in Lexington County School District Three on July 1, 2019.

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 sat at the helm of Richland County School District Two where he served as Superintendent 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 receiving the:
● 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 2010
● ​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 2018

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.

“It is indeed an honor to serve as the Interim Superintendent in Lexington District Three. Having lived and worked in the Midlands for many years, I am well aware of the District’s long history for excellence and look forward to helping maintain the District’s momentum in the year ahead,” said Dr. Hefner.

Dr. Hefner will serve as the Interim Superintendent of Lexington County School District Three for the 2019-2020 school year or until the Board of Trustees appoints a new Superintendent.

“While we are saddened to see Dr. Gary leave Lexington Three, we are extremely humbled and grateful to have someone of Dr. Hefner’s caliber step in to lead our staff and students. Dr. Gary’s work has positioned Lexington Three on the pathway of excellence and I know, without a doubt, that Dr. Hefner’s leadership experience and background will continue to move the district forward to new levels of achievement. We welcome him into the purple and gold Panther family,” said Stacey Derrick, Chair of the Lexington County School District Three Board of Trustees.

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).