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Published on August 18th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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District Five superintendent again earns high marks on board evaluation

Pictured above; Lexington-Richland School District Five Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hefner takes a photo with students at Irmo High School after speaking with the group on leadership during an event.

IRMO – Lexington-Richland School District Five Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hefner once again earned high marks for his job performance during an open evaluation at the Monday, August 11 school board meeting.

The District Five School Board gave Hefner an overall “superior evaluation,” extending top reviews he’s received since he joined the district in 2011. As a result of Hefner’s top evaluation, the board voted unanimously to extend the superintendent’s employment contract “one year, or through June 30, 2018.”

Board Chairman Beth Watson expressed appreciation for Hefner’s vision and leadership and for all he helped accomplish during the last school year. “You are doing a wonderful job …and I hope you will stay with us a long time because the improvement and overall sense in the community about this district is just A-plus,” Watson said. “I think we are doing something great, and I want to thank you for all you give.”

Board Vice Chairman Robert Gantt said, “We are extremely proud of the fact that you are here. I think District Five is a very special place for education. I think the community is behind education. There’s a great group of parents out there, great students and we’re all somewhat laser focused on doing the right thing … I’m honored that you are here and that we get to work with you, and I hope we get to do this process many, many more times.”

Prior to the evaluation, Hefner reviewed the goals assigned by the school board for the 2013-2014 school year. He met or exceeded all of his assigned goals, including: high state and federal ratings, a continually increasing graduation rate above the national average, and multiple technology upgrades.

District Five again achieved high accolades and honors in academics, the arts, athletics, leadership and community service during the 2013-2014 school year. Achievements included an “A” rating under the federal accountability system and an “Excellent” rating on the state report card. Despite tougher standards, sixteen of the district’s schools received either Palmetto Gold or Silver awards. District Five students were state leaders on both the SAT and ACT examinations, and the graduating classes of 2014 earned nearly $120 million in scholarships including two new Carolina Scholars and eight new National Merit Scholars. District Five also expanded and enhanced choice and magnet offerings with the help of a $10.3 million federal grant, and construction upgrades at several schools progressed to provide new learning spaces for students and teachers.

Hefner said, “Clearly, I fully understand as the late great Irving Berlin said, ‘The toughest thing about success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success.’ As one of my former bosses use to say, ‘if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.’ And so, every day our goal is to get better and not go backwards … I am humbled and honored to work for you.”

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