LCSD 56 Superintendent Selected for Lifetime Achievement Award

June 30, 2022

Four school leaders from across the state have been selected by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) as 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award winners. This year, Mr. Timothy Hopkins, Deputy Superintendent for Kershaw County Schools; Dr. David O’Shields, Superintendent of Laurens District 56; Dr. Kappy Steck, former Principal of Forest Lake Elementary in Richland School District Two; and the Honorable Molly Spearman, South Carolina Superintendent of Education, were all selected to receive this award for their contributions to education in South Carolina.

Each year SCASA selects exemplars of educational leadership to receive the SCASA Lifetime Achievement Award. These leaders have dedicated their lives to educating South Carolina’s children, serving their communities, and providing an example for those who aspire to lead.

Dr. David O’Shields has spent 40 years in education as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, district administrator, and superintendent. After receiving his bachelor’s degree and Master of Arts in Teaching, Dr. O’Shields taught history and French. For the last 38 years, Dr. O’Shields served the district in which he was raised and graduated high school, Laurens School District 56. While serving as assistant principal, principal, and director of student accountability, he earned a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a PhD in Educational Leadership. He went on to be named the first director of human resources for the district and subsequently interim superintendent and superintendent.

He has been an active member of SCASA for many years, serving in various groups, including the Personnel and the Superintendents’ Affiliates where he currently serves as president-elect. In addition, he has been very active in the Western Piedmont Education Consortium, serving in the Superintendent’s Group since 2009 and as Board Chair. He was recently appointed as the 8th circuit representative on the State Board of Education.

Under his direction the district and its schools have received many awards, including Flagship School of Promise, Red Carpet School Award, and TAP National District of the Year. The district’s 4K Center recently received the highest score in the state on its COGNIA accreditation. He is also a recipient of the Milken Educator Award.

Despite the extensive responsibilities of his role as superintendent, Dr O’Shields has always stayed directly involved with the students of the district. He has actively coached the Science Olympiad and Academic teams, who have won many state and national awards. For the past several years he has taught AP classes at Clinton High School. He cares greatly for the students of the district, and through his constant involvement, the students know him and know he is an advocate for them.

The Lifetime Achievement Award selection committee uses the following criteria to choose the award recipients:

  • evidence of outstanding leadership as an educational administrator,
  • a record of service and leadership as a member of SCASA and its affiliates,
  • community service not directly related to the education profession, and
  • service to the profession above and beyond normal job responsibilities.

Mr. Hopkins, Dr. O’Shields, Dr. Steck, and Superintendent Spearman were honored on Wednesday, June 22, during a presentation to over 1,700 school leaders as part of the closing ceremony of the 2022 Innovative Ideas Institute, SCASA’s annual conference. Each winner received a commemorative plaque presented by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators and a ring presented by Herff Jones.

SCASA is the professional organization for school leaders in South Carolina, with a membership of more than 4,900. From leadership development opportunities and research to publications and legislative advocacy, SCASA’s focus is to support school leaders in providing the best possible education for South Carolina’s young people. As a state affiliate of three national associations for school leaders, SCASA also works on the national level.