South Carolina Superintendent of the Year and District Administrator of the Year announced

May 6, 2024

Beaufort County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Frank Rodriguez, has been named the 2025 South Carolina Superintendent of the Year, and Lexington-Richland District Five Director of Human Resources, Dr. Reggie Wicker, has been named the 2025 South Carolina District Level Administrator of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA).

Dr. Rodriguez is an active member of the SCASA Superintendents’ Affiliate and has made a tremendous impact in Beaufort County through his exceptional leadership, communication skills, and student-focused initiatives. His innovative community engagement programs helped address pandemic learning loss—resulting in the district’s best-ever ELA scores that surpassed pre-pandemic levels. Dr. Rodriguez fostered trust through initiatives like the Citizen-Led Oversight Committee to monitor bond spending, contributing to voters overwhelmingly approving the district’s largest ever bond referendum in 2023.

“Dr. Rodriguez is so deserving of this honor. I have seen firsthand what a hardworking, personable, and excellent leader he is,” said Dr. Christina Gwozdz, Beaufort County Board of Education Chair. “His ability to connect with the community and district employees is amazing. And no matter what, he always strives to ensure our students are challenged scholastically so they can meet success in their academic careers and life. It’s been an honor to work with him in my role as Board Chair as we moved very important initiatives forward that benefit our entire county, such as two overwhelmingly successful referendums and increasing our teacher pay to the top in the state.

Elizabeth “Beth” A. Phibbs, Executive Director of SCASA, states, “In addition to his impactful initiatives around retaining top talent, mitigating pandemic learning loss, and securing record-breaking bond funding, Dr. Rodriguez has made remarkable strides in enhancing communication and stakeholder engagement. Dr. Rodriguez is well-respected among his colleagues, and we are delighted to honor him as the 2025 South Carolina Superintendent of the Year.”

The other finalist for the award was York District Two (Clover School District) Superintendent, Dr. Sheila Quinn. Candidates participated in an application and interview process conducted by a team of South Carolina business, education, and community leaders. This rigorous application and interview process has led to national recognition for many statewide winners in recent years.

Director of Human Resources for Lexington-Richland District Five, Dr. Reggie Wicker, was named District Level Administrator of the Year by SCASA. Dr. Wicker is an active member of SCASA, and he received the prestigious Phil Acord Award from the Southern Early Childhood Association recognizing his outstanding contributions to early childhood education across the South. Dr. Wicker has shown exceptional leadership in addressing regional and statewide educational challenges. He implemented innovative initiatives like the Call Me MISTER Summer Internship program to increase teacher diversity and recruit teachers to the district and partnered with Columbia College’s Alternative Pathways to Educator Certification program to transition classified staff into certified teaching roles. Thanks to Dr. Wicker’s proactive strategies, the district has consistently held a low number of teacher vacancies.

“In his role as Lexington-Richland District Five’s Director of Human Resources, Dr. Reggie Wicker is a dedicated advocate for children and families beyond his role in the district,” said SCASA Executive Director Beth Phibbs. “He actively engages in local career day events to raise awareness of education-related issues and works with the community to contribute to the long-term sustainability of the district’s teaching workforce. We are thrilled that he has been named SCASA’s 2025 District Level Administrator of the Year.”

Superintendent of Lexington-Richland District Five, Dr. Akil Ross, continued “Dr. Wicker is a leader of leaders. His inspiring story of overcoming life’s challenges serves as a reminder of the power that education and community has to transform a person’s life for the better. Providing each child a strong educational community is Dr. Wicker’s passion and he works tirelessly to ensure every child in our district feels loved and is able to grow. The Lexington Richland Five community is proud of Dr. Wicker and fortunate to have him in our community.”

Dr. Rodriguez and Dr. Wicker will be recognized throughout the year for their accomplishments. Moseley Architects supports both awards by providing a scholarship to each winner to be used to assist a student or teacher with professional development or college courses.

SCASA is the professional organization for school leaders in South Carolina, with a membership of more than 5,400. 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.