WEST COLUMBIA, SC -- Lexington Two Superintendent William B. James Jr. has announced his plans to retire at the end of the 2020-21 school year. James was hired as the district’s superintendent in 2015.
The Lexington Two School Board, at a special-called workshop on March 12, approved contracting with the South Carolina School Boards Association to begin the search for a new superintendent.
“Lexington Two has been, and always will be, a special place to me” James said. “I began here as a principal at Airport High School, and I have been given the privilege of ending my career as superintendent. I look forward to the upcoming year as we finish projects and transition to new leadership in the 2021-22 school year.”
Under James’ leadership, the district became the first to launch the Early College and career pathways programs, in partnership with Midlands Technical College, allowing students to earn an Associate degree, college credit and professional certifications while still in high school. Participation in dual enrollment and AP courses also has increased, and Class of 2019 graduates earned the highest overall scholarship total ever -- more than $17.4 million.
Lexington Two ranks among the top 10 SC public school districts earning the highest average scores on the SAT college-entrance exam, outperforming both state and national averages. The average is 25 points higher than the district average in 2018. Lexington Two’s graduation rate among non-economically disadvantaged students bests the state average, at 94.8 percent. Among Lexington Two’s schools are National Schools to Watch, Palmetto Silver and National Blue Ribbon Award winners, a state-of-the-art Innovation Center for college and career readiness programs, and an award-winning adult education program.
During James’ tenure, the district has opened three new schools and upgraded all others, including athletic facilities, as part of a voter-approved, $225 million construction program. The construction project is in its final phase, with planning under way for a district-wide performing arts center. James has promoted balanced budgets every year in the district, and Lexington Two’s financial operations have received the best audit results in recent years, with unmodified audit opinions annually.
James has worked to build strong partnerships with community and business organizations in an effort to bring more resources to local schools and students. This has resulted in an increase of “extras” for training and educational donations, as well as new internship and job opportunities for students. James’ strong community partnerships also have secured School Resource Officers for all Lexington Two schools.
James was named as one of three finalists for the 2019 Superintendent of the Year Award from the South Carolina Association of School Administrators and was previously named Administrator of the Year for the SC Association of Educational Office Professionals. His professional memberships include Midlands Educational Business Alliance, SC Association of School Administrators, Midlands Superintendent Consortium (chairman, 2017), Midlands Technical College Advisory and American Association of School Administrators.
The Superintendent-elect is expected to begin on July 1, 2020, becoming Superintendent on July 1, 2021. Candidates are requested to submit all application materials electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 20.
Note: A survey is available for teachers, staff, parents, students and community members to take, allowing for input on the search. Find it at https://www.surveymonkey.com/