WEST COLUMBIA, SC -- Lexington School District Two has named Jim LeBlanc as Interim Executive Director of the district’s new Performing Arts Center (L2PAC), which is slated to open next year.
LeBlanc’s appointment was recommended by Superintendent Dr. Brenda Hafner and approved during a special meeting of the Lexington Two Board of Trustees on Tuesday, January 10.
LeBlanc is a familiar face in the Lexington Two community, having served for nearly five years as principal at Saluda River Academy for the Arts – one of the district’s magnet schools and a School of Distinction in South Carolina – as well as assistant principal at Claude A. Taylor Elementary and Springdale Elementary for nearly three years. He came to Lexington Two in 2015, after teaching in Richland 1.
LeBlanc’s passion and experience in the arts is extensive, as is his network in the performing arts community. His background includes work in the front of the house, with an emphasis in music and jazz guitar performance, as well as backstage with soundboards, lighting, and tracking equipment. He was co-leader of the L2PAC Task Force that worked to support the board’s vision for the Performing Arts Center and co-facilitator of the Lexington Two Fine Arts cohort. He served as a school representative on three renovation and construction projects that were part of the recent bond referendum, leading the move back into the renovated Saluda River Academy for the Arts school building. LeBlanc works closely with Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) South Carolina and serves as a principal mentor for ABC induction principals. LeBlanc is a member of the Columbia College Advisory Board and previously served on the alumni board of the Governor’s School for the Arts. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina.
“We are very pleased to have Jim LeBlanc lead this project with our Performing Arts Center,” Dr. Hafner said. “This is a multi-faceted position that will require someone who has an understanding of our district's vision for the building, has an appreciation of the importance the arts can play in a child's education, as well as providing an exceptional venue for a variety of entertainment opportunities for our district, community, and region. I am excited to see how Mr. LeBlanc will help us lead and grow the district’s fine arts community.”
LeBlanc called his new role an “enormous opportunity.”
“I am extremely excited to promote and enhance the fine arts programming in Lexington School District Two,” LeBlanc said. “I look forward to showcasing the incredible performing arts facility and ensuring the large impact it will have for the students, staff, and the Lexington Two community.”
The Lexington Two Performing Arts Center is a state-of-the-art venue that will offer a space for performances, special events, and district-wide occasions. It will include a two-level balcony with seating for roughly 1,550, with upgraded systems in stage lighting and sound, along with dressing rooms, set storage and backstage areas to support opportunities in dance, music, theater, and more. The center’s primary mission is its use by district students, schools and employees. There will be additional opportunities for professional development, statewide conferences, conventions, and student competitions, as well as community and cultural events, as space is available.
The center, on Platt Springs Road in Springdale, is the final project of the $225 million bond referendum approved by voters in 2014. Construction is slated to be complete in early 2024.
LeBlanc will continue as Saluda River’s principal through the end of the school year, beginning his new role on July 1. The Lexington Two Performing Arts Center (L2PAC) is expected to open in early 2024.
“The arts have always had a big impact on me throughout my childhood, schooling and career,” LeBlanc said. “I am honored to be able to share the importance and value of the arts as I help lead the center and fine arts programing.”