Kershaw School Leader Selected for Lifetime Achievement Award
June 30, 2022
Columbia, SC—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.
Mr. Timothy Hopkins began his career as an admissions counselor in higher education 38 years ago. Upon completing his bachelor's degree, he worked for Winthrop College recruiting new students throughout the southeastern United States. Mr. Hopkins later transitioned to the public education system as a guidance counselor and later as an assistant administrator in Richland School District Two. He then worked as an assistant principal in York School District Three (Rock Hill) before moving to the Kershaw County School District to serve as an elementary principal. Once Mr. Hopkins arrived in Kershaw, he was promoted to hold several district leadership positions—providing instrumental support as federal programs director, executive director of instruction, and his current role of deputy superintendent.
In these roles, Mr. Hopkins managed million-dollar budgets, developed a strong knowledge base of state and federal regulations, and used his outstanding organizational skills to balance multiple job responsibilities. His expertise and experiences working with young children all the way through to high school students proved invaluable to the school district as they served the educational needs of families. During his time in the district, he made many positive impacts which include expanding the district’s early childhood development programs by increasing the number of three- and four-year-old classrooms, expanding and providing services to English Language Learners, and implementing and supervising the district’s school choice program. Under his supervision, three middle schools were named “Schools to Watch,” and three district schools were named Palmetto’s Finest schools.
Mr. Hopkins is active in the community serving on numerous boards and committees including vice-president of the South Carolina Association of School Counselors and president of the South Carolina Association of Title 1 Administrators. He has been an active member of SCASA for many years and participates in the Grant and Federal Programs, Personnel, and Instructional Leaders’ Roundtables. Mr. Hopkins has also returned to where he began his educational career as a member of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees.
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.
Caption (From Left) Margaret Peach, 2021–2022 SCASA President, Timothy Hopkins, and SCASA Executive Director Beth Phibbs.