SC Foundation for Educational Leadership holds gala: Dr. Walter Tobin among honorees |

COLUMBIA — The South Carolina Foundation for Educational Leadership, South Carolina Association of School Administrators’ (SCASA) non-profit arm, hosted its fifth annual gala on Friday, April 22, to honor this year’s South Carolina Educator Hall of Fame inductees and the Distinguished South Carolina Public School Graduates who have excelled nationally and internationally in their respective fields.

The “South Carolina Foundation for Educational Leadership Gala: A Million Dreams” was held as a celebration of the impact of public education and how it has contributed to the achievements of the six honorees.

Educator Hall of Fame inductees:

• Annie E. Hanberry (posthumous)

A graduate of Booker T. Washington High School (Richland County), Hanberry was a lifelong educator. She was the first African American female principal in the state of South Carolina. Under her leadership, Bethel High School in Richland District 2 was among the first schools in South Carolina to receive accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

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• Dr. Stephen W. Hefner

A graduate of Qulin High School (Qulin, Missouri), Hefner served over 46 years in public education, with 36 years in the same district. He was recognized nationally by the American Association of School Administrators with the 2005 President’s Technology Award and by Magnet Schools of America with the 2018 Superintendent of the Year award.

• Dr. Walter L. Tobin

A graduate of Macedonia High School (Barnwell County), Tobin served over 50 years in public education as a teacher, counselor, principal, superintendent, and interim superintendent. He reorganized South Carolina’s adult education programs to employ full-time adult educators for improved services and access for students. Tobin is the former superintendent of Orangeburg County School District 5 and Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5, and the father of Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College President Dr. Walt Tobin.

Distinguished Public School Graduates:

• Chadwick Boseman (posthumous)

A graduate of TL Hanna High School (Anderson District 5), Boseman was an award-winning actor and playwright. He is the first African American actor to headline a Marvel Cinematic Universe film. In 2021, he was honored with a posthumous Golden Globe Award for Best Actor—Motion Picture Drama and a Screen Actors Guild Award for best actor in a lead role.

• Ainsley Earhardt

A graduate of Spring Valley High School (Richland District 2), Earhardt is the co-host of FOX News Channel’s FOX & Friends and FOX & Friends’ After the Show Show. In addition to her success as a news anchor, she is a #1 New York Times bestselling author.

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• Dr. Gerald Harmon

A graduate of Newberry High School (Newberry County Schools), Harmon is a family medicine specialist at Tidelands Health and a retired major general from the US Air Force. Before his retirement from the military, he served as chief physician for the National Guard Bureau and assistant surgeon general for the US Air Force. He currently serves as the 176th president of the American Medical Association.

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