Barry Bolen was named as the Lexington Two interim school superintendent on May 12.
He came in when the district was putting together its budget and hiring principals for the 2022-2023 school year.
He also was also brought on to be a part of the search for the district’s new superintendent.
“When you’re hiring a superintendent, experience is invaluable,” said Bolen, who has been in education for 50 years.
Bolen served as Lexington Two superintendent for almost a decade (from 2000-2008.) He began teaching and coaching in the Sumter School District in 1972. Bolen started his career in Lexington Two in 1988 as principal of Fulmer Middle School. Bolen was also the principal of Brookland-Cayce High School and he served as Lexington Two’s assistant superintendent.
He served on the SC State Board of Education for four years and was chairman in 2018.
Bolen said because he has been a superintendent, he understands the depth of the job. He also said his connections are a benefit. “People will take my call,” Bolen said.
Last week, the Lexington Two School District Board chose Dr. Brenda Hafner as its next superintendent. She will begin her new job on July 1. To keep the transition smooth, Bolen is contracted until Sept. 1.
Bolen, who has loved Lexington Two schools since his first visit to the district, said one of his assets as interim superintendent is familiarity. “The board knows my leadership style,” he said. “There is a certain level of trust because of my history with Lexington Two.”
In addition to hiring the superintendent, Bolen said finding principals is an important task that needs addressing in June. “Each school has its culture and that has to be considered when hiring a principal,” he said.
The Lexington Two budget must be approved by July 1. He is helping to put the budget together. Bolen said this year’s budget will include an 8 mil increase. Second reading and a public hearing on the district’s budget is expected to be on June 16.
“It’s been a unique situation,” Bolen said of his three-month appointment. “I didn’t need to be coached up. Only so many people could have done this. It’s going well.”