Kennedy named new CEO of Midland’s STEM Charter School

WINNSBORO – The Board of Midlands STEM Charter School (MSCS) announced the appointment of Dr. Lionel Kennedy as Chief Executive Officer of MCSC.


“With a career spanning over 34 years in public education, Dr. Kennedy brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to fostering academic excellence to the charter school,” said Board Chair Kevin Thomas.

A native of Columbia and longtime resident of Fairfield County, Dr. Kennedy is a graduate of Richland Northeast High School. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Communications and a minor in Physical Education from Western Carolina University on a full athletic scholarship, followed by a United States Army officer’s commission in 1989. Dr. Kennedy furthered his education with a Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Art Education from the University of South Carolina, and later obtained his Doctorate Degree in Education Leadership from South Carolina State University in 2014.

Throughout his career, Dr. Kennedy has held various roles in teaching, coaching, and school administration across Richland One, Richland Two, and Rock Hill School Districts. Notably, he served as the Director of the Freshman Academy in both Richland Two and Rock Hill School District Three, and was nominated as the 2012 Assistant Principal of the Year. In 2014, Dr. Kennedy became principal at York Preparatory Academy, guiding it to become a flagship charter school and a recipient of the 2018 National Blue Ribbons School award.

Dr. Kennedy’s leadership capabilities were further demonstrated when he led the opening of charter school Legion Collegiate Academy in 2019, establishing excellence in academics and athletics in just three years. Dr. Kennedy has been actively involved in numerous educational committees and associations, including the National and South Carolina Athletic Directors Administration, South Carolina Association of School Administrators, South Carolina High School League, and the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Known for his belief that every child can learn, Dr. Kennedy advocates for individualized learning approaches and emphasizes the importance of hard work, perseverance, and open communication in achieving academic success. He is an energetic leader who thrives on solving problems with innovative solutions and delights in witnessing students’ growth firsthand. Dr. Kennedy cherishes the opportunity to engage with students in small school environments, fostering meaningful relationships through personalized support.

As Dr. Kennedy takes the helm at Midlands STEM, his extensive experience, particularly in starting and developing successful charter schools, makes him an ideal leader to guide the school into its next chapter. His hiring comes at an exciting time as Midlands STEM prepares to open its new facility this summer and welcome 320 additional students.

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