Today, Lexington County School District One Superintendent Greg Little, ED.D., announces that Mary Beth Hill, the district’s chief communications officer, plans to retire effective July 1, 2021.
Of her retirement he says, “An advocate for public education and public educators, Ms. Hill uses her talent, leadership, proactive communication practices, and uncommonly strong ethics to help district administrators equally, whether with celebrations or challenges. She excels in leading our district through difficult times by looking at situations from all angles and with empathy for all involved — while crafting response plans that are upfront, direct and complete. It is not unusual for other districts to call and ask her for advice when they face challenging situations.”
Hill, who has more than 44 years of marketing, public relations, and corporate communications experience in both the private and public sectors, joined the district in 1996, after serving as coordinator of public information/special events at the S.C. Vocational Rehabilitation Department. Before that, she had more than 10 years in bank communications, marketing and public relations with First National Bank of South Carolina and First Palmetto State Bank & Trust Company.
A frequent presenter, she leads an annual Public Relations/Dealing with the Media seminar with the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, has presented at South Carolina and North Carolina Chapter NSPRA meetings, as well as national NSPRA meetings, and provided state and local training for administrators and other staff.
Hill is the recipient of many South Carolina NSPRA and National School Public Relations Association Rewards for Excellence Program awards, including state and national Medallion Awards, Golden Achievement Awards, Excellence in Publications, Electronic Media, Videos, Calendars, Handbooks, etc., and past Carolinas Association of Business Communicators (CABC) Communicator Awards including Merit Award, Best Magazine; First Place, Best Special Employee Publication; Merit Award, Best Special Employee Publication; and Second Place, Best One-Person Publication.
She has also received other awards and distinguished honors, including a 2016 Lexington County School District One Outstanding Website Design Award with Splash Omnimedia, the 2016 Joseph M. Bedenbaugh Administrator of the Year Award, the 2012 Lexington County School District One Educational Office Professionals Administrator of the Year Award, and the 2011 South Carolina Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association’s Leader in School Public Relations Award for veterans. She was also recognized in the 1993 Who’s Who Registry of Rising Young Americans and the 1983 Outstanding Young Women of America.
She serves on NSPRA’s Executive Board Search Committee (2019–present) and as a Counselor on Call. Hill is also an active member of the Greater Lexington Chamber & Visitors Center, South Carolina Association of School Administrators, South Carolina Chapter of NSPRA (also past president, vice president, board member), the Palmetto State Teachers Association, and Pilgrim Lutheran Church (also past Tell Team Leader, Witness Team Leader).
Previous community work includes Friends of Education, Lexington County Arts Association (past president, board member), newsletter/public relations chair of Parent Teacher Associations, Speakers Bureau of United Way of the Midlands, and speaker for the S.C. Bankers Association’s Bank-In Program.
Hill holds a bachelor of arts degree in English and business writing skills from Columbia College and a master’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Carolina.
In planning for Hill’s retirement, the district will advertise the Chief Communications Officer opening in February and create a succession plan.