Mr. Leon E. Hayes has been an educator for forty-seven years. He earned his BS degree from Georgia College and his Master's in Education Administration from the University of Georgia. During his tenure, he has worked at all levels of education, including elementary, middle school, high school, and at the district office. He has served as a teacher, coach, Assistant Principal, Principal, Executive Director of Elementary Education, Special Education, and Support Services. He has also served as interim Chief Officer of Support Services. During his years as an elementary principal, he represented South Carolina as the National Distinguished Principal of the Year 2000. He was also named "Administrator of the Year in 2001," was named a "Friend of Reading Recovery" by the SC Reading Advisory Council, and was recognized as "Educator of the Year" by the South Carolina Jaycees. He was the district's first recipient of the Superintendent's Honorary Black Belt Award for Leadership. During his tenure in Horry County, schools under his leadership have received the coveted Carolina First Palmetto/Finest Award, the Literary Spot Award for Reading, the Exemplary Writing Award, and the State and National Distinguished Title I School Award. During the last nine years, Mr. Hayes has served as Principal at South Conway Elementary School. His tenure here fostered winning Palmetto Gold and Silver Awards for Achievement and Closing the Achievement Gap along with the Superintendent's Service Learning Award. Mr. Hayes has been a presenter at numerous state and national conferences. He has served on numerous district and state committees and currently serves on the State Reading Recovery Advisory Council. He is a lifelong learner and continues to advocate for the children he serves.