District Five director honored by the Southern Early Childhood Association

A Lexington-Richland School District Five director has been named the 2024 recipient of the Phil Acord award by the Southern Early Childhood Association (SECA).

Director of Personnel Dr. Reggie Wicker was nominated for the award by the President of the SC Early Childhood Association (SCECA) Davida Price. SCECA is an affiliate of SECA.

“I nominated Dr. Wicker for this distinguished award because I have known Dr. Wicker since we were both 4-year-old students at Pomaria Elementary School,” Price said. “I believe he embodies what it means to be an advocate for children and families in our community.”

The Phil Acord award was established in 2017 to honor Phil Acord of Tennessee for his service to the children and families of the South and to recognize outstanding contributions by men to the field of early childhood education.

“Receiving the Phil Acord Award is not just a personal achievement; it’s a torch passed from one dedicated individual to another, recognizing the profound impact men can have on early childhood education,” Wicker said. “This award symbolizes our collective commitment to providing the brightest possible future for our youngest learners and their families, and I am deeply humbled to be part of this important journey.”

Wicker received his bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Newberry College and began his career as a fourth-grade teacher at Newberry Elementary. Wicker later served as a parenting coordinator, a principal at Newberry County Elementary and director of elementary education in Union County. Wicker served as coordinator of special projects in the human resources department in Richland School District One before joining School District Five in January of 2021. He received his doctorate in educational administration and leadership from Walden University in 2020.

SECA will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2024. The organization has brought together preschool and primary teachers, administrators, program directors and individuals working with and for families to improve the quality of care and education for young children with their families through advocacy and professional development. SECA is made up of over 20,000 members across 14 southern states including Texas, Arkansas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

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