Governor and Mrs. Richard W. Riley Award for Excellence in Dropout Prevention 2019 Recipient – Stephenie McCoy Hewett, Ed.D



Originally from Aiken, SC, Stephenie grew up surrounded by teachers. Generations of females in her family have been teachers. She entered Clemson University and majored in Early Childhood Education. After teaching for 4 years, she returned to Clemson to complete a Master’s degree in Reading Education. While teaching on the college level as a teaching assistant at Clemson, she found her true educational fit with the college age group. Seeking to continue teaching on a college level, she received an Ed.D. from New Mexico State University in Curriculum and Instruction with Special Emphasis on Reading. She began her college teaching career in 1988 at The Citadel. Her special interest area has been students who are at-risk. She has been involved in numerous Citadel partnerships in public schools.

In 2006, Stephenie Initiated the Darkness to Light partnership with The Citadel School of Education. Through her work, The Citadel was the first college to have a major requiring Stewards of Children training and certification as part of its curriculum and graduation requirements for both undergraduate and graduate students in its Teacher Education, Counseling, Literacy, and Educational Leadership programs. In 2012, Stephenie with the help of The Citadel’s president, General John Rosa, initiated the Citadel Darkness to Light Initiative. The Citadel started requiring all faculty, staff, contractors, and students to be trained as Stewards of Children in 2012. Through Dr. Hewett’s work, The Citadel became the first and only college to have its faculty, staff, and student body required to take this critical training to protect children. Stephenie has helped to coordinate the Stewards of Children training for over 10,000 students, faculty, staff and volunteers to be stewards of our future leaders, our children.

2019 Recipient – Stephenie McCoy Hewett, Ed.D