Eye on Education


Stan Heffner is Ohio's former state superintendent of public instruction.

Who is Former State Superintendent Stan Heffner?


Stan Heffner served as Ohio’s Superintendent of Public Instruction and was responsible for leading the Ohio Department of Education. He was appointed interim superintendent after the resignation of former state superintendent Deborah Delisle in March 2011. Two months later, the State Board of Education appointed him as the permanent state superintendent, a role he officially started in August 2011.

Heffner resigned his post effective Aug. 10 in the face of growing public criticism of ethics violations and amid an ongoing statewide investigation into school districts’ changing student attendance and enrollment data to improve their state ratings. Former Deputy Superintendent Michael Sawyers assumed Heffner’s duties upon his resignation.

Heffner led the Department of Education’s Center for Curriculum and Assessment from 2004 until his appointment as interim state superintendent. In that role, he was responsible for overseeing the state’s academic content standards and ensuring the state’s assessment programs were aligned to those standards and for overseeing the state’s school accountability system, including issuing annual report cards.

Heffner began his career teaching in South Dakota and later became South Dakota’s deputy secretary of education and cultural affairs. In Ohio, he has worked in school districts since the mid-1980s, including 15 years as superintendent of the Madison Local School District in Lake County.

Heffner completed doctoral course work at the University of Idaho. He earned his master’s degree in school administration and his bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Northern State University in South Dakota.

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