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District announces Nicole Adams as new Special Services Director

On March 15, 2022, the Lexington County School District One Board of Trustees approved the hiring of Nicole M. Adams, Ph.D., as the new special services director. She will replace Dr. Wendy Balough, who is retiring.

Adams comes to Lexington District One with 24 years of experience supporting people with disabilities, with 15 of those years specifically spent in special education.

She began her career in 1998 as a manager of community and residential services at Community Outreach, LLC, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In this role, Adams worked with adults with cognitive disabilities and oversaw the implementation of the Medicaid program for the agency.

She also worked part-time as a court visitor for the El Paso County Probate Court in Colorado Springs, assisting individuals with disabilities with guardianship petitions, then took that position full time in 2002.

Adams transitioned to education in 2007 when she moved to South Carolina and began teaching special education in self-contained classrooms in Lexington School District Four.

In 2010, Adams became the special education director for the South Carolina Public Charter School District. During her tenure, she managed charter school special education staff, programing and budgeting statewide.

She moved to the South Carolina State Department of Education to serve as team lead office of assessment in 2016. In 2019, she was promoted to assistant director of special education. Adams helped to create a data-based risk assessment that identifies districts with struggling special education programs, providing support that would lead to improvements in those districts. She also led the development of a learning management system for adult learners.

Adams earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She also holds a Master of Arts in education administration and a Doctor of Philosophy in education administration and research from the University of South Carolina.