Dr. Heffern has been teaching at University of the Cumberlands since retiring from the Rowan-Salisbury Schools in North Carolina in 2008 where he was a principal and associate superintendent. Most of his forty-one years of public school teaching and administrative experiences were in Virginia, but he started his teaching career in Ohio.

After serving on campus at the University of the Cumberlands for four years, he and his wife relocated to Winchester, Virginia located in the northern Shenandoah Valley.  We moved to be closer to our kids and grandkids.  They have four adult sons, nine grandsons, and two granddaughters…All are in Virginia except for one son and his wife in nearby Maryland with their two sons, our youngest grandkids. Dr. Heffern graduated from Union College in Kentucky with a straight liberal arts degree. I went off to the University of Kentucky immediately to become a history professor. By the end of my first year I was out of money and out of interest in finishing, but I couldn’t teach because I had no license. The dean of the School of Education at UK offered me an assistantship and an opportunity to earn my teaching certificate while I completed a Masters in Education. I like to say that I earned an MAT before that degree was invented. I soon discovered that the world of public education was a challenge, but one that provided me with an opportunity to serve Jesus Christ and the students, employees, and families He put in my path. 

Now I have the privilege and responsibility of serving university candidates seeking advanced licensure and degrees as professional educators. I pray that what I have learned through my career will benefit those with whom I work.  

Ed.D, Educational Administration and Supervision, University of Virginia, 1999
MA in Ed., History and Secondary Education, University of Kentucky, 1967
AB, History and Political Science, Union College, 1965

  • Education Administration
  • Elementary Education
  • Qualitative Research