When your last name is Schools, you might guess that Beaufort Academy Headmaster Stephen Schools has experienced his share of joking about education being his destiny. But it wasn’t until he was in 9th grade that he first though of becoming a teacher.
“I realized one day that my math teacher, who was always animated and often entertaining, really seemed to enjoy what he was doing,” Stephen says.
A Lowcountry native, Stephen was born and raised and spent the first 40 years of his life in Charleston. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with a minor in Education from the University of North Carolina, a master’s degree in Mathematics Teaching from The Citadel in Charleston, and a Master’s of Education in Private School Leadership from Columbia University in New York.
Stephen taught math for 19 years and then stepped into a combined administration/teaching role. He was Head of Upper School at the The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland in Baltimore from 2009-2013 and most recently was the Head of Upper School at Augusta Prep in Augusta, Georgia, from 2013-2014. He also used to coach “a little bit” of basketball and was a track and field coach during his teaching years.
Happy to be back home in the Lowcountry, Stephen is responsible for the day to day operations at Beaufort Academy. He credits a wonderful faculty and staff who help make his job easier to accomplish.
“I am grateful to be a part of this terrific school community,” says Stephen. “Everyone here at Beaufort Academy and in the Beaufort area has been wonderfully nice and welcoming. I am lucky to work with the great people at Beaufort Academy and lucky to be here in Beaufort.”
Stephen says his primary goal as headmaster at Beaufort Academy is to provide students with the best possible education and he feels that in a small independent setting much can be accomplished.
“We try to show our students that we truly care about them and that we want to help them make good decisions and be good citizens as they prepare for college and for life.”
Working with students for as long as he has, Stephen knows there is the potential for a surprise every day.
“You never know what to expect,” Stephen says. “We recently had our Golden Gala celebrating the 50th year for the school. During the program, a video was played of our students answering a few questions including, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ We had everything from a kindergartner who wants to be a paleontologist to an upper school student who jokingly replied, ‘I want to be a corporate fat cat.’ The point is that you never know what you may hear a student say on any given day, and that is what makes this work fun. The students are great to work with and can always put a smile on your face.”
Stephen and his wife Christy are parents of Sam and Caroline who are in the first and second grades at Beaufort Academy. And if running a school and parenting wasn’t enough, Stephen recently became of member of Beaufort Rotary.
As Stephen looks to the future with Beaufort Academy, he says he would love to see the school grow in the coming years.
“Beaufort is great place to live with many hidden gems. I believe that Beaufort Academy is one of these gems. I hope that we will be able to expand our offerings and attract more students into our school community in the years ahead.”
Beaufort Academy is located at 240 Sams Point Road on Lady’s Island. For more information, contact 843-524-3393 or visit www.beaufortacademy.org.