From staff reports
The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) has selected Angela Stephens, Principal of Bolden Elementary Middle School at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, as the 2022 DoDEA Americas Principal of the Year.
“I am proud to recognize Dr. Angela Stephens as the DoDEA Americas 2022 Principal of the Year,” DoDEA Americas Director for Student Excellence Judith A. Minor said in a release. “She exemplifies the type of positive, professional leadership that makes a difference in the lives of the students and staff. Through the tough times of the pandemic, she held her staff together and gained the trust of her military families to ensure their children remained in a safe environment.”
“Dr. Stephens practices the Law of Connection with her staff, students, parents and community members,” DoDEA Community Superintendent for South Carolina and Fort Stewart Brian Perry said. “It is this ability to connect and build relationships that allows her to be a successful leader and create a strong sense of community at Bolden Elementary Middle School. She touches the heart first, then lends a hand to those she leads on a daily basis.”
The Law of Connection comes from John C. Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You. In it, Maxwell says “When it comes to working with people, the heart comes before the head.”
Stephens has 24 years of teaching experience with DoDEA schools. She has taught third grade, science and math labs, math instructional support, and math at Laurel Bay Intermediate School and Bolden Elementary School at MCAS Beaufort.
Stephens earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from South Carolina State University, a master’s in Elementary Education from the University of South Carolina, and her doctorate from Argosy University.
Stephens advocates for curricular reform in mathematics. According to the Committee on Economic Growth of The Conference Board, “improving the math and science skills of young people is an important step toward maintaining innovation-led economic growth in the coming decade. As educators, we must go beyond how we were taught and teach as we wish we had been taught.”
Not only is she an effective principal, she works outside her duties to serve in multiple capacities, including contributing to the following committees:
DoDEA Americas Southeast District Principal Advisory Council
DoDEA Americas Southeast District Diversity Equity and Inclusion Team
DoDEA Americas Response to Intervention/ Multi-Tiered System of Support Team
She is married to Clarence Stephens and has two sons, Chance and Austin.
The DoDEA Principal of the Year Program recognizes outstanding school principals, one in each region, who have succeeded in leading high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession. The process begins at the local level, where principals are nominated by peers, employees, parents, students or community members.
One of the regional awardees will be selected as the DoDEA Principal of the Year, and proceed through a national association nomination process, representing DoDEA at the national level.
DoDEA Americas operates 50 schools in seven states, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. There are two school districts and about 1,835 teachers and 550 educational aides.