Angela M. Stephens
Charles F. Bolden Elementary/Middle School
Department of Defense Education Activity
Beaufort, South Carolina
Dr. Angela Stephens became principal of Charles F. Bolden Elementary/Middle School in 2014 and has dedicated herself ever since to delivering a world-class education experience to the military families the school serves. Beginning in 2016, Stephens took on the massive task of overseeing construction of a new building, engaging stakeholders to rally investment in a new vision for the school community. The building, which hosts grades 3-8, was finished in 2019 and features open-concept classrooms dubbed “neighborhoods,” with flexible, student-centered spaces that reflect the school’s emphasis on communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity as essential 21st-century citizenship skills. The school has proven an ideal environment for Bolden’s embrace of STEM and problem-based learning, which Stephens has supported through robust professional development and targeted initiatives to address the underrepresentation of girls and minorities in STEM. Bolden’s pivot to a 21st-century education model has also included an emphasis on social and emotional learning, which is facilitated in part through a structured advisory period that promotes team building and student ownership of learning goals. These efforts have led to a decrease in behavior referrals, coupled with significant gains in math and ELA assessments during Stephens’ tenure. Stephens holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Education in Elementary Education from South Carolina State University and The University of South Carolina, respectively, and Education Specialist and Doctor of Education degrees in Educational Leadership from Argosy University.