Stephenson’s next step


Elyssa Abbott

After leading the NC Magnet program for the past 12 years, Assistant Principal David Stephenson prepares to say farewell to his home away from home. “I will miss the people: teachers, staff, parents, and the kids who often come back to check in and share their successes,” Stephenson said. No doubt his new home at Woodland High School will welcome him with open arms.

Elyssa Abbott, Reporter, Photographer

After 12  years at NC, assistant principal and Magnet coordinator David Stephenson says farewell. He plans on moving to Woodland High School in Bartow County as principal on July 1. Once Superintendent Philip Page’s made a recommendation to hire Stephenson at Woodland, the Bartow County School Board decided he fit the job perfectly.

Prior to his NC years, Stephenson started his teaching career in northern California and Arizona. He graduated from the University of Arizona and proceeded to earn an education specialist degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Georgia. Stephenson worked as a teacher in northern California for eight years before moving to NC and receiving a certificate in Leadership Studies at Kennesaw State University. He jumped from five schools in only 12 years. Stephenson began at NC coaching cross country and track, teaching social studies, and chaperoning Magnet international trips. For his efforts, the administration awarded him “Teacher of the Year” in 2011.

Stephenson, coming from a school of 2,900 students, will lead a school of only 1,600 students, where he can focus on developing personalized relationships with his students. In addition to the smaller amount of students, Stephenson will shift from a school with a concentration of International Studies to Woodland, a primarily performing arts school. With this new chapter of his life, Stephenson feels enthusiastic to see what this new school brings him even if it means a new adjustment period.

I am prepared to feel like I did when I left high school myself, nearly 30 years ago.  It’s a transition to something exciting, but also very much unknown,” Stephenson said.

Along with this new job, Stephenson must adapt to a new community, staff, and students. This new experience will help him grow his leadership potential and as a person. From leading the Magnet program at NC to leading an entire high school, students wish him the best on his upcoming adventure and wait to see who will fill his shoes.

“I can say this much:  There is nothing more important to me than ensuring that our magnet program is in great hands.  We have a terrific team of teachers, counselors, and advisors. I know that the program is a gem and will only get better in the years to come,” Stephenson said.