Angela Stephenson, well known and well liked for her direct nature with students and sarcastic yet communicative character, left Leesville Friday, February 14 — her last day after twenty-one years at LRHS.
Stephenson was an original. She was here when the doors of Leesville opened in 1993 and has since continuously pushed and challenged students to make them not only better as readers and writers, but human beings.
In a well-written and inspiring email interview, Stephenson addressed the LRHS mission: “To educate each student to be a responsible and productive citizen who can effectively manage future challenges.”
“Our mission does not directly qualify ‘challenges’,” said Stephenson, “but I have taken it to mean whatever it means to each student I have the opportunity to share my time with daily.”
And that is what Stephenson has done in her twenty-seven years in the classroom.
Stephenson said that some of her best memories come from simple, everyday lessons with her students. She has met “so many outstanding teachers, staff and students and has made life-long friends.” Stephenson also mentions that the “formative” years of her students, often having them as freshman and then again as seniors, is what really gives her joy and memories.
While Stephenson has been challenged on a variety of levels, she is interested in visiting many of the public schools she herself grew up in. Stephenson wants to work with teachers across the state on a subject she is so passionate about. Her new position is English Language Arts Consultant 9-12 for the state, and she will work at NC Department of Public Education downtown.
Stephenson says she has taught all grade levels, all students and has met a large percentage of the school population through her five years in driver education. Like so many enthusiastic and dedicated teachers she couldn’t simply give a single answer for what her favorite subject to teach was. She said English 9 is interesting due to the transition students are making from middle to high school. English 10 because of all the world literature and the focus on developing writing style. She says seniors are just entertaining, and she loves to teach British literature.
Whatever Stephenson is teaching, she teaches it well. I have personally witnessed the passion and devotion with which Stephenson teaches. Even with literature that I didn’t really like, she made it enjoyable.
Stephenson emphasised a quote that she really likes: “Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart, one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.”
We know that this is something Stephenson will continue to live by in all of her future endeavors.