The Kathy Stanley File
Born: In Mobile,
Ala., 56 years ago.
Joe, a retired Robins Air Force Base engineer; two grown
sons; three grandchildren.
Doctorate in education and specialist in education,
University of Georgia; master of education, Georgia College
& State University; bachelor of science in education,
University of South Alabama. Certified in Georgia to teach
elementary and middle grades education. Also holds
certification in school administration and supervision.
Spent 34 years in the Houston County school
system, the last 14 as assistant principal for instruction
at Northside High School.
She Said It: “If I
had it to do all over again, I would still become a
(Photo: Nick Oza)
Kathy Stanley, Veteran Houston
County Public School Educator, Joins Macon State to Help Create
New Education Degree
By Sheron Smith
The irony of Dr. Kathy Stanley's long and distinguished
education career may be that she almost cut her own schooling short.
Her father was an Alabama state trooper and cabinetmaker and her
mother was a seamstress. They were good, hardworking, blue-collar
folks who never gave a thought to sending their children to college.
“I never thought about it, either,” Stanley said, “although I was
a good student in high school.”
Her husband - Stanley married at age 18 - did think about it. Joe
Stanley was six years older, and at the time of their marriage had
already gotten himself an engineering degree from the University of
Alabama. He encouraged his wife to go to college, so she enrolled at
the University of South Alabama.
In 1970, Stanley graduated with a bachelor's degree in elementary
education, having chosen that major almost solely because of the
fond memories she had of one of her seventh-grade teachers. A few
months later, her husband got an engineering job at Robins Air Force
Base and the couple moved from Mobile to Warner Robins.
Today, if there were a Who's Who in Houston County Public
Education, you'd find Kathy Stanley's name high on the list.
Beginning with her first job at Tabor Junior High, Stanley spent the
next 34 years doing just about everything there is to do in Houston
Her resume includes teaching jobs at, besides Tabor, the Houston
County Vocational School, Elberta Elementary and Warner Robins
Junior High. As she continued to earn advanced degrees (Stanley now
holds a doctorate from the University of Georgia), she moved into
school administration, first as instructional coordinator at Watson
Elementary and later as assistant principal for instruction at
Northside High. She held that job for 14 years before retiring from
the school system in 2004.
Now a newly hired assistant professor of education at Macon
State, Stanley is working with the College administration to guide
the development of the bachelor's degree in early childhood
education. She will also teach in the new program.
“I don't think Macon State could have made a better choice,” said
Ed Dyson, the now retired Northside principal with whom Stanley
worked for many years. “She is one of a kind.”
Dyson said that what makes his former colleague special is her
impeccable professionalism and her ability to mentor other teachers,
especially those new to the classroom.
“A lot of the camaraderie we had at Northside I attribute to
Kathy,” he said. “She always pulled teachers together and treated
them with respect. She helped young teachers feel comfortable and
helped them grow as educators. If you were a teacher at Northside
and couldn't make it with her guidance, then you were in the wrong
Dr. Barbara Frizzell, Macon State's vice president for academic
affairs, said the College is fortunate that Stanley was ready to
take her career in a new direction around the same time the Board of
Regents made it a priority for the University System to increase the
number and diversity of teachers.
“I knew her reputation for effectively mentoring new teachers,”
Frizzell said. “Now she has an opportunity to help aspiring teachers
at an even earlier stage of their development.”
The College's challenge includes developing a curriculum based on
a fairly new approach to teacher education. Macon State's early
childhood degree will enable potential teachers to earn
certification in early childhood education and special education.
With a background in both, a teacher would have the necessary skills
to reach children with different learning styles. While graduates
will not be required to become certified in both areas, Macon State
expects most will do so in order to increase their professional
“Building a program from the ground up gives Macon State an
advantage right away,” Stanley said. “We don't have to retrofit this
relatively new model into the traditional way teacher education has
been taught. For me, as an educator, it's a wonderful opportunity.
We're going to be sending some good teachers out there, teachers
that this College will be proud of.”
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