Words by Anna Lee Vaughn | Images by Justin Hunter
Dr. Justin Stephenson, a Curry native, recently achieved a significant milestone in his career, transitioning from Assistant Principal to the esteemed position of Principal at Curry Middle School. The field of education runs deep in Justin’s family, with multiple relatives having dedicated themselves to this noble profession. Notably, his father was a respected teacher and coach at Curry Middle School, further reinforcing his connection to the school.
Reflecting on his journey, Stephenson acknowledges the profound influence of his upbringing and heritage. “I’ve got deep roots in Curry, and education has always been like a family trade; this is something I always knew I wanted to do. It’s somewhat in my blood,” he says.
Stephenson started his own academic pursuits to equip himself with the necessary knowledge and skills. He began his education at Bevill State Community College and Athens State University, completing his bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in Secondary Education. Eager to expand his expertise further, he subsequently enrolled at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Samford University in Birmingham, successfully attaining a master’s degree, an Education Specialist Degree, and a Doctorate, all three in Educational Leadership.
Stephenson’s professional journey has seen him teach mathematics and coach various sports and physical education programs across multiple schools in the county. However, his main goal has always been to obtain an administrative role at Curry Middle School, driven by a profound sense of belonging.
“It’s just been a dream come true to come back home and be named the principal of Curry Middle School.” Stephenson continues, “I’m excited about the opportunities in front of us, and I’m looking forward to being able to ensure that the kids are safe and in an orderly learning environment. I want each student to be able to look back and know that the people here helped them, played an important role in them becoming who they are, and positively impacted their life.”
As Dr. Stephenson assumes his role as Principal of Curry Middle School, he carries a deep sense of responsibility and an unwavering commitment to enriching the students’ lives. With his extensive experience, academic qualifications, and sincere dedication to education, he is poised to lead Curry Middle School to new heights, fostering an environment where students can thrive and flourish. WL