The Union Recorder

Features

August 6, 2013

St. Stephen’s under first new director in 28 years

MILLEDGEVILLE —

St. Stephens Day School began in 1985 taking infants to 4-year-olds into two small rooms.

Today, the location has grown from a day care into a full-fledged preschool with 90 to 100 students during the normal school calendar.

Carol Grant, teacher and executive director since the beginning, was the catalyst for that expansion and improvement the last 28 years. Grant decided at age 60 she didn’t want to miss anymore family time.

The decision came one year ago, which required a parental and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church member search for a replacement. The school is a church outreach ministry.

The selection, Martha Robert, is brand new to Milledgeville after years spent in Decatur city schools and in non-profit administration.

“I learned I was not a classroom teacher, but still feel very passionate about our education systems and the educating of young children especially. Everything kind of came together,” Robert said. “There is wonderful energy and people here. The moment I walked into the school I knew that this was a quality place and where I wanted to be.”

Robert came this June and continues adapting to the many director hats. She calls Grant’s everyday to-do list her bible.

With school starting Monday, Robert is admittedly anxious. The goal remains providing quality education for preschoolers of all faiths and traditions.

Grant helped ease Robert into her old post and continues acting as a sounding board.

“Carol and I have connected. I certainly respect and applaud what she has built here and intend to carry that on to the best of my ability,” Robert said.

At St. Stephens children learn through play. Balancing teacher and child-initiated activity teaches socialization.

Kids grasp how to play with others, identify feelings and negotiate by 4 years old.

“Play is children’s work,” Robert said. “That’s how they learn.”

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