HCS Changemaker: Mrs. Stephane Stegen
Congratulations to Mrs. Stephane Stegen, a second-grade teacher at Challenger Elementary, who has been selected as this week’s HCS Changemaker!Mrs. Stegen says that she always wanted to be a teacher and cannot remember anything else that she ever wanted to do. Being a teacher, she says, just feels like what she was meant for. As a child, she had a stand-up chalkboard and would use it when she played school, which sometimes included teaching her cousins whenever they came over. She had a grandmother that was a teacher, but Mrs. Stegen also remembers seeing her read a lot of books. She also had an aunt that worked in school alongside a teacher Mrs. Stegen developed a great deal of respect for. Both family members had a lot of influence in inspiring her to become an educator herself.
“Stephane Stegen is an excellent teacher,” says Challenger Elementary Principal Dr. Michele Wallace, “she’s able to take the big picture and put it into all the little teeny pieces that each one of her children in her classes are able to grasp.” Mrs. Stegen does a lot of activities in the classroom that has students up and moving around, rather than just sitting and staring at a book. In reading, for instance, the students are often rotating between centers and working with partners. At other times, they might be playing math games. Second-grade student Myka Martin says, “My favorite part about the class is that we have reading and centers.” Charlie Reynolds points out that some students will be at her table, while others will be writing spelling words or playing the online game Spelling City.
When she isn’t teaching, Mrs. Stegen likes to spend time with her family, read, and watch Netflix. Currently, she really enjoys watching the Great British Bake Show and Downton Abby. Her favorite books are mystery books that have a surprise twist at the end, but she also likes more relaxed, feel-good books as well. She and her husband of twenty-two years have a son that just moved back to the area with his wife this year, and a daughter that currently lives in Memphis. They try to get together as often as possible.
More than anything, Mrs. Stegen tries to instill a love of learning in her students and wants them to know that they can be successful. She tells the students, “Measure your success by what you can do, and not by what others are doing.” Any way it is measured, Mrs. Stegen is a great success and is having a positive affect on her students and her school. According to Dr. Wallace, “Challenger wouldn’t be the same without her.”