Stephens retires after 15 years of coaching tennis, advising literary magazine

The Southerner

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BY RACHEL CITRIN AND OLIVIA VEIRA

After fifteen years at Grady, Scott Stephens is leaving his teaching position. He has spent his years with a full plate, both teaching English, advising the literary magazine and coaching the tennis team.

“I’m eligible for retirement and ready to do something different,” Stephens said.

This news stunned some students.

“I was surprised,” senior Eloisa Cleveland said. “I think that it’s sad because he’s such a good teacher. We were the only AP class that he taught and I wish other students could have had the opportunity to have him. I’m glad we had the opportunity to have him as our teacher, though.”

Journalism and debate teacher Mario Herrera was also surprised. He said Stephens has helped him a lot since he began to teach at Grady.

“He’s a teacher’s teacher,” Herrera said. “He manages to make literature come alive in a way [in which] I hope one day I am able to.”

Stephens has considered a variety of options for his future.

“I’m going to look for part time work,” he said. “I may travel some and I might work oversees a bit. There are all kinds of possibilities.”

Junior Chants Davidson is a member of the tennis team. Although Davidson is happy for Stephens, he is worried about the future of the tennis team.

“Best case scenario we’d have to find a new coach for the upcoming season and that is quite the position to fill when Mr. Stephens was the predecessor before you,” Davidson said.

Stephens says he hopes to continue to coach the tennis team, though that will be decided by the Athletic Director. He said the team has a better chance to make it to the state tournament because the team will change regions next year.

“Mr. Stephens is a really good positive reenforcement type of coach and it made things a lot easier,” Davidson said. “He also has his fair share of a competitive drive and I feel like it did the team a lot of good at times. The balance of the two kept the team positive and gave a us a strong drive all the way through the season.”

Stephens said that The Unmasking, Grady’s literary magazine, will continue in his absence. Although he had experienced running a literary magazine at the school he worked at previously, Stephens said it will be fairly easy for a new teacher to take charge of the program. He said he would be happy to talk to the new teacher about what it takes to run the program, but that it would probably be unnecessary because Grady has a medley of talented writers.

“Someone else will take it over and it will be just as good as it’s always been,” he said. “I inherited the program from another teacher. I think it’ll be fine.”

Students have expressed their regret and remember the times they had in his class.

“He is a really good teacher,” Cleveland said. “Our class is always really organized and we have a ton of fun. He has really clear expectations and I feel really prepared for the AP exam.”

Senior Marius Jackson has had Stephens as a teacher twice.

“He is open to all opinions; he really is,” Jackson said. “No matter what you say he has a lot to reference it to because he is so smart.”

Though Stephens has loved teaching, he is excited for the future. He said his favorite part of teaching has been his interaction with students.

“I’ve had some great students and colleagues,” Stephens said.

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