It’s not every year that we get a new member of the JROTC program, let alone someone at the level of Colonel Stevens. After a 37-year-long military career ended, Col. Stevens was looking for something new when he heard about our very own JROTC program. He thought this was a perfect way for him to continue serving his country, and he loved that education has some of the same principles as the military. He contacted Chief Phelps and spent the day in our school to see if it would be a good fit for him. After seeing our school and the way our students interacted with one another, he knew it was where he wanted to teach. He also noted that another factor that influenced his decision is how courteous the student who showed him around the school was.
Most recently, Col. Stevenes lived in Kansas, but then, he moved to Maryland and found that it was a big difference from the open fields in Kansas! His favorite parts about Maryland are the trees and the diversity of people. Col. Stevens enjoys live music concerts and traveling; he has even lived all around the world, including being deployed to Afghanistan for six months. He wishes he could continue traveling and attending concerts, but it is not possible right now due to the Coronavirus. He also enjoys having his not one, but two, goldendoodle puppies.
Another reason Col. Stevens likes working in JROTC is because he gets the chance to watch many of his students grow throughout the years, which is something most teachers don’t get the chance to do. He also enjoys how the seniors take on leadership roles in the class and have administrative and leadership activities to do outside of school. He likes that he is able to closely work with Chief Felch since it allows him more flexibility to teach the subjects he enjoys. For example, Chief Felch is currently teaching the basic training and introductory material, while Col. Stevens is able to teach some more advanced topics.
Col. Stevens believes that he is a laid back teacher despite the stereotype of JROTC. He said that he focuses more on people, making sure that they develop by having the encouragement they need. His teaching philosophy is that everyone can learn and that all of us are learners. Three adjectives he uses to describe himself are “even, inquisitive, and calm.” These adjectives all go right along with what he says: his greatest strength is perseverance. These are very important strengths for any teacher to have. As for online learning, Col. Stevens says it’s going okay, and that he’s making it work, but he would love to be in the classroom since it’s much easier to build relationships with students. Although he has traveled the world with the military, we would like to welcome Colonel Stevens hOMe. Be sure to stop by JROTC and welcome him when we return to the building!