Back to School: Sanders to steer Hanford-Dole

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 17, 2018

SALISBURY — Stephanie Sanders always knew she wanted to be an educator. As a child, Sanders said she and her siblings used to spend a lot of time with her grandmother, who was a career teacher.

“She did a lot of raising us when school was out in the summer time,” she said.

While other children were out enjoying the sun, Sanders spent time inside teaching her siblings lessons using an easel blackboard.

“From then on it just became a passion,” she said.

Sanders, 38, is the newest principal to take the reins at Hanford-Dole Elementary School, and she’s thankful for the opportunity.

‘This is an honor for me. I don’t take this lightly,” she said.

Sanders said she hopes to help bring a new narrative to a school that often gets a bad rap in the county. But Hanford Dole is full of hidden treasures — from the students to the teachers.

“We’re the ones that control our narrative. We’re the ones that tell our story,” she said.

She also plans to spend her time at Hanford-Dole building relationships with teachers, students and the community. Increasing community involvement is also something Sanders plans to focus on.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to bring this community back together,” she said.

Sanders is a native of Lexington, and received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her graduate degree from UNC-Greensboro, and her administrative licensure from Appalachian State University. She is pursuing a doctorate degree in educational leadership from High Point University.

Most recently, she served as the assistant principal of Mineral Springs Elementary School in Winston-Salem. Sanders said she came to Rowan-Salisbury Schools with a desire to work in a smaller district.

Sanders currently lives in Lexington with her son.