Career Spotlight: Angela B. Stepancic (C'04)

Angela Stepancic (C'04)

Principal, Washington Middle School for Girls

Describe your current position and what led you to your job:

In short, I am a principal at the Washington Middle School for Girls, and ambition and dedication led me to my current position. The long version is far more interesting and ridiculous.

When I graduated from Georgetown, I had no direction. I wanted to become a lawyer, but my calling was not argument—it was altruism. Desperate for meaning, I turned to the Internet and scored an interview at the Washington Middle School for Girls (WMSG), which has become my home over the past seven years. At WMSG, I blossomed as a leader and have had the opportunity to aid in the transformation of both lives and institute. 

What has been the most rewarding moment in your career?

There is no single rewarding moment that can encapsulate my career. Every day, when a child understands a new concept or a teacher attempts an innovative method, or a parent rededicates himself to his daughter, that is my reward. I know it sounds trite, but the rewards come daily.

What is the best career advice you have received?

Stay abreast of underground trends in your field. Read blogs, articles, news stories and even tweets. Get to know every angle. The more knowledgeable you are, the better your output will be.

What would you recommend to someone interested in working in your field?

Anyone in education should always remember what it was like to be a student. Always think about the students and the families you serve and ask yourself, “What would I want or need if I were in their shoes?” That should be your guiding question.

What challenges have you faced and how did you successfully manage one situation?

In a school, you are faced with fresh challenges daily. Though it is hard for me to name one particular challenge, I can say that I have faced no challenge alone. The fastest and best solution to any problem lies in the appreciation of human capital, the developing and cultivating of strong relationships. Every single challenge that has crossed my desk has been solved through teamwork and shared ideas. If I did not know the strengths and weaknesses of each faculty member, I could not have managed even the simplest of trials.

What skills are necessary or what prepared you the most for your career?

I grew up in my mother’s classroom. Through her example, I learned the nature and necessity of education firsthand. Though I moved out of the classroom and into administration, I aspire daily to provide the positive direction and support that she gave each of her students, some of whom still remain in contact with her today. She is the epitome of what an educator should be.

What professional associations have aided in your professional development?

The NativityMiguel Network of Schools truly focuses on teacher and administrator professional development. Our entire faculty attended a conference in New Orleans, and the experience created a priceless bond within our school. Conference attendance is invaluable not only to hone your professional skills, but also to cultivate bonds within your professional community.

Anything you would like to add?

“Find a job that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” –Confucius