A School So Safe and Sound: Jermaine Stephens


The Grand Sub: Jermaine Stephens stands tall in his virtual office ready to explore the world of the dubs!

In a world as busy as today, teachers are bound to miss out on a few dub-filled education periods as the year passes by. With that being said, these classrooms are typically filled by a substitute teacher that is oh-so willing to lend a helping hand. The issue: an astounding shortage of helping hands to lend. Jermaine Stephens is a Support Staff Faculty member that (virtually) graces the halls of NAHS on the day-to-day in order to keep us safe, as well as fill the void that is empty classrooms.
Stephens began his management career at Virginia Commonwealth University, eventually earning his bachelor’s degree in human resources and deciding to jump into the world of teaching. From there, he began working at a plethora of schools before finally ending up at NAHS. Stephens emphasizes the anomaly that North Atlanta truly is, “This school is an outlier in so many ways.” He said, “There is so much culture at NAHS, so much diversity, I love it.”
As his career here at the home of the dubs progressed, the issue of an understaffed building has veered its head. Right now, the substitute market in our region has depleted immensely, forcing managers like Stephens to get creative in order to fill the roles of those who cannot show up. Just last week, 30 teachers were absent, with only 12 available substitutes to stand in. “This job is only manageable because I can work well under pressure,” Stephens said.
One problem that proves prominent when considering the shortage of teachers is the competitive market that engulfs the greater Atlanta area. Private institutions, as well as other school systems, offer a higher pay grade for their employees– which is more than enough for these hardworking teachers to flock to other areas, leaving North Atlanta behind. “The shortage is without a doubt an impending threat.” Stephens said, “We need to penetrate the market in order to succeed, and give our teachers a break.”
The most intriguing part of Stephens’s job at North is undoubtedly the office where he observes the rustling halls of North Atlanta on a daily basis. The room sits in the front lobby of the building, decked out with camera screens from top to bottom. The sight is shocking, as every inch of the building seems to be covered by Stephens’s supervision, all at once.
Though the high-tech office seems to make up for the stress, one thing is for sure for our wonderful students: respect your teachers and keep on winning!