Greystone Elementary School Principal Stacey Stocks and her family have deep roots in the Hoover area. Stocks, 48, has lived in Bluff Park nearly her entire life. She attended Bluff Park Elementary School, where her grandfather, mother and children also attended. Stocks then attended Simmons Middle School and W.A. Berry High School. She and her husband, Scotty, met when Stocks was a freshman and he was a sophomore in the Berry band.
“We were both percussionists at the time and owe long-time Hoover band director, A.B. Baggett, credit for introducing us,” Stocks said. “After dating seven years, we got married and celebrated our 27th anniversary on Aug. 26.”
The couple has four children. Their oldest son, Charlie, graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in civil engineering, and lives in Atlanta and works for Johnson Development Associates, Inc. out of Spartanburg, S.C. Their second son, William, graduated from Auburn University with a degree in civil engineering, and is married to Jami Heard Stocks, who is also from Hoover. They live in Atlanta, where he works for Brasfield & Gorrie, and she teaches kindergarten. The couple’s oldest daughter, Rebecca, attended Jefferson State Community College, and is an experience team commander for Shipt, a start-up grocery delivery service. Their youngest daughter, Kathryn, just started culinary school at Jefferson State Community College.
Stocks earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Samford University. Then, she attended UAB for her master’s degree and educational specialist degree. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in educational leadership at Samford.
Stocks has been a member of Shades Crest Baptist Church since she was 3 years old. “My activities always revolve around my family, church and school,” she said. “If I ever have a spare minute, I love to work puzzles and go to movies.”
Hoover’s Magazine: What do you love about Hoover?
Stacey Stocks: I love Hoover because it has been my home for my entire life. I love that there are so many people who grew up in Hoover and are now raising their families here because they had such a wonderful experience. The parks, shopping, restaurants, sports facilities, and library are all great, but the diverse population makes our city unique. Hoover City Schools attracts families from all over the world searching for quality education. I love meeting people from other places and learning about their cultures.
HM: As the new principal of Greystone Elementary School, what are your goals for this school year?
SS: I am excited about the development of our Makerspace, a learning environment where students are challenged to solve problems creatively and collaboratively. We were fortunate to be awarded a grant from the Hoover City Schools Foundation, which has provided funding to get this space started. I plan to facilitate the learning by helping our teachers identify ways to teach the state standards through the materials in this interactive learning environment.
I also plan to continue working with teachers as they use assessment data to guide their instruction so that we can help all of our students achieve, grow and reach their potential.
HM: How long have you been an educator? What positions have you held, and where?
SS: I have been an educator for over 27 years. After teaching kindergarten at Bluff Park for one year, I chose to stay home for 13 years while my children were young. During that time, I taught preschool and served in many roles with the Bluff Park PTO. I even served as the president of the Hoover Parent Teacher Council (HPTC) for a year. When I returned to teaching, I taught 2nd grade and 1st grade at Bluff Park Elementary. In 2013, I left the classroom to become the assistant principal at Greystone Elementary School. I am thrilled to now serve as the principal at Greystone.
HM: When did you decide you wanted to pursue a career in education? Why?
SS: I have always loved children. From the time I was 10 years old, children were my life. I probably babysat for almost all of the children living in Bluff Park during that time. I followed that love and passion right into the classroom. I had so many wonderful teachers throughout my years in school and am fortunate to have had the opportunity to give back what I have received. Now, as a school administrator, I have the opportunity to work with students and teachers as they learn and grow together. There is nothing more rewarding than to see a child’s face light up when that spark of understanding happens. The look on that child’s face when he or she has learned or accomplished something he or she never would have thought possible is priceless. Every child can experience success and I chose this career so that I could have a front row seat in that experience.
HM: What is your favorite thing about your job?
SS: I absolutely love every single day. I love that each day is new and different. I love helping students feel valued and special. Sometimes children struggle and I love helping those children work through those struggles and find ways to overcome whatever challenges may come their way. I do not look at what I do as a job, but as a calling. I just hope I can bless the faculty, staff and students that I work with as much as they bless me on a daily basis.
HM: What are the words you live by?
SS: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
This verse reminds me every day that if I will trust in the Lord, he will forever be my guide. It is sometimes hard to do, but I try, and know that when I fail, I am forgiven and the Lord will be there to help get me back on the right path.
HM: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
SS: I have always wanted to go to Austria. The Sound of Music is my favorite musical and I would love to visit this beautiful country.
HM: Are you a morning person or a night owl?
SS: I have definitely evolved into a morning person. My day typically begins about 4 a.m. so that I have time to exercise. Even on the weekends, I struggle to sleep past 6 a.m.
HM: What is something interesting people might not know about you?
SS: I have the best parents in the world, David and Donna Henry! When I was younger, my dad would take me out on dates. Sometimes we even took my mom along. As I got older, our dates continued. These dates were as simple as a quick dinner out or as elaborate as a movie marathon where we would go to two or three movies, dinner and dessert in one evening. When Scotty asked my dad if he could marry me, my dad agreed as long as he could continue to take me on dates. We still go on dates and each time, my dad adds our date to the list he started keeping back when I was a young child.