STEPHANIE BELL, was first elected to the Alabama State Board of Education in 1994 and has been re-elected to five consecutive terms. She is unopposed in the November 2012 general election for a sixth term.
Mrs. Bell earned a bachelor's degree in English from Auburn University. She attended Montgomery public schools from first through 12th grades, graduating from Jefferson Davis High School in 1975.
During her service on the board, she has been a part of every major initiative, including the Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI) and the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI). She also worked to expose corruption in the two-year college system.
Mrs. Bell serves on the Steering Committee for the Education Commission of the States and was a member of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Governmental Affairs Committee for four terms. She served on the NASBE special panel that released a report entitled: "Reading at Risk: The State Response to the Crisis in Adolescent Literacy," and another NASBE panel that reviewed the most effective Middle School reforms.
Mrs. Bell served as Executive Director of the Statewide Committee on Reforming Education, a grassroots education improvement organization, and has been a member of the Education Leaders Council, a nation network of state board of education members and school superintendents. She participated in the National Governors’ Association Alabama Travel Team to develop education policy and was a charter member of RENEW’s National Council of women advisors to Congress.
Mrs. Bell has participated in numerous regional and national reading conferences throughout the United States. She represented Alabama at the National Council of State Legislators' Conference on Teen Health and Pregnancy Prevention, was appointed to the Alabama Teacher Preparation Advisory Council.
Awards and recognition include areas such as education, journalism and family. Mrs. Bell has received the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Award, the "Friend of Education" Award, the Emma Sansom Heroine Award, and the Eagle Award for her work for "God, Family, and Country."
As a reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser and Alabama Journal, Mrs. Bell covered all facets of government, including education, the courts and the Legislature. She was presented a CASE II Media Award by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education in Louisville, KY, for a series of articles she wrote on waste and duplication in Alabama's two-year college system. She was recognized by the Alabama Press Association in the Best News Story category and was a Hector Award nominee for meritorious reporting. Mrs. Bell also taught English to Chinese adults while living in Taichung, Taiwan.
She has participated in numerous state and national panel discussions and education forums and has been interviewed on the BBC radio and television and National Public Radio.
The former Stephanie Wolfe of Montgomery has been married 32 years to John C. Bell. They have one grandchild (Betsy) and three daughters: Sarah Bell (Brent) Wills, an attorney and a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law; Becca, a pharmacist and graduate of Auburn University's Harrison School of Pharmacy; and Katie, a June 2012 Auburn University graduate and first-year student at The University of Alabama in Birmingham School of Dentistry.