Students and faculty bid farewell to principal Stephen Mares.



  With a heavy heart, staff and students said farewell to beloved principal Stephen Mares.

  After eight years at Broughton, Mares left on October 20 to replace Athens Drive High School’s the late James Hedrick who died suddenly in August.

Students and faculty lined the halls of the school at the end of the day on October 20 so they could all say goodbye.

   The interim principal will be L. Roy Teel, the previous principal before Mares.  

  Students have been vocal about how they feel over Mares leaving, putting sticky notes around the school that say “#Don’tLeaveSteve”.

  Staff is equally saddened about his resignation.

  “Mr. Mares exemplifies everything you’d want in a leader and a human being. His love, passion and leadership for staff and students is second to none,”  Linda Martin and Dale Wall from Student Services said.

  Many students have had ties to Mares since elementary and middle school, as he was the principal at both Joyner and Daniels. Some students from the graduating class of 2014 had Mares has their principal for their entire school career.

  “Many of us at Broughton have seen and heard very closely of Mr. Mares progression as a principal, from the elementary level through middle to high school level,  always taking in amazing remarks. I knew he was an amazing principal, I think, before I even knew exactly what the term principal meant. I’m a bit jealous that my sisters grade had him as a principal almost all the way through from kindergarten through senior year. He’s influenced and touched so many in a positive way, always with a genuine heart and encouraging words, and I feel so lucky to have been a student in the schools that he has worked hard to improve and push towards excellence. Broughton is saying goodbye to such an awesome individual, but we all know: once a Cap always a Cap,” senior Mary Milo Woodley said.

   “His impact on Broughton is something that cannot be dimmed, and we should be excited that his hard work is going improve yet another school, bringing even more excellence to our community,” Woodley said.

  While it’s sad news for Broughton, Athens will soon reap from the many benefits of having Mares as their principal.

  “I felt like Athens Drive needed a principal that matched my skills, so I felt like I would be a good fit there. I just felt called to take on this position,”  Mares said,  “[but I will miss] so many things about Broughton. I will miss the students, the staff, the families, graduations, being a part of honors and academic recognition programs, watching our students shine outside of the classroom in academic competitions, athletic events, arts events, and more.”

  While Mares will cheer for Athens Drive during Athens-Broughton games, he said he will still “have my Broughton students, coaches, and teams in my heart, no doubt.”

  When asked how Broughton will continue to have “A Great Day of Teaching And Learning” without Mr. Mares, he replied:

     “Easy! The good stuff that happens everyday is because of the hard work that our students and staff put in. That will continue without me. Broughton has been a tower of excellence for 87 years and it will continue to be a tower of excellence after I leave.We have too many fantastic people in our school family who will continue to carry on the excellence that is expected from Broughton. I will continue to hear fantastic accolades from our students, staff, and school.”

Mares will not forget about Broughton, or about the students who have impacted his life, and the lives he has impacted. “I still feel like a part of the Broughton family and will always feel a part of the family. Broughton is a special place and has been a very special place to me. I will carry everything about it in my heart forever.”