Stephanie Bell is the longest serving member of the Alabama State Board of Education and has twice served as the board’s Vice President and Board Chair. An active member of NASBE, she is serving as southern area director for the second time and was a member of the Governmental Affairs Committee for a number of years. Bell serves on the 2017-2019 Executive Committee, the Nominating Committee, and the Steering Committee for the Education Commission of the States (ECS) where she has been a Commissioner for more than a decade.
Bell has been a strong advocate for greater opportunities for all Alabama students. Among many initiatives, she was instrumental in creating the successful award-winning Alabama Reading Initiative and the Alabama Mathematics, Science and Technology Initiative, resulting in the state’s historic progress on the National Assessment of Education Progress. In 1995, she successfully pushed for dual enrollment opportunities that have continued to increase for Alabama students. She also exposed and fought corruption in the state’s two-year college system, resulting in numerous convictions, as reported in a Pulitzer prize-winning newspaper series.
As a reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser/Alabama Journal, Bell covered all facets of government, including education, the courts, and the legislature. For her reporting, she received the CASE II Media Award (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education). She was recognized by the Alabama Press Association in the Best News Story category and was a Hector Award nominee for meritorious reporting. Bell’s other statewide honors include the Hugh O’Brian Legacy Award, Alabama’s “Friend of Education” Award, the Emma Sansom Heroine Award, and Alabama’s Eagle Award.
Bell holds a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University, and has also taught English in Taiwan. She is married to attorney John Bell and has three daughters and two grandchildren.