Stephen Athans, a native of Moore County, has a wife, three kids and a dog and lives on his family home place in the Lobelia area of Moore County. Born at Ft. Bragg, the son of a military father, Dr. Athans had the opportunity to live in France for four years and in the Hampton Roads area of VA for two years. Because most of his father's military assignments were at Ft. Bragg and Pope Air Force Base, Dr. Athans essentially grew up in the Sandhills of Central North Carolina.
Dr. Athans is a 1973 graduate of Union Pines High School. Following high school graduation, he attended Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, for two and a half years. In 1976 he left the university to serve as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). He served a two-year mission in the Anaheim area of Southern California. Following his mission, he transferred to Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, and graduated with a BS in Industrial Education in 1982. He earned this degree by receiving an Army ROTC Scholarship with a four-year active duty commitment. Upon completion of his degree in 1982, his ROTC status led to a commission for service as a regular Army officer. He was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC.
Dr. Athans began his educational career in 1986 at Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines, NC. Dr. Athans left his position at the high school in 1990 to become the Vocational/Technical Recruiter for Sandhills Community College. At 35, he realized his life calling-to serve community college students, and while at Sandhills Community College, he fulfilled this goal by serving as the Director of Job Placement and Career Counseling. After taking the position at Sandhills Community College, Dr. Athans received his MS in Organizational Behavior and Leadership from UNC-Pembroke in 1994 and his Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from North Carolina State University in 2000.
Dr. Athans' career has led to a variety of positions within the community college system and higher education. He currently serves as the Dean of Vocational and Technical Programs at CCCC in Sanford, NC.