Dr. Stephen Bigelow has devoted over 25 years to shaping and improving the educational system. He brings a rich professional background, highlighted by progressive experience in developing and overseeing academic programs, policies, and initiatives to foster student growth and achievement.
His education journey began in 1998 when he served as an elementary teacher at Dolsen Elementary School in South Lyon, Michigan, diligently developing standard and special needs curricula for diverse subjects and age groups. His teaching earned him the South Lyon New Teacher of the Year award in 1999 and a nomination for 'Oakland County Teacher of the Year.’
Dr. Bigelow moved to Agnes E. Beer Middle School in Warren, Michigan, initially as a teacher and then as an assistant principal. He oversaw discipline and attendance for 770 students, liaised with faculty, staff, parents, and students, and helped shape curriculum, lesson plans, educational activities, and assignments. His academic leadership continued to grow when he assumed the principal role at Carleton Middle School in Sterling Heights, Michigan, spearheading the restructuring of the district middle school science curriculum. Dr. Bigelow pioneered a Professional Learning Community (PLC), transforming the educational environment and guiding students and staff in the school, receiving an “A” rating from the Michigan Department of Education.
Dr. Bigelow’s commitment to student growth and achievement continued as the principal at Paul K. Cousino High School in Warren, Michigan, where he managed daily program and process operations, mentored faculty and staff, and performed detailed curriculum evaluations for all grades and all levels of academic study. He made significant strides toward improving school-community ties, and his initiative in designing school improvement strategies focused on creating a culture of college readiness resulted in the school achieving its highest ACT average.
In 2015, Dr. Bigelow assumed the role of Superintendent at Capac Community Schools, where he restructured the district to increase course offerings in the arts, sciences, robotics, and AP courses. He was instrumental in creating a virtual school, passing a bond for building enhancements, and implementing a 5-year strategic plan for school programs across multiple areas of study, including academics and social programs. Dr. Bigelow also implemented an award-winning branding campaign.
Dr. Bigelow took the challenging role as Superintendent of Bay City Public Schools in 2017, overseeing daily school operations, faculty and staff evaluations, and managing budgetary concerns. His leadership has transformed the district, improving its fiscal status, rebranding it, restructuring its framework, and driving new programs.
Under Dr. Bigelow’s supervision, the district passed significant financial aid, including a sinking fund for maintenance needs and a bond for facilities, technology, and transportation. His visionary ideas led to a new hybrid high school, a K-12 virtual school, and an Early College, providing students with more diverse educational paths. His efforts earned him the U.S. Department of Defense Patriot Award in 2022, a testament to his exemplary leadership.
Throughout his career, Dr. Bigelow has also been heavily involved in community service. He is a member of numerous local and regional organizations, including the Bay City Morning Rotary, Bay City Lions Club, Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Bay Commitment Steering Committee, United Way, and President of the region’s University of Michigan Alumni Association. As a leader in the academic community, he serves on the advisory committees for Saginaw Valley State University’s College of Business & Management and College of Education, Michigan Association of School Administrators Professional Growth and Leadership Committee, Michigan Advisory Committee for the Accreditation of Education Preparation, American Association of School Administrators Governing Board, and board member of the Michigan Alliance for Student Opportunity.
Dr. Bigelow's impact is also felt on the national and international stage, having served as a delegate for the Education East Congress and Innovation West Congress. His dedication to future development in education is evidenced by his involvement in the Future of Learning Council and his selection as a United States Education Delegate for summits in London, England, and Berlin, Germany. He is a pilot member of the prestigious Google GSV Education Innovation Fellowship, working with twenty-three other forward-thinking top-level instructional district leaders from throughout the United States who are committed to working at the intersection of technology and instruction to inform the future of education.
Beyond his service roles, Dr. Bigelow continues contributing to the academic community through scholarly pursuits. He has presented at numerous conferences, sharing his insights on topics such as student engagement in online and on-ground courses, the importance of self-awareness in leadership, and the resurgence of zero-based budgeting. His presentations have reached audiences from the annual research symposium in Rochester, Michigan, to the Leadership Empowerment for Superintendents Conference in San Diego, California.
Dr. Bigelow holds a Ph.D. in Education and an Education Specialist in Leadership degree from Oakland University. Additionally, he possesses a Master of Public Administration from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. His solid academic foundation underscores his commitment to education and the ongoing pursuit of knowledge.
His career highlights an unwavering commitment to student achievement, teacher training, and curricular innovation, reinforcing his stance as a passionate advocate for educational improvement. His extensive expertise and forward-thinking approach continue to drive positive change in academic communities, laying the groundwork for brighter educational futures.
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