In a career spanning over 40 years dedicated to raising aspirations and transforming lives through education and training, Stella worked in Further Education (FE) for 30 years starting as a part time hourly paid lecturer and rising through the ranks to be appointed, in 2001, the first black and ethnic minority female Principal/CEO of an incorporated UK college, a post she held for 19 years. She had previously worked in both secondary and, awarding and assessment sectors. Stella has extensive experience in the areas of leadership and management, quality assessment, policy development and implementation, international education development, governance including in primary, further and higher education; international, national and regional board level experience, both as a member and chair. She has pioneered the establishment of a number of educational organisations and has represented the UK internationally.
Stella holds an MEd with distinction from the University of Sheffield and her dissertation won the Lloyds Register Quality Assurance prize for Excellence. A qualified teacher, Stella is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, City & Guilds of London Institute, Institute of Directors, Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange and a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute. She served as President of the Association of College Management (ACM later AMiE) and Chair of the sector Black Leadership Initiative (BLI) which won a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Stella is co-founder and Director of the Black Further Education Leader Group UK Ltd (BFELG), a position she holds in a voluntary capacity.
In 2007, Stella was awarded CBE for services to further education.