SEWALL POINT, Fla. — Beloved Martin County School District teacher Stella Bivens Boland passed away at home Sat., Feb. 22, 2014. She had been a Sewall's Point resident for the past 33 years, having moved from Atlanta, Ga., in 1981. She fought a long courageous battle against lung cancer.
Visitation will be held 5-7 p.m. this Thursday at Aycock's Funeral Home, 505 S. Federal Hwy Stuart, Fla. Stella's Celebration of Life Ceremony will be at the First United Methodist Church, 1500 S. Kanner Highway, Stuart, Fla., at 4 p.m. Friday. A private family burial committal will follow later.
Survivors include her husband, Dr. Neil C. Boland, and two sons, Jonathan B. Boland of Stuart and Neil C. Boland III of West Palm Beach. She was predeceased by a daughter Lauren Elizabeth Boland. Additional survivors are sister, Beth McDonald and husband Scott of Oldsmar, Fla.; two nephews, Andrew McDonald and wife Linda of Raleigh, N.C., and Tony McDonald of Tampa, Fla.; three nieces, Amy E. Boland of Tallahassee, Fla., Britney Boland Barnes, and Dr. Whitney Boland Bond, both of Columbus, Ga.; brother-in-law, Dale Boland and wife Linda and a sister-in-law Lisa Boland Watson, all of Thomasville, Ga.
Stella was born Sept. 24, 1951 in Logan. She was an intern in the U.S. Congress while attending the School of International Politics at American University in Washington, D.C. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Georgia State University in Atlanta in 1974. She later earned her Master's degree in Education from the University of Georgia with further Graduate Studies at FSU, GSU, and FAU. She taught in the inner city Atlanta Public Schools, Dekalb Community College, Indian River State College, Martin County High, and Jensen Beach High. Later she taught AP Human Geography at South Fork High in its International Baccalaureate program until June, 2013. Stella was honored as Martin District's High School Teacher of the Year for 2012. She was selected a National AP College Board Reader, as well as ACT/ SAT proctor.
In 2007, Mrs. Boland was named Head Coach of Martin District's highly regarded Academic Team comprised of exceptionally talented students from all four Martin District High Schools. Her teams won Divisional First Place Florida State Championships in 2008 and 2013 in Orlando at the Commissioner's Academic Challenge.
Stella's lifelong contributions leave behind a legacy of remarkable community achievements for improved quality of life locally for both young and old. In 1983 she envisioned a need for starting a local hospice for the care of terminally sick patients. She and two healthcare professionals founded Hospice of Martin, which became the second hospice in Florida at that time. She served on the Hospice Board for years as Board Chairperson and Education Coordinator.
Mrs. Boland helped found the Project Graduation Foundation for local students to insure their safety the night after graduation. She also started the Treasure Coast Youth in Government program at the YMCA, allowing our county to participate in the Florida State Legislature in Tallahassee every year. She chaired the Sewall's Point Planning Agency for 15 years, as well as Chairperson of the St. Lucie River Initiative. She was honored in 1993 as Martin County Woman of Distinction.
In recognition of the admiration and love of her family, students, fellow teachers, and administrators, the non-profit Stella Boland Educational Foundation has been founded in order to provide educational grants to needy high school students. The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Stella's foundation. Contact Mr. Don Welch for further details 772-418-0261.
Aycock's Funeral Home of Stuart, Fla., is in charge of arrangements.