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Columbia Elementary

Dekalb County Schools

2023 2024 Administrative Team Welcome Letter

On behalf of the Administrative Team at Columbia Elementary School, we would like to welcome you to our school!

Principal: Raymond Stanley 


Raymond Stanley is a proud Atlanta native and product of DeKalb County School District.  He attended Rainbow Elementary School and Southwest DeKalb High School where he excelled in academics and athletics.  It was at Southwest DeKalb High School where Mr. Stanley decided that his career path would be to pursue his dream of becoming a school administrator.  Mr. Stanley graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree from Brenau University and went on to Jacksonville State University to obtain his Master of Science Degree in Educational Leadership.  He has received numerous academic awards and recognition including; History Academic Award, Future Teachers of America, and inducted into the Phi Beta Sigma Scholastic Fraternity.

Mr. Stanley has diligently worked for the DeKalb County School System for many years in numerous capacities.  He has worked with the Sam Moss Service Center on the grounds crew, in the textbook warehouse, and at Knollwood Elementary as a custodian.  At Canby Lane Elementary and Freedom Middle School Mr. Stanley was hired as a paraprofessional and after being certified, became a teacher at Salem Middle School.  Mr. Stanley served as Assistant Principal at Narvie J. Harris Traditional Theme School for five years.  This path led him to his current position as Principal of Columbia Elementary School.

Despite numerous accomplishments, Mr. Stanley’s greatest source of pride and joy is his family.  Mr. Stanley is married to, Shandria Stanley, his wife and father to his biggest blessing, daughter Evan.  He is the eldest and only son of Roy and Una Faye Stanley and is a dedicated brother, uncle, son-in-law, and nephew to his close-knit family.  Mr. Stanley has dedicated his life to improving the life of children in the community in which he grew up.  When asked about his profession in an article written about him a few years back, Mr. Stanley was quoted as saying he has “one of the greatest jobs in the world, because I get an opportunity every day to encourage and motivate our future leaders.” 

Assistant Principal: Candice Hardy 


A product of the Atlanta Public School System, Candace Hardy attended the Center for Teaching Magnet Program at South Atlanta High School, where she began her journey to becoming an educator. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from Mercer University, a Master of Arts Degree (with a concentration in Adult Education) from Central Michigan University, and a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Georgia College & State University. 

Ms. Hardy credits her educational career path to her parents and her elementary school teachers who instilled in her a love for learning and an appreciation of education. She began her educational career as a general education classroom teacher here at Columbia Elementary in 2003. As a classroom teacher, Ms. Hardy taught students in grades 1-5, and served as sponsor for various clubs and organizations. She was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2011. After 12 years of teaching, she was promoted to Assistant Principal at Toney Elementary School. After 2 years at Toney ES, she returned to Columbia ES as Assistant Principal. As an instructional leader, she recognizes the importance of collaborating with teachers, parents, and students to ensure the success of all students, and will continue to challenge the CES students to "Soar Above Expectations."