Building opened 1969
Robert D. Stethem was a 1980 graduate of Thomas Stone High School and the victim of terrorism on June 14, 1985. Stethem was 23 years old and an enlisted Navy diver who was returning to his home in Charles County from an assignment in the Middle East when terrorists hijacked the commercial jetliner on which he was a passenger. He was singled out among the passengers, beaten, tortured and killed by the terrorists who later threw his body from the plane.
The Robert D. Stethem Educational Center houses the school system's alternative education center. Students in grades 6-12 attend the center for alternative services including full-time academic services, make-up course work, early graduation requirements, or Career and Technology Education programs.
Before the building was renamed the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center, it was called the Charles County Career and Technology Center and housed the school system's vocational programs.
The alternative center was formerly called Radio Station Road Academy, when it was located on Radio Station Road. Before moving to Radio Station Road, the alternative school was called Bumpy Oak after the name of the road on which it was located. For a year after the school moved to Radio Station Road, it was simply referred to as the alternative school, until the principal and vice principal at the time created the name Radio Station Road Academy in an effort to help the community develop a more positive perception of the school. Prior to housing the Academy, the building on Radio Station Road was used as a radio station for the Navy in the 1940s.
Source: School Naming Committee documents and John Sams, former Coordinator of Alternative Programs.