Students entering Spring Creek Sixth Grade Center will be greeted by a new face this year. Ryan Woods is stepping into the role of principal of the building and, just like many students, is excited for the year to start.
“Right now I’m just looking forward to getting all the students and staff in the building and getting to know them,” he says.
Woods is coming to Southeast Polk School District from Davis County where he was a principal at Davis Middle School. He was also previously an assistant principal with the high school as well as an activities director. He also taught high school literature in Ottumwa.
One of the things Woods is looking forward to now that he is in a larger district is the variety of sports. He says he’s especially passionate about baseball because he coached a team for about 10 years while living in Ottumwa, but he enjoys all the sporting events. Equally exciting, he says, are the plays and concerts his students get involved with.
“I enjoy seeing kids excel at things they are passionate about,” he says.
Woods and his family — wife Shannon and children Zoie, 8, and Kai, 4 — have recently settled in Altoona and are busy getting acquainted with the area. They chose to leave Davis County and move to the Des Moines area to be in a more central location between their families.
He says though their family was happily settled in Davis County, the opportunity to interview in S.E.P. and have a short drive was too good to pass up.
“Family is very important to us, and we were two and a half hours or more from most of our family,” he says.
One other advantage to the move, he says, is to offer a larger and more diverse school district for Zoie and Kai. Shannon, who is an attorney, also has increased opportunities being so close to Des Moines.
When not at school, or busy relocating, the Woods family enjoys traveling and running marathons. He also enjoys golf, but says he doesn’t have a lot of time for that.
Though this is his first year as principal at Spring Creek, Woods is diving in and finding ways to better prepare students for the changes ahead as they start looking toward middle and high school.
“I’m ready to getting things rolling,” he says.