Feedback from the public forums and teacher, student, and staff interview teams was reviewed and conducted a site visit to his current school. Woods is the principal of Spring Creek, a sixth grade center in the Southeast Polk School District. The board is expected to approve his contract at the April 13 board meeting.
“After interviewing Mr. Woods and visiting his school, we were able to see strengths in his leadership abilities that will build positive staff and student culture at Johnston High School,” said JCSD superintendent Corey Lunn. “His experiences as a high school teacher, coordinator of teaching and learning and special education, and experiences as a school principal will be an asset to JHS and our entire administrative team.”
During his interviews, Woods spoke of his time in the Davis County Community School District (Bloomfield, IA), where he took on multiple roles to meet the needs of the district. After teaching at Ottumwa High School for 10 years, He went to Davis County as the assistant high school principal and activities director for one year. As the assistant principal, he evaluated staff and coaches and facilitated the implementation of the Iowa Core curriculum with teachers. He then went on to serve as the middle school principal, curriculum director, and director of special education in the district, roles he would have through 2013.
In his current position at Spring Creek, Woods provides instructional leadership for all building staff members and also facilitates professional development at the district level on a variety of topics, including data analysis, grading and reporting, tech integration, PLC work, and common assessments.
“In his time at Davis County and Southeast Polk, Mr. Woods has had the opportunity to do much,” Lunn said. “He is able to effectively facilitate and teach specifics related to the Gradual Release Model, Iowa Core, standards-based assessment, and special education delivery plans. Additionally, he’s well-versed in tech integration and budgeting.”
Woods has worked in an administrative capacity for six years. He is in the process of obtaining a specialist in education degree from Drake. He has a master’s in educational administration from Grand Canyon University (Arizona), master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Olivet Nazarene University (Illinois), bachelor’s degree in English education from the University of Northern Iowa (Iowa), and an associate’s degree from Southwestern Community College (Iowa).
“The opportunity to work in the Johnston Community School District and lead Johnston High School is very exciting,” said Woods. “There are many great things happening within the school and I look forward to working with the students, staff, and parents next year.”
At the April 13 board meeting, specifics of Woods’ two-year contract will be finalized. His official start date is July 1, 2015.
Woods plans to reside in the Johnston Community School District with his wife and two children who will enter fifth and first grades next year.
Outgoing Johnston High School principal Brent Riessen accepted a position at Johnston Middle School, following current JMS principal Laura Kacer’s move to the district’s Administrative Resource Center as the new executive director of human resources.