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Student Profile: Chris Woods
Recently, we caught up with one of our graduates, Chris Woods, who received a principal certification from CityU of Seattle. Chris is the principal of Capital High School in Olympia, Washington. The 1,332-student school serves the northwest corner of Thurston County, and about 20 percent of its students are from the neighboring K-8 Griffin school district. According to one elementary school principal in the area, Capital High School is a “very powerful” school; and has “an impact on the entire west side of Olympia.”
When our alumni manager, Alex Webster, connected with him, here is what Chris had to say:
City University of Seattle (CU): Why did you become an educator or when did you know education was the field for you?
Chris Woods (CW): I knew I wanted to work with kids at a young age. I had the opportunity to work in a classroom with students who had special needs when I was in third grade. That experience helped me to realize I wanted to do this more. I figured out that teaching was the direction I was heading when I went to college.
CU: In the classroom vs. administration. What motivated you to pursue your leadership post?
CW: I was motivated to move into school leadership because I wanted to have an impact on all students and staff. I realized I could still have meaningful interaction with students while working with staff to improve instruction. I really enjoyed teaching but have been very pleased with my move to administration.
CU: As an Educational Leader, what are some of the greatest challenges you face in moving your school forward?
CW: The greatest challenge is continuing to have a positive impact on student learning with diminishing resources. Educators are being pulled in many directions and are expected to educate the whole child while having more added to our plate. I believe we are professionals and are committed to giving students the very best we have to offer and we will continue to do so despite the challenges we will face.
CU: If I can recall correctly, you graduated CityU with your Principal Certification. What was your experience like with CityU?
CW: My experience at City University was very positive. I had an opportunity to work with a cohort that was supportive and collaborative. The program allowed me to learn from my instructors and the other students in the class. We were exposed to some excellent administrators in the area and had an opportunity to get real time information from those in the field. I felt very prepared to accept a position in school administration when I completed my work at CityU.
CU: Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for educators out there who would like to move into a leadership role and/or switch to a more administrative role within their district?
CW: I strongly encourage educators consider moving into school administration because of the impact you can have on a school community. A teacher can have a big impact on a group of students and parents, while an administrator can have an impact on an entire school community.
You have an opportunity to build a relationship with all students and staff while positively impacting instruction. It is a very rewarding role in education.
Thank you for your time Chris and congratulations on your success!
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