Brittney Lofthouse – Staff Writer
Right after Macon County Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin named Franklin High School Principal Barry Woody as the 2017 Principal of the Year, Woody dashed off to chaperone a field trip, just one of the many hats he wears as principal.
“Mr. Woody does an outstanding job of juggling the many demands of leading Franklin High School,” said Dr. Baldwin. “He is committed to the success of the school through focusing on safety, academics, climate, athletics and facilities. He works to build positive, productive relationships with students, staff and parents.”
Woody grew up in Dallas, N.C., located in Gaston County, where he attended school. Woody has two older siblings, a brother and a sister.
“I spent the summer months with my brother and other family members in Hayesville, N.C.,” said Woody. “Upon high school graduation from North Gaston High School, I attended Western Carolina University, where I graduated with a B.S. in Physical Education in 1989.”
After college, Woody moved to Hayesville where he taught, coached, and drove a bus for Clay County Schools. By 1995, Woody earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Western Carolina University and had become involved with the family farm and rodeo business. From 2002 to 2011, during the summer months and on holidays he worked for Harley Davidson. In 2012, Woody graduated from Lincoln Memorial University with an Educational Specialist’s degree in Educational Administration and Supervision.
After working in the Clay County School System for 23 years, from 1989-2012, Woody began working in Macon County in 2012 were he was hired to serve as the assistant principal of Franklin High School. Woody served under Dr. Baldwin, who was then the principal of FHS. Woody took over the helm of FHS in 2013 when Dr. Baldwin was named the district’s new superintendent.
“It was an honor to be chosen by my peers as Macon County Principal of the Year,” said Woody. “Being chosen as Macon County Principal of the Year is an honor which I attribute to the outstanding faculty, staff, and student body at Franklin High School. I would like to thank Dr. Baldwin and the Macon County Board of Education for entrusting me with the position of principal of Franklin High School.”
With nearly three decades in education, serving in both the classroom and as an administrator, Woody said the thing he has seen change the most aggressively is technology.
“The greatest change in education since beginning my career in the late ’80s has been in the area of technology,” said Woody. “Due to the evolution in technology, it is more important than ever before that we prepare our students to successfully face the challenges of a 21st Century workforce.”
Having served hundreds of students, Woody said his greatest memory as an educator came last year and was something that started when he first became principal of FHS.
“One of my fondest memories occurred last year at graduation, when the group that I started with as principal in 2013 graduated from FHS,” said Woody. “As students crossed the stage and accepted their diplomas, their sense of accomplishment was evident as they looked forward to the next chapter in their lives.”