Superintendent Aaron Woody, a chief cheerleader for students
North Carolina’s principals and superintendents have done wonderful work, particularly in the face of the pandemic. Many of these school administrators are Spartans, proud alumni of the UNCG School of Education. Each alumnus has a fascinating story and a unique perspective:
To Superintendent of Asheboro City Schools Aaron Woody MEd ’04 EdD ’10, leading a school system during a worldwide pandemic doesn’t just mean making executive decisions and signing paperwork. It means doing the work to really figure out how to best support students. And part of that is critically analyzing yourself and your team to see where you could do better. You have to ask hard questions of yourself, and answer honestly.
“If we’re going to be justice-oriented educators that are about outcomes, then we have to ask, ‘Are we a district that’s about continuous improvement?’ Are we making decisions that are about what’s best for each student?’”
As a superintendent, Woody sees his job as being the chief cheerleader for all his students, someone who is there to “motivate, push, challenge, encourage, and lead.”
And it’s about excellence too. It is important not only to do everything that can be done to support and lift up students during this challenging time, but to ensure they still receive a top-flight education. COVID-19 has created many new barriers, but the work to inspire students and prepare them for the future has never ceased.
“If you can be creative and forward-thinking, you start to create some change and some meaningful moments where everyone gets better,” Woody says.
By Avery Campbell ’20
Photography by Martin W. Kane