A fan favorite assistant principal: Stephen Wood

“One thing that I stand by is that I believe that all students can learn,“ said Stephen Wood, a ninth-grade assistant principal at Woodrow Wilson High School, who just finished his 15th  year in education. Wood was recently recognized as a Dallas ISD fan favorite assistant principal.  

Wood currently serves as the ninth-grade assistant principal at Woodrow and was the senior administrator for the Class of 2024.

He said his favorite memory this year was graduation. “After supporting and watching students grow, mature, and make life decisions – when you get to shake their hand after they walk across the stage and see that genuine smile, that’s it – that’s why I do this,” Wood said. 

Some of the kids really struggled to get to that point, he added.

He began his career with the district at  J.L. Long Middle School in 2009, where he taught both sixth-grade and eighth-grade science until 2015. When the Teacher Excellence Initiative was implemented, he was recognized as a Distinguished Teacher in its inaugural year. He became the campus instructional coach at Long and then moved across the street to Woodrow after receiving his master’s degree in 2019.

Wood grew up in a ranching family and was previously ranching in northeastern Oklahoma. After he and his family moved to Texas, he homeschooled his two kids and came to the realization that he loved teaching. While in college, he had  also previously worked with students who were in Future Farmers of America and the 4-H club and discovered that he had a talent for teaching. 

I had joined the Boy Scouts of America and it seems that I really liked science and working with kids. Putting them together and being able to teach – I saw that light bulb go off and I really enjoyed it,” Wood said. 

He said a fun fact about him, that would likely surprise his students, would be his previous career as a cattle rancher. 

In 2009, Wood enrolled in the district’s alternative certification program, marking the beginning of his teaching journey. He credits administrators he’s met along the way for encouraging him to broaden his horizons in the district. They include Woodrow principal Chandra Hooper Barnett, as she was his AP when he was teaching. 

Wood’s ties to the district go beyond himself, as both his children are Dallas ISD graduates – one from the School of Science and Engineering at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center and the other from Woodrow.  

One of the favorite things that Wood enjoys about his role is the pep rallies. After students experiencing Covid and having the students relearn the traditions of the school, he said he enjoyed the enthusiasm and seeing the kids show up for their school and their community. 

His hopes and dreams for his students include them becoming a well-rounded student that is a lifetime learner. On his wall in his office, he has a quote by C.S. Lewis that reads: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” 

“I want them to recognize the positives and to see that they can make a change, especially when they look at their teachers and the leaders in this building. I want them to know that they have that same opportunity,” Wood said. 


You may also like