Party horns were blowing, clappers were clapping, and GMSD district office staff were shaking pom poms as they walked into Jessica Woody’s office to congratulate her on being named one of the nine finalists for Tennessee Principal of the Year.
After the surprise visit, Ms. Woody shed a few of her signature tears and walked out of the office to find the students lining the halls, cheering for her and chanting, “Ms. Woody.” Superintendent Jason Manuel walked with her, holding a poster-sized picture of her face with the caption, “Go, Ms. Woody, Go. Principal of the Year State Finalist.”
When she got to the cafeteria, deafening cheers erupted from the students. Fourth grader Aiden Bolton, who was at lunch at the time, said, “She is awesome because she is a problem solver.”
He keyed in on one reason that she was chosen as a finalist. There isn’t a problem she can’t solve or a person she doesn’t have time for during the day.
“This is exciting because she’s one of the top principals in the state, and she’s at our school,” fourth grader Simone Reuer said.
Students are proud to have the best at Dogwood Elementary, and Ms. Woody can’t imagine a better job: “Who else gets to have a career like this?”
The winner will be announced at a banquet in December.