NCCA’S Wood­ward se­lected as Mor­gan County su­per­in­ten­dent

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - KAYLA ROBINS krobins@cov­

A pil­lar in the New­ton Col­lege and Ca­reer Academy was named as the only can­di­date for Mor­gan County Schools Su­per­in­ten­dent Thurs­day.

The Mor­gan County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion must sit on James Wood­ward’s can­di­dacy for 14 days be­fore vot­ing, ac­cord­ing to Sherri Davis-Viniard, New­ton County School Sys­tem (NCSS) direc­tor of pub­lic re­la­tions.

Wood­ward is cur­rently both the direc­tor of the Ca­reer, Tech­ni­cal and Agri­cul­tural Ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram and the CEO/prin­ci­pal of the New­ton Col­lege and Ca­reer Academy (NCCA). He said he ap­plied for the su­per­in­ten­dent po­si­tion af­ter it opened up a cou­ple months ago, fol­low­ing the re­tire­ment of Ralph Ben­nett.

“We’re very ex­cited,” said Wood­ward, who al­ready lives in Mor­gan County. “I’m mov­ing into a school sys­tem that has good re­sults al­ready. Mor­gan County has a re­ally good bal­ance of agri­cul­ture and in­dus­try and cul­ture, recre­ation. They’re a good small school sys­tem for me to start as a su­per­in­ten­dent.”

The school sys­tem, which is a char­ter sys­tem, is look­ing for ways to en­gage more kids and their ed­u­ca­tion, fo­cus­ing on ca­reer path­ways, which is what Wood­ward has al­ready done at the NCCA, he said. He added the fact

that his ex­pe­ri­ence at the NCCA, in­clud­ing work­ing with a board of di­rec­tors ed­u­cat­ing to build a pro­fes­sional ca­reer, was “some­thing they wanted to see.”

Be­fore be­com­ing the NCCA’s first CEO in 2011, he held po­si­tions of state direc­tor at the CTAE for the Ge­or­gia De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion (GA­DOE) from 2005-08, state direc­tor of Agri­cul­tural Ed­u­ca­tion for the GA­DOE from 2000-2005 and re­gional co­or­di­na­tor for South Re­gion Agri­cul­tural Ed­u­ca­tion for GA­DOE from 1998-99. He has also been a hor­ti­cul­ture area teacher for the GA­DOE and an agri­cul­ture ed­u­ca­tion teacher and young farmer teacher at Jeff Davis High School in Jeff Davis County.

Wood­ward has an as­so­ciate de­gree in agri­cul­ture from Abra­ham Bald­win Agri­cul­tural Col­lege, a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in agri­cul­tural ed­u­ca­tion from the Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia, a mas­ter’s de­gree in ed­u­ca­tion from UGA, a spe­cial­ist in ed­u­ca­tion de­gree from UGA and an EdD in ed­u­ca­tion lead­er­ship and ad­min­is­tra­tion from UGA.

“One of the things I re­ally be­lieve in is that all ca­reers in the fu­ture are go­ing to need some form of se­condary ed­u­ca­tion. That can be any­where from mil­i­tary train­ing to in­dus­try-spon­sored train­ing, a com­mu­nity col­lege, tech­ni­cal col­lege or a fouryear de­gree.”

An ed­u­ca­tor’s role is to help make the tran­si­tion into life­long learn­ing, Wood­ward said, and that starts with a high school diploma.

“One of the things I re­ally be­lieve in is that all ca­reers in the fu­ture are go­ing to need some form of se­condary ” ed­u­ca­tion. —James Wood­ward

“Mr. Wood­ward is an ex­em­plary em­ployee and ad­min­is­tra­tor for the New­ton County School Sys­tem,” said NCSS Su­per­in­ten­dent Sa­man­tha Fuhrey. “He is well re­spected by stu­dents, par­ents, staff and col­leagues. When bud­getary con­cerns forced the school sys­tem to com­bine the po­si­tions of direc­tor of CTAE and CEO of the New­ton Col­lege and Ca­reer Academy into one po­si­tion, he was up to the task and has done a mag­nif­i­cent job. Mr. Wood­ward is more than ca­pa­ble of step­ping into the su­per­in­ten­dent’s po­si­tion for the Mor­gan County School Sys­tem. I am dis­ap­pointed that he will be leav­ing the New­ton County School Sys­tem, but I wish him well as he con­tin­ues his work in Mor­gan County.”

Ac­cord­ing to Fuhrey, the two po­si­tions Wood­ward held will be split back into two po­si­tions.

James Wood­ward

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