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Leadership

Springfield Public School's Ron Woodard on His Growth Mindset

Ron Woodard became the Executive Director of Secondary Education for Springfield Public Schools at the beginning of the 2020–2021 academic year. Though he’s new to the role, he’s not new to educational leadership.

By Max Havey

Jan 2021

Ron Woodard Executive Director of Secondary Education for Springfield Public Schools
Photo by Brandon AlmsRon Woodard Executive Director of Secondary Education for Springfield Public Schools Purchase Photo

On how his first semester has gone: “This semester has been a barometer of how we will act in a crisis. I think we’ve managed this difficult time extremely well. We’ve taken care of our kids and tried to provide a sense of hope. I think it has gone about as well as it can go for a national pandemic.”

On how COVID-19 impacted his approach: “It really didn’t. To me, work is work, whether we’re in the middle of a pandemic or not. One of my first assignments was making sure that schools were prepared to have kids seated and prepared for the students who chose the virtual option.”

On advice for his younger self: “I would probably say, marry the same girl, focus on the future and retirement and don’t sacrifice so much family time for work.”

On a defining moment from his career: “I assisted Belmont University in establishing a scholarship program for first generation college students called Bridges to Belmont. That program is in its seventh year and still going strong. Dozens of students have graduated from this program, moving on and being successful when given the opportunity of a lifetime with a full ride to a prestigious university. I’m extremely proud to have had a hand in that program.”

On the favorite aspect of his role: “For me, it would be leadership development with principals. I’ve always been a teacher at heart, and I love imparting knowledge to others and seeing that light bulb go off, particularly in the area of school leadership.”

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