Monday, August 03, 2015

Meet a Roadrunner: UTSA-proud alumnus leads Texas' fourth largest ISD

Brian Woods

Brian Woods Ed.D. '12

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(Aug. 13, 2014) -- Meet Brian T. Woods Ed.D. '12. This UTSA alumnus is superintendent of Northside Independent School district, the largest school district in San Antonio and the fourth largest in the State of Texas.

Located in the fastest growing area of the city, NISD has a staff of more than 13,300. who serve more than 101,000 students across 116 campuses. If we're comparing size, Woods' role could be likened to the CEO of Hershey, Hobby Lobby or Lexmark.

As superintendent, Woods is an educational leader, overseeing all administrative matters as they relate to staffing, students and operation of the schools within the district. One of his chief responsibilities is to communicate with staff and patrons to help them understand what the district's priorities are and what challenges it may be facing.

Woods began his career in Northside in 1992 as a social studies teacher at Marshall High School and taught U.S. government, economics and U.S. history. From there, he demonstrated initiative and leadership in various roles, and in July 2012, he became superintendent.

Earning both his master's and doctorate degrees in educational leadership at UTSA, his education was a crucial step to help him get to where he is today.

"My education at UTSA prepared me tremendously well, particularly during my doctorate when I was able to do concentrated work in the superintendent certification program and spend time around people who have lived it," he said. "What I found at UTSA was that there's a real sense of care of the individuals in the education programs, which can be rare to find at a large public institution. There are professors within the college who are doing important and practical research and yet still care very much about each student and his or her success."

He stays in regular contact with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development.

"Most of the teachers and administrators we hire at Northside are educated at UTSA, so we have a lot of interest in the quality and relevance of the programs there," he said. "Plus, many of the professors I had are now good friends of mine today."

He hopes his fifth grade son will one day choose to come to UTSA, keeping the Roadrunner tradition in the family.

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Do you know someone connected to UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at social@utsa.edu, and we will consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.

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Did You Know?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

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Events
Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 6, 5 - 7 p.m.; 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
Downtown Campus

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 17, 11:30 p.m.

Midnight Light

Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus

Aug. 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Plaza

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus

Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Lawn

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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