Following a closed session during Monday night's Board of Education meeting in Highlands, Barry Woody, an assistant principal at Franklin High School, was selected as the school's new principal.
Woody will be replacing Dr. Chris Baldwin, who will assume the role as Macon County Superintendent on July 1. The applicant pool for FHS' next principal started with about 15 resumes, and the selection committee narrowed that down to six individuals who were interviewed for the position.
“I am thrilled, excited, and extremely honored to be chosen as the new principal of Franklin High School,” said Woody. “Not only do I look forward to working with an accomplished faculty and staff, but I also look forward to working with parents to effectively meet the needs of the students at FHS.”
Woody has worked for Macon County Schools for one year, originally being hired last spring, and began his position as assistant principal at FHS in July 2012.
“I feel this is a good opportunity for Mr. Woody and for Macon County Schools,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. Jim Duncan. “He possesses a lot of maturity and school experience and has a real passion for Franklin High School. He has done a great job in his first year there, and I am so appreciative of him being willing to step up into the position as principal.“
Woody, 46, is a Dallas, North Carolina native and has been an education professional for 24 years. “Although I grew up in Dallas, N.C., just outside of Gastonia, I spent my childhood summers in Hayesville visiting my brother’s family. I moved to Hayesville when I was hired by Clay County Schools in 1989. I graduated with my Educational Specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University and earned my master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Western Carolina University,” he said. “I have been in the education profession for 24 years with my most recent position as the assistant principal at FHS. Before serving in that capacity, I was a teacher at Hayesville Elementary School for 23 years. I have also served as a supervising teacher and cohort course instructor for Western Carolina University.”
In addition to teaching, Woody has coached football and has driven a school bus throughout his career. He is engaged to Angel Owens, who is a teacher in Clay County Schools. Owens has two teenage daughters, Tiffany, a student at WCU, and Hillary, an eighth grader.
Woody's family owns the Bar W Rodeo Company, and when he is not working, he spends time organizing rodeo events.
“I enjoy helping them run rodeos in my spare time,” said Woody. “During the summer months I have not only worked for Harley Davidson as a parts specialist, but I have also worked the Lummus AHDRA Championship Drag Racing Team.”
Woody is already familiar with Franklin High School and has started putting together his plan for his first year as the school's leader. “My major goal is to build a common vision of academic success for the student population at FHS,” said Woody. “I plan to draw on the diverse interests and personal strengths of the faculty, staff, and student body to continue to build a successful learning community where everyone has value.”
“I extend my deepest gratitude to the Macon County School Board, the interview committee, Dr. Duncan, and Dr. Baldwin for trusting me to continue the successful leadership that has been established at Franklin High School,” he said. “I am looking forward to this new journey and will do my very best to make sound decisions for the students and faculty of Franklin High School.”