Richard Woods graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor’s and received a Master’s from Valdosta State University. Woods was a teacher for 14 years, and also served as a department chair and teacher mentor during that time. He was an assistant principal, principal, curriculum director, and more when he served in school administration for 8 years.
Woods was also a lead purchasing agent for a laser company and previous owner of a small business. He has been recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians by the Georgia Trend (2017-22), a recipient of the National Arts Education Association award, an honorary member of the Georgia Young Farmer Association, and a recipient of the Honorary American FFA Degree .
Woods believes that Georgia should increase the number of school resource officers and mental health resources for its schools and provide the best practices, training, and facilities possible. He also believes that working with community organizations and public safety partners is important .
Woods believes that teachers should be treated as professionals in their work and believes that there should be an evaluation system created that supports teachers in their careers. In addition, he believes that there are excessive requirements teachers are expected to follow that pull them away from students and contribute to burnout and thinks these requirements should be eliminated. Woods supports teacher pay raises; he believes that salary step increases should be expanded to ensure teachers at both ends of their careers are not receiving flat pay. Woods also wants to see funding for Educational Support Professionals (nurses, social workers, etc.) specifically expanded in Georgia .
Woods is a critic of high-stakes standardized testing. Instead, he believes that Georgia should reduce the number of state tests and establish a federal testing minimum; once in elementary, middle, and high school each to stray away from high-stake testing and focus on diagnostic testing for remedial/accelerated learning. He also believes that local testing is excessive and needs to be eliminated. Woods supports adopting transparency efforts to help districts find, evaluate, and eventually discontinue these excessive tests. Woods believes that students should be able to have personalized pathways to receiving their diplomas that supports their vision for post high-school (college, workforce, military, etc.) Woods believes it is necessary for Georgia to create “Opportunity” grants that dedicate funding to fine arts, computer science, STEAM, etc. Woods also supports the expansion of Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education across all career clusters as he believes it provides hands-on education that prepares kids for high-demand & high-wage jobs. He also thinks it is important for students to have a strong understanding of literacy and numeracy and thus believes that students should be educated in cursive writing, personal finance, and American history .
Educators First; Senator Chuck Payne; Frontline Policy Action; Georgia Chamber of Commerce