Richard Woods, Georgia's State School Superintendent
Military Family, Rural Roots
Richard Woods grew up in a military family and graduated from Fitzgerald High School in South Georgia. Richard went on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree from Kennesaw State University and a Master’s Degree from Valdosta State University.
Pre-K through 12th Grade Experience in Education, Endorsed by Georgia Educators
Richard has over 29 years of pre-k through 12th grade experience in public education. He was a high school teacher for 14 years, serving as department chair and teacher mentor. During his tenure, he was also selected as Teacher of the Year. For eight years Richard served in various administrative roles such as assistant principal, principal, curriculum director, testing coordinator, pre-k director, and alternative school director. Throughout these various leadership roles, he never forgot what it was like to be a teacher. Not only is Richard the only candidate with teaching experience, but he is also the only candidate endorsed by Georgia educators.
Business Background, Endorsed by the Georgia Chamber
Richard also brings a business background to the superintendent's position, having been a lead purchasing agent for a national/multi-national laser company and a former small business owner. Richard's pro-business approach earned him the endorsement of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
State and National Recognition
For his work in reducing high-stakes testing, promoting literacy, increasing access to the arts, supporting rural schools, and his focus on putting the heart back into teaching, Richard was recognized six years in the row as one of Georgia Trend's 100 Most Influential Georgians (2017 through 2022). For his work promoting and increasing fine arts opportunities for students, Woods received a National Arts Education Association award. He was also recognized as a 'Who's Who' for his educational leadership by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and for his focus on supporting the whole child by Voices for Georgia's Children. For this leadership in expanding agricultural opportunities for Georgia students, Woods received the Honorary American FFA Degree and was named an honorary member of the Georgia Young Farmer Association.
He and his wife Lisha, a retired 30-year educator, are long-time residents of Tifton and have been married for over 30 years.
As a man of faith, Richard has a record of serving youth and his community.
As State School Superintendent, Richard has ensured all of Georgia -- including rural Georgia -- has had a voice in Atlanta.