Dr. Ron Woodard

Dr. Ron L. Woodard was born and raised in Nashville and is an alumnus of Hillsboro High School.  Woodard served as principal at Apollo Middle School for three years; earning distinction as a Turn-Around principal, he significantly improved student achievement outcomes for students.  Under his leadership, Apollo Middle School moved into “Improving” status and improved its rank from being 450th in Tennessee amongst 500+ Middle schools to being ranked 28th amongst state wide middle schools in 2011 based upon value-added gains. Prior to leading Apollo, Woodard served as assistant principal at Maplewood High for one year and assistant principal at Whites Creek High for four years. He began his career as a teacher and coach at Wright Middle School. Woodard is the former president of the Middle School Athletic Association and founder of D.A.S.H. – Digital Academy for Success in High School at Apollo Middle. Through D.A.S.H. he successfully launched the district’s first 1:1 LAPTOP INITIATIVE for middle schools in MNPS and trained other schools from the district and surrounding counties on implementation as well.  The D.A.S.H Academy was featured in the City Educator Magazine, News Channel 4 and the Tennessean as well.  Woodard has served as a community advocate for youth and teen violence prevention all across the city of Nashville.  He has served as a district trainer and presenter on numerous occasions on a variety of academic topics including:  Teacher Efficacy, School Climate & Culture Building, Memory & Retention Studies, Brain-based Research and Teacher Quality.  Woodard is a 2007-08 graduate of the Principals’ Leadership Academy of Nashville and a member of the Leadership Nashville class of 2013. He also participated in the Principals’ Leadership Development Research Study at Vanderbilt University from 2008-2010. He served as a delegate to participate in the Educational Leadership Learning Exchange in China in 2009, where he spent 14 days in Guangdong Province(People’s Republic of China) collaborating with school leaders in China.  Woodard earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a Master’s from Tennessee State University, and he completed the doctoral program at Lipscomb University in 2012.  The Tennessean honored Woodard in 2010 as one of “Nashville’s Peace Keepers” for his work with conflict resolution, anti-bullying and violence prevention in schools.  In Fall 2011, Woodard was assigned to take the helm at Maplewood High School.  Since Woodard’s arrival at Maplewood, he has brought a variety of new initiatives that are working to strengthen local business and community partnerships for the school.  Led by his mantra… “Lives will be changed in this school every day”, the graduation rate improved by more than 18% and the school moved into “good standing” in 2014.  In 2014, Maplewood High School was honored by Metro Nashville Public Schools for having the highest increase in academic test score gains in a single year.  In 2015, under Dr. Woodard’s leadership, Maplewood High School celebrated the grand opening of the first Firestone Automotive Training Academy-sponsored by Bridgestone. Woodard also worked with numerous community partners including the Martha O’Bryan Center to develop an Entrepreneurship Center inside of Maplewood High School as well as a College and Career center affectionately known as the “College Zone”.  Woodard is very passionate about college access and is the co-founder of the Bridges to Belmont Scholarship Program that has placed more than 100 students from across the city of Nashville in college on full academic scholarships.   In 2013, YMCA of Middle TN honored Woodard with the Community Achievement Award for his outstanding service to the youth of Nashville area. Dr. Woodard was named MNPS Principal of the Year in 2014 and was honored as the 2014 Nashville Chamber of Commerce “Academies of Nashville” Principal of the Year as well. Woodard was also named as the 2015 Northwest YMCA Humanitarian of the Year. In 2016, Woodard received national honors as an “American Gradate Champion” for his work in improving graduation rates and college access for underprivileged students.  From 2017-2020, Dr. Woodard served as the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction in Maury County Public Schools.  Woodard is still working to change lives while serving as the Executive Director of Secondary Learning in Springfield Public Schools (Springfield, Missouri).