“I love the business of education,” said new Wiscasset School Department Superintendent Terry Wood, who brings almost 30 years of experience in education to the job she started July 1.
Wood held several administrative positions in Presque Isle for the past few years.
She worked as director of instruction and Title I coordinator for Maine School Administrative District 1. She was also responsible for recruiting Chinese students to attend school in the district.
In addition, Wood was the executive director of the Central Aroostook Council on Education, scheduling professional development for the area’s 17 school districts and serving as superintendent for two area school districts.
Wood has experience with a range of jobs in education, from bus driver to school secretary, teacher, assistant principal, curriculum director, and superintendent, in school districts across Maine.
She is working toward her doctorate in administrative leadership from Walden University, an accredited online college. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine at Fort Kent and her master’s degree from St. Joseph’s College in Standish.
In addition to looking forward to working one full-time job, Wood said she is excited “to work in a smaller school district where I can really get to know the students and the staff.” Her family loves the area and has vacationed here for 25 years.
Wood’s first priority is to fill six open positions in the school department, the most noteworthy being the position of assistant principal/athletic director.
Other vacant positions include those of a teacher for the Sheepscot Regional Education Program, a partnership with neighboring school districts for special education that will move into Wiscasset Middle High this year; two educational technicians; and a varsity boys basketball coach. The department is also anticipating an opening in physical education.
Before she sets any concrete goals for the department, Wood wants to talk with staff, students, and the community about what has worked for the school and what has not.
As for Wood’s philosophy as a leader, she describes herself as collaborative in her planning and decision-making.
“I don’t believe in me being first and everyone following me,” Wood said. “My belief is that I will assist and provide the needed supports, so that we can all focus on meeting our goals.”
Academically, she wants to improve state test scores and overall student growth. She plans to do so by maximizing the department’s use of resources like Title 1 funds, which go to schools with high percentages of children from low-income families; and literacy and math coaches, to improve student achievement.
Wood is still settling in with her family in Wiscasset. The family includes her youngest of eight children, Naomi Wood, 13, who will enter the ninth grade at Wiscasset Middle High School.
“I do plan on being involved and representing the school throughout the community,” Wood said. “I plan on attending sports events and academic events. You’ll see me around.”
Former Superintendent Heather Wilmot headed the department for three years before leaving June 30.
Wilmot said she loved her career as superintendent and had “mixed emotions” about leaving, but added, “I had to place the needs of my family first.” She and her family will relocate over the summer.
“I am proud of the work that has been done and I am confident that the department is well-positioned for continued success,” Wilmot said. “I know that the staff and community will provide a warm welcome for Superintendent Wood, as they did for me.”