Wood ready to face task of taking EMS to highest levels

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By Mary Barczak

MOUNT WASHINGTON--As Eastside Middle School enters its 10th year of existence, trailblazer Bonita Franklin will hand over the “wings”  to new principal Troy Wood.

Wood has been serving as the assistant principal at Bullitt East High School for the last three years, but he is ready for the new challenge.

“I was looking to advance and move forward in my career,” said the Mount Washington resident. “Eastside is the best school in the county and one of the top in the state.”

Though he anticipates the transition from high school to middle school a to be a bit tricky, Wood said he thinks his experience as the principal of the freshman academy at BE has helped prepare him.

“I have been very involved with the college and career readiness program at the school so I know what (the eighth graders) will need to be successful in high school,” he said.

Wood also spent some time as the interim principal of Eastside a couple years ago when Franklin was on leave.

“I opened the school as the only administrator that year and welcomed the kids… In those two weeks, I was able to see how the school was run and I thought, ‘This would be a great place to be,’ he said.

Before returning to BE (he is a 1992 graduate), Wood previously worked at Bullitt Central for eight years as a special education instructor and also coached various teams, such as the track and girls’ basketball.

He knew at a young age, since high school,  that he wanted to be a teacher to “impact youth’s lives.”

Wood received his bachelor’s degree in special education from Western Kentucky University in 2001 then his master’s in special education from WKU in 2003.

He will take his new post July 1 and is positive about his future at Eastside.

“(Franklin and I) have different leadership styles, but I think we have the same goal wanting students to succeed,” he said.

Some of his goals he hopes to include:

-Expanding on the college and career readiness program

-Implementing the proposed executive functions seminar which will teach students how to be organized and manage their time proficiently

-Continuing to work on “vertical alignment” between the elementary, middle and high schools by adding a transition day at Eastside for fifth graders, too

Like Franklin, Wood is a firm believer in the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports system.

“High standards and expectations are a must, but you’ve got to celebrate success, too,” he said.

Though he misses being in the classroom teaching, Wood knows his job as a principal will be an important one.

“The role of a principal is to set forth a clear vision and purpose and communicate that to everybody,” he said.

Though he’ll miss being in the BE building, he knows he will not be far and will still be able to directly impact the lives of the high school students by preparing students at the middle school level.

BCPS Superintendent Keith Davis said Wood will have some “big shoes to fill.”

He said the school’s SBDM council thought Wood would be the best fit for the job.

Davis said he “hope(s) that Mr. Wood will uphold and enhance Eastside’s reputation as a distinguished school.”