Meet a Roadrunner: UTSA-proud alumnus leads Texas' fourth largest ISD

Brian Woods

Brian Woods Ed.D. '12

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(Aug. 13, 2014) -- Meet Brian T. Woods Ed.D. '12. This UTSA alumnus is superintendent of Northside Independent School district, the largest school district in San Antonio and the fourth largest in the State of Texas.

Located in the fastest growing area of the city, NISD has a staff of more than 13,300. who serve more than 101,000 students across 116 campuses. If we're comparing size, Woods' role could be likened to the CEO of Hershey, Hobby Lobby or Lexmark.

As superintendent, Woods is an educational leader, overseeing all administrative matters as they relate to staffing, students and operation of the schools within the district. One of his chief responsibilities is to communicate with staff and patrons to help them understand what the district's priorities are and what challenges it may be facing.

Woods began his career in Northside in 1992 as a social studies teacher at Marshall High School and taught U.S. government, economics and U.S. history. From there, he demonstrated initiative and leadership in various roles, and in July 2012, he became superintendent.

Earning both his master's and doctorate degrees in educational leadership at UTSA, his education was a crucial step to help him get to where he is today.

"My education at UTSA prepared me tremendously well, particularly during my doctorate when I was able to do concentrated work in the superintendent certification program and spend time around people who have lived it," he said. "What I found at UTSA was that there's a real sense of care of the individuals in the education programs, which can be rare to find at a large public institution. There are professors within the college who are doing important and practical research and yet still care very much about each student and his or her success."

He stays in regular contact with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development.

"Most of the teachers and administrators we hire at Northside are educated at UTSA, so we have a lot of interest in the quality and relevance of the programs there," he said. "Plus, many of the professors I had are now good friends of mine today."

He hopes his fifth grade son will one day choose to come to UTSA, keeping the Roadrunner tradition in the family.

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