Breaking News
More () »

'My love is public education': Retiring NISD superintendent looks to future of working in public education

Dr. Brian Woods says the pandemic played a role in his decision to step down as superintendent. But he wanted to help stabilize the district before leaving.

SAN ANTONIO — Northside ISD Superintendent Brian Woods plans on following his passion for education elsewhere following the end of his tenure next summer as superintendent of Texas's fourth-largest school district. 

Woods will have served 11 years as superintendent once he officially departs his position in June of 2023.

“It’s time for the district to have new leadership, for me to a step aside, them to hire somebody else and me to go start another chapter,” Woods said. 

He began his career at Northside ISD in 1992 as a social studies teacher then worked in various administrative roles before becoming superintendent in July 2012. 

“Clearly being named superintendent here was the highlight of my professional career, always will be,” Woods said. 

Woods has overseen the passage of three bonds worth $2.4 billion, resulting in more schools and renovated facilities to accommodate growing enrollment. 

The coronavirus pandemic proved challenging for students and teachers, from the pivot to digital learning to returning to the classroom. 

“We still have some learning lag, especially with our most disadvantaged kids and families. That is going to have to continue to be a focus for the district,” Woods said. 

Woods noted the pandemic had some influence on his decision to retire as superintendent and eventually pursue other opportunities. 

“I think it’s played a role for me in that I didn’t want to leave when I thought the district was still in a really challenged and vulnerable position, right. I think the district’s on solid footing. We’re passed the worst, we hope, of the pandemic and again, this is a really solid group of board of members who I have complete faith will do a great job in hiring the next superintendent,” he said.

Northside ISD remains one of the highest-paying districts in the area for first year teachers at around $57,000 annually. 

Wanda Longoria, president of Northside AFT, hopes the next superintendent is able to strengthen ties with the community and workers union. 

“At a time when we can’t seem to attract teachers and many are leaving the profession, it’s going to be important for a superintendent to understand that he needs to work with the union, it’s members, the employees to ensure the environment is one that’s sustainable,” Longoria said.

Woods, who leads the Texas School Alliance, plans on continuing to work in public education in some capacity.

“My passion, my love is public education, so I don’t know if I’ll ever step away from that in this next chapter. I hope to be very much engaged in that, to be engaged in policy work, try to be a resource for policy makers so that we can better by Texas children, teachers and school staff,” Wood said.

The NISD Board of Trustees will consider hiring a search firm to track down candidates for the next superintendent.

Before You Leave, Check This Out