LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Pren Woods

Position: Seventh Grade World History Teacher
School: Alston Middle School
School District: Dorchester School District Two
City, State: Summerville, SC

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Music that Describes Pren

Pren Woods was nominated by his colleague, Rachel Edwards.

"I met Mr. Woods when I was the media specialist at Alston Middle School.  One of the first experiences I had with him was when we worked together with his classes on a research project involving important people from ancient civilizations," said Edwards. "The students were divided into groups to research these people, and after completing their projects, Mr. Woods invited me into his classroom to observe the finished products. He made history relevant to today's world by creating a work environment where the students had to go through a mock job interview using the information they had acquired through their research. They used their research to answer questions posed by Mr. Woods, who was interviewing each candidate for a particular position in his 'company.'  He randomly selected one person from each group to be interviewed, but all of the students had to be dressed professionally, and they each observed as he pointed out the importance of a firm handshake, eye to eye contact, and demonstrating professional behavior during the interview process.

Mr. Woods would also bring his classes into the media center to perform rap songs they wrote about the facts he had taught them in class. His students not only enjoyed themselves, but they also knew the content by heart.

"Since I still work in the various media centers around the District, I hear teachers and students talk about the activities they do in Mr. Woods' classes," said Edwards. "He is so well-respected by his peers in the teaching profession, and he always uses innovative methods to engage his students. I am continuously amazed by his gift for making history come alive for his students."

Although he expects a great deal from his students, they all love him and continue to keep in touch with him long after they have left middle and high school. In fact, he often appears on the social media pages of his students helping them and their families celebrate different life events.  

Mr. Woods not only excels in the classroom, but he is always looking for ways to broaden his own educational background by participating in or serving on committees, symposiums, conferences, classes, etc. all over the world. In the summer, it's not unusual for him to be traveling around the world, learning more about other cultures and historical events to enhance his teaching and increase his own personal knowledge of history and world events. Throughout the school year, he will often spend his weekends speaking at a conference or serving on a consortium.

"I often wonder how he has the stamina to do all that he does, but I think that his love for history and his deep desire to make his students understand the different cultures around the world help to sustain him on a daily basis," said Edwards. "I have often told him that he should serve in some type of diplomatic position, but he always reminds me that he is helping to mold the minds of young people. What could be more important than that?"

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Comments (79)

Maranda Wilkinson Posted today

Woods possesses the ability to captivate and engage his audience. I watched him step into multiple classrooms across Western Russia and within minutes have students laughing and participating in an activity. Cheers to a teacher who can cross borders and connect with youth!

Angee Bison Posted 1 days ago

Mr.Woods was my sons favorite teacher when he was in 6th grade! My son and his friends still talk about the memories from his class! When my son graduated in 2018, Mr.Woods came to his party and gathered all the students who he taught in the past and they sang a song from class on the stage! My daughter had the privilege of having Mr. Woods last year in 7th grade and she enjoyed his class to the fullest along with an awesome trip to Washington D.C. !

Nancy Quire Posted 1 days ago

Mr. Woods was known to my family from his former teaching of my niece. We went to her graduation party and her and 2 others remembered the Cold War song he had taught them in 7th grade. When it came to my son being in his class a few years later I was so thankful as I knew that Mr.Woods was committed to his students 100%. What a wonderful teacher!!!

Jack Harrington Posted 1 days ago

Ask me what I learned in 8th grade or 6th grade social studies. In all honesty, I can remember very little, being history was my weak subject and it bored me. But what’s the point of that? That information does me no good if I can’t remember, but 3 years ago, from 7th grade, I remember all the fun projects and songs mr woods had us do in his class. While holding not just his “advanced” kids to a high standard, he gives out genius, but simple projects that make you think about what your learning. To this day I can still recite Mr Woods own “Cold War Song” and many others about the French Revolution, enlightenment, and so much more. Any teacher can teach curriculum, but he way Mr woods brings his class to life is like no other!

Nellie Kennedy Posted 2 days ago

I know Mr. Woods to be a very professional, intelligent,and innovative world history teacher. For many years,I have kept up with his rewarding trips and experiences all over the world. He willingly comes back to the classroom and shares the experiences and make them come alive. His students get the benefit of learning from someone who has first -hand knowledge. There are many other opportunities that Mr. Woods could accept, but his heart is set on helping his seventh grade students to become productive citizens. He is accomplishing this goal as many students who are now successful in their careers thank him for being an integral part in their success. Mr. Pren Woods is definitely a life changer! Nellie Kennedy, retired educator

Alison Waring Posted 2 days ago

Innovative, genuine, future minded, advocate! Four of the thousands of words I could use to describe the only teacher that still keeps in touch with my daughter, eight years after he taught her. Pren Woods is a teacher that continues to teach after students have moved on to other grades, schools, or cities. His smile and charismatic attitude create a learning environment where ALL children learn and belong.

Cade swygert Posted 2 days ago

Mr. Woods is always in a great mood and Is a very fun person to be around

Marsha Johnson Posted 2 days ago

I've read through each comment and only wish I had left mine sooner - all the folks here have captured Mr. Woods PERFECTLY!! Throughout each paragraph, the realization that he started as "another good teacher" for my son and has become a lifelong advocate for Emmet ("D") and FRIEND to our family is overwhelming. One parent summed up well that Dunn "doesn't just teach" but rather "teaching IS his life". I completely agree and would go further to add that incredible teaching is simply the byproduct of an incredible human. Dunn Woods is extraordinary; he doesn't rely solely on state or national standards to direct what is taught in his classroom. He is inquisitive; he asks questions (all.the.time) and encourages others to seek and explore rather than assuming there are always concrete answers. He is wildly driven and is nothing short of contagious to those around him. Mostly, though, he is radically empathic and his heart to first understand and genuinely love others is something rarely seen, not just in education, but in humanity. I hope Mr. Woods knows how important he is to the lives he has directly influenced and just how great his reach has become. He is an absolute example to other teachers in the classroom and, I'm sure, could pass along plenty of helpful tips and tricks. Truthfully, though, if I could predict his "menu" for great teaching, my bet is that "love well" or "love them all" is one of his main ingredients! We're thankful for him and blessed because of him!

Brittany Fitzgibbon Posted 2 days ago

Mr. Woods makes everyone around him a better listener, learner and teacher. No one has had such a positive and empathetic effect on my teaching. Mr. Woods pushes me to have higher expectations for my students by sharing inspiring stories, for myself by pushing me to grow professionally outside my comfort zone, and for our profession by demanding that we think globally. Mr. Woods has helped hundreds of teachers like me find new opportunities to learn and he is a coach and role model for how to bring our learning into the classroom. I feel grateful to have Mr. Woods as a friend and mentor.

Liza Mathews Posted 2 days ago

As a Fulbright-Hays Award (for cultural connections between Greece and Turkey) participant with Mr. Pren Woods in 2011, I had the opportunity to work closely with him in creating social studies curriculum for our classrooms. Mr. Woods is a deep thinker who is passionate about equity and the nuances of cultural understanding as they relate to human rights. He always pushed my thinking forward with rich and thoughtful discussions. Mr. Woods thrives on intellectual challenge and engages with an eye for a deeper understanding and multiple narratives to inform his teaching. Mr. Woods is a consummate professional and truly a lifelong learner. Throughout our seminar (six weeks), Mr. Woods was constantly developing activities, projects, and programs to enhance the lives of his students - all with the enthusiasm of a brand new teacher. He is unstoppable in his quest to make his classroom a vibrant, thriving place for students where curiosity, challenge, and understanding are valued. His teaching lens of "making history come alive" was evident in all of our curricular collaborations. Mr. Woods uses multiple modalities and strategies to reach his students - music, visual arts, dance, and even opera all find their way into learning activities in a highly intentional manner, resulting in deeper learning and retention for his students. While Mr. Woods holds very high academic expectations for ALL of his students, he very much understands that teaching is about relationships and knowing each student. I cannot think of a more deserving Life Changer than Mr. Woods! ~ Liza Mathews, Classroom Teacher at Neil Cummins Elementary School, Corte Madera, California

Sarah Bares Posted 2 days ago

Mr. Woods has a boundless enthusiasm for learning that is both rare and contagious. He knows how to ask questions that will help the students to make discoveries themselves about the material, rather than telling them what to think. The opera program that he runs in his time outside of school hours and dedicates Saturdays to is AMAZING. My children look forward to every performance.

Hayden Fowler Posted 2 days ago

Not only is Mr. Woods an incredible teacher, he impacts his students in so many ways outside of the class. For example, all of the farmers market visits, and meeting at restaurants to sing the songs he were taught in school. He taught me about 6 years ago and is hands down the best teacher I’ve ever had. Thank you for everything you do for the community and myself.

Kayla Norris Posted 2 days ago

Mr. Woods is by far one of the most influential teachers I have ever had the opportunity of learning from. He finds a way to make a connection with each student that lasts. He may be a little hard on his students, but it’s always for the best. Still to this day whenever I run into him he finds a way to make an extravagant reunion. I will always carry the values he has taught me. And I was lucky enough to have him for 6th & 7th grade, even though I may not have thought that then.

Allison Simpson Posted 2 days ago

I don't think I've ever known a teacher more invested in his students and their success than Mr. Woods. Not only does he teach with imagination and enthusiasm in the classroom and expect the very best, but he also cares enough to attend his students' extracurricular activities. If there's a play or a basketball game or a musical performance or anything else, Mr. Woods goes out of his way to show his students they are important to him by attending. He is a wonderful teacher who has impacted the lives of hundreds of children lucky enough to be in his class!

Michelle Warren Posted 2 days ago

There is no question when asked if I would support Mr. Woods on this nomination by sharing a few words that I would not do so! Mr. Woods was a life changer for my daughter and how she viewed not only social studies, but the arts as well. Mr. Woods creatively used music, rapping, etc in the classroom to engage his students and encourage them to remember important historical facts. For the first time ever, my daughter was excited to learn social studies and looked forward to that class each day. Even now she remembers the songs and the history because of him. Then Mr. Woods went above and beyond by exposing the children to Opera in the community. I was deeply moved by this as we have an opera singer in our family and I have not been able to get my daughter interested in attending one of her aunt's shows. Through Mr. Woods encouragement, Nadia attended two operas and came home to tell me all about it and how awesome it was and what she learned. I knew Mr. Woods was a special and gifted teacher when the first class trip was to the farmer's market in Summerville. The way he connected history to the experience was unlike anything I had witnessed before and I found myself wishing I had a teacher like him when I was growing up. There is no doubt that Mr. Woods is a life changer to every child he comes in contact with and his love for what he does oozes from his pores. He is a gift to all and I am glad that he is a gift that my daughter and I were blessed to experience. Thank you for all you do for the community and the school Mr. Woods.

Kelly White Posted 2 days ago

Mr. Woods is an incredible teacher. I had the pleasure of working with him as the Instructional Technology Specialist many years ago. Mr. Woods was eager to set up Skype to enable his students to collaborate with students from other countries. He is always singing and encouraging his students. His love of history is evident in all that he does. It is a pleasure to call him a colleague and friend.

Alison VanArsdalen Posted 2 days ago

Pren is an incredibly engaging teacher. His use of music to make historical connections is both unique and incredibly creative. Students love learning his songs, and in turn they learn to love Social Studies! I enjoy collaborating with Pren as a fellow teacher and colleague.

Matthew Caughell Posted 2 days ago

As one of Mr. Woods’ colleagues, I have seen his passion for teaching history. Mr. Woods brings innovative practices to the classroom to reach all the students he teaches. He encourages students to love history and sets high expectations for all learners in his classroom. In the past, Mr. Woods’ love of history has inspired him to participate in professional learning opportunities at various locations around the country and world. He shares knowledge gained with district colleagues during professional development conferences, such as the Learning By Design annual conference. Mr. Woods also shares strategies and information with colleagues during collaborative planning.

Valentino Garcia Posted 2 days ago

Mr. Pren Woods is a dedicated teacher that my daughter had last year. He helped her enjoy school and the study of opera, social studies, Washington DC, music and the challenge of learning. He treats his job as a vocation and not just an occupation. Pren is well respected and loved by his students, former and present. He is a professional educator who sets the standard by always looking for ways to prefect his skills and talent to educated not only students but parents also. Mr. Woods, Thank you for your support and dedication to our students.

Christy Carter Posted 3 days ago

Supportive, energetic and innovative educator.

Julie Ritchie Posted 3 days ago

My son, Jack, had the pleasure of having Mr. Woods’ class two years ago. At the time he would sometimes fuss about the rigor and expectations, but I knew as a teacher myself, and as a mother, that is what middle schooler’s need to learn to live up to! Now, Jack looks back and often remarks that Mr. Woods was his favorite teacher and he wishes he could have him again! Also, while we’re doing jobs around the house or working in the yard, I’ll hear Jack singing a song he learned in Mr. Woods class that has a historical connection! I love that Mr. Woods makes history fun & interesting, and I just wish I had had that teacher when I was learning history in school, instead of being bored to tears. Now, my daughter is also in his class, and also has such fun preparing for the skits and activities he uses to bring history to life. I admire and respect the passion Mr. Woods puts into lessons for every student in every class. He also spends most of his time outside of the classroom broadening his own historical experience and knowledge in order to continuously improve his own background knowledge to share with his scholars. He makes history exciting and relevant, and in doing so, he creates a better future for our children and the world! He is the epitome of what a true educator should be, and he will always have my vote!

Jorgia Hazelwood Posted 3 days ago

My daughter is in high school now but was a student of Mr.woods a couple of years ago. We still talk about Mr. Woods quite often. She learned so much in his class! I think what I was so impressed by is the different methods he used in his class to teach the lessons. I believe that different students learn in different ways and in Mr. Woods class it doesn’t matter what your learning style is, there is something for you! You will learn history and you will like it! He incorporated the arts which I really loved! Kids did skits, sang songs, did projects. He is a great communicator. There were no surprises, he expected a lot and the kids knew it! We love Mr. Woods!

Wilhemina Hill Posted 3 days ago

Mr. Woods is a wonderful teacher and has a true desire to teach and give everyone the opportunity to learn and e explore our world. Outside the box.

Amanda L Perez-Perez Posted 3 days ago

Mr.Woods went over and beyond with teaching my son his next steps in his education. He is overall the best when it comes to education and guiding students on their education journey. Keep up the great work. You are a true inspiration.

Lea Wrenn Posted 3 days ago

Mr. Woods! There is so much that can be said for his amazing teaching style and his connection to students and parents. I had Mr. Woods for history when I was in 6th and 7th grade and I still remember his songs, his enthusiasm, and his love for teaching, as a senior in college! He is wonderful about getting to know both student and parent, which is not required per the curriculum but, is greatly appreciated. My family still keeps in contact with him and enjoys learning about everything he does to help his students understand the material. I know I speak for all of my siblings who have had Mr. Woods when I say he is the most deserving teacher I have ever had. He really gives his classes his all, every single day, and I could not ask for a better teacher to have a stronger impact on my future.

Angie Wrenn Posted 3 days ago

Mr. Woods is an awesome teacher! He taught my three kids years ago but they still remember the fun informative subjects from his class. My oldest daughter was shy when she started middle school and he really brought her out of her shell. He makes learning interesting by singing songs and assigning fun projects. My middle daughter was not very good with History before his class but she excelled because his lessons are so exciting and not boring at all! My son is in high school now and he just mentioned Mr. Woods as his favorite teacher on a written paper. My son says often that he misses his class! Any child that does not have Mr. Woods as a teacher is definitely missing out!

Wendy Moose Posted 3 days ago

My son had Mr. Woods two years ago; his enthusiasm for what he taught and his ability to bring history alive to his class was incredible. My son came home every day telling me how much fun he had in class that day. Mr. Woods helped me push my son in the most positive way to take his school work and education seriously. My son is now taking honors classes and I strongly believe Mr. Woods had a huge hand in helping him accomplish that by encouraging and supporting him both in his class and since then. He truly is an amazing teacher!

Natalie Posted 3 days ago

This isn’t a job or career for Mr. Woods. This is his life. He was made to be a teacher. He delivers information in a variety of ways and makes it relevant and interesting. He is truly invested in his students and it shows.

Gloria Jackson Posted 3 days ago

Hi Pren, you are a phenomenal teacher and your world travels give you a unique set of experiences and wealth of knowledge to share with your students. Keep up the great work! You are a treasure and an open book!

Frankie Troyan Posted 3 days ago

I had Mr.Woods years ago, and he was the best educater I have had to date, he has a drive and passion for his student and teaching like no other!

Madison Salam Posted 3 days ago

Mr. Woods was my social studies teacher in 6th and 7th grade, and although I am now receiving my Doctor of Pharmacy degree, he still acts as a personal and professional mentor to myself and other peers. He taught me respect and diligence from a young age that translate into my life daily, even as a young professional. I have yet to encounter another person so passionate and dedicated to his or her job as Mr. Woods is!

Tristan Cromer Posted 3 days ago

Mr. Woods made me into the student I am today. The way that he invests time into students is unlike any other teacher I have encountered. He challenged me to work harder, to think outside of the box, and to get out of my comfort zone. He instilled a work ethic that carried on into high school and college and was the first person to prepare me for the future of school. The culture that he creates in the classroom gets the students excited to learn. Mr. Woods was the first teacher in my life to have a big influence on me. The values and skills that I learned from him and his class have stuck with me throughout life and been more helpful than I could describe. I am a more outgoing and creative person, a harder worker, a better listener, and so much more because of him. Mr. Woods is a prime example of what every teacher should be to their students.

Jennifer Beachy Posted 3 days ago

I wish I had a teacher like Mr. Woods when I was in school. Both of my children were blessed to have him in 7th grade. He has such a unique teaching style, his students know what is expected of them and he expects them to learn to communicate with each other and their parents as well as himself with his assignments. My son ,who is now a senior, still remembers songs that Mr. Woods made up and used to teach history! He is a wonderful asset to our school and our world!

Sarah Danila Posted 3 days ago

My daughter is only a few weeks into 7th grade and almost everyday of school I have heard stories of how Mr. Woods inspires her come out of her shell and participate in classroom activities. I met Mr. Woods personally at open house recently and I'm so thankful that my daughter has such an amazing teacher! I'm excited to see what the rest of the year brings!

Nicole Smith Posted 3 days ago

I worked alongside Mr. Pren Woods some years ago at Alston Middle School in Dorchester School District II, and he was certainly one of the teachers there that I admired. His enthusiasm for student achievement, creative approaches to support student learning, rapport with students, and undeniable mastery of the content that he taught to his students each day made him one of a kind. The Life Changer of the Year award is an honor that Mr. Woods is certainly deserving of because his work with students, colleagues, and the community have caused many lives to be touched in a positive way. I am proud of his impact and beautiful efforts to make a difference.

Jane Morgan Posted 3 days ago

Even though I actually don't know Mr. Woods, I see him around our town frequently. I am always impressed with how cheerful and energetic he is. You can just tell that he has a great love for life, and I am certain that spills over into his classroom every day.

Amie Grant Posted 3 days ago

Congratulations Pren Dunn! The Grant Family is so excited for you and YOU are so deserving!!!

John Johnson Posted 3 days ago

I met Dunn aka “Mr. Woods” approximately a decade ago when my son entered the seventh grade in a brand new town and a brand new school. My son was nervous and he really needed two things : to feel like he belonged and to be challenged to live up to his potential. Dunn not only made both of those things happen, he helped set the stage for the years of academic and personal success that followed. My son felt so strongly about this that when he was asked in his high school awards ceremonies or in his college applications to describe the educator that influenced him there most he never hesitated to call out Dunn. If that was the only story about Dunn that would be enough, but it is but a teaspoon of sand on the vast shoreline of impacts Dunn has had both here in Summerville, South Carolina and around the world. I have seen YouTube videos of this man leading busloads if people in foreign lands in songs that mix history and popular culture to engage hearts, minds and creativity in learning. I have read and heard from others in my community story after story of Dunn having the hard conversations with his students, parents and fellow educators that are lacking from too much of our fear based educational interface. I have seen smiling and laughing teenagers and young people who get surprised at a birthday or a major life event when this man shows up for them years after their last test was graded. This man is a force of nature and yes a life changer. He does that by showing up, he does that by being for people. I will forever be grateful for him, not just as a parent but as a member of a community that has been impacted by both his indescribable methods of reaching and teaching kids and his heart for them and all of us.

Tara Bailey Posted 3 days ago

My daughter had Mr. Woods two years ago and still quotes him on a regular basis. The things that she remembers the most concern justice and human relations. I can’t believe that as a freshman in high school she still says, “Mr. Woods taught us that...” She is a kid who doesn’t love school work but never once complained about her assignments from Mr. Woods because they were “meaningful and worth it.” He prepared her well for AP Human Geography in both rigor and content, but I am mostly impressed that she is conscientious about choosing words and actions that primarily consider how they will be received by others. This was always reinforced by Mr. Woods, and she credits him to this day.

Wade Hamilton Posted 3 days ago

Mr. Woods is a phenomenal educator, but it is his dedication to his students overall well-being that is truly amazing. In the classroom, Mr. Woods immerses his students into the world history curriculum through music, dance, and acting. Students often discover a hidden talent and develop critical thinking skills that last a life time.

Corey Posted 3 days ago

My story with Mr. Woods began when I was a 10-year old that was nervously anticipating my first day of middle school. When I walked into my first class, the beginning of my sixth-grade year, I was so nervous and fearful of what was to come. However, when I walked out of that class about an hour later, I couldn't seem to stop laughing no matter how hard I tried. I had just witnessed a teacher perform several original songs about the lifestyles of hunter-gatherers in ancient Mesopotamia, with multiple dance routines to go along. That first class ended with our teacher dancing on a desk as he sang the last verse of one of his famous songs. That was Mr. Woods. As the year went along, the songs and dances multiplied, each covering the relevant unit of our learning. We created movies, music videos, fashion attire, songs, dances, and so much more as we learned about ancient civilizations and religions through a lens that I had never experienced before. I had no idea on that first day that I would eventually judge an episode of his famous, "America's Next Top Model: History Edition." But, that was normal in Mr. Woods' classroom, he challenged us to expand our comfort zones and learn so much along the way. Coincidentally, the biggest take aways I had from that class were not history related. That's not because we weren't taught everything we needed to know and more; we were, and in ways that were unconventional and always so much fun. But, because there were more important things I learned along the way. Anyone that has ever met Mr. Woods knows how important the idea of respect is to him. He places incredible value on the idea of respect, and how people should treat one another. I can undoubtedly say that Mr. Woods' class taught me to empathize, to place myself in the shoes of others before judging. To this day, I think back to many of the habits I have kept from Mr. Woods in regards to my worldview and the way I think about others. There's so much more to be said about Mr. Wood's to truly do him justice as both a person and teacher, but this space is only so large and there's limited time. But, I can't imagine anyone more deserving of this award than he is. There aren't many people that possess the ability to connect with students to encourage learning on the subject matter, but also the ability to teach so much more about life and the value of respect. So, Mr. Woods, if you're reading this (which knowing you, I am almost certain you are), thank you for everything! I think I speak for a lot of people when I say, we appreciate you!

Maya Warwick Posted 4 days ago

Mr. Woods, You're my "once in a lifetime" teacher that will stay with me forever. Everything that you have taught not only me, but all of your students will forever be imbedded into our brains. Your passion for teaching is something we all can feel. I will forever admire how you chose a profession that put countless others before yourself, and even with that, you always made me feel like I was the most important one. Honestly, you made all of your students feel that way. I will forever admire your spirit. Your love of life and the people in it fills my heart with a joy that has never faded. You deserve all good things this life has to offer!

Lori Hamilton Posted 4 days ago

The definition of a "masterpiece" is a work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship. Mr. Woods is a teaching "masterpiece". My son had the privilege of being in Mr. Woods' class last year and this year my daughter shares that privilege. I have the privilege of feeling a kinship to this gentleman who inspires, laughs, teaches and most importantly CARES for my children and, indeed, all the children with whom he has contact. He not only teaches subject matter in a way that inspires thoughtful introspection and a pondering of why we think as we do, he teaches the ever important soft skills... "attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people." He demonstrates and encourages manners, respect, politeness, honesty, integrity, love of self and love of others. It is an honor to know him and a comfort to know that each day he is teaching and watching my children and caring for them while they are at school. True masterpieces are few and far between, I am honored to know this one.

Jason Posted 4 days ago

When I was one of Mr. Woods’ students in middle school, he inspired me to have an interest in world history that has lasted since then. His classes were always fun and engaging, and he made sure that every student understood the material that he was teaching.

Thomas Posted 4 days ago

Mr. Woods taught me in 6th & 7th grade. He was an amazing teacher and really changed the lives of me and my classmates. At the time we all though he was the difficult teacher and was not excited at first. But looking back he taught us so many valuable lessons that helped me into college. I was always excited to go to class and have fun learning. He is an incredible candidate for this award.

Marsha K Humphreys Posted 4 days ago

About four years ago, Mr. Wood was the American history teacher of the year for the Susannah Smith Elliott Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. He was a guest speaker for one of our chapter meetings. He is quite knowledgeable and knows how to make learning fun.

Jacob Church Posted 4 days ago

Mr. Woods is by far the best teacher I’ve had. The way he teaches is different and unique. I came out of his class a better man. He is the best teacher in the low country.

Jalise Brown Posted 4 days ago

Mr. Woods was my Social Studies teacher when I was in 6th and 7th grade. I am now 21 years old and will never forget having a teacher like him. He made learning Social Studies fun and engaging. I still remember the content I have learned in his class 10 years later because of the funny songs, commercials, etc. that we did in his class. I still have vivid memories of all the jokes he would tell in class and how much I loved going to his class. Mr. Woods is very caring about his students and still keeps in contact with plenty of them, even ones who are in college like me. I am studying education in school and always hope to be an incredible, unforgettable teacher like Mr. Woods. I consider myself so lucky to have had Mr. Woods as my social studies teacher and any other student who gets him is very lucky as well.

Emme Inabinett Posted 4 days ago

I was fortunate enough to have Mr. Woods as one of my middle school teachers. He pushed so hard that times it frustrated me, however, as an adult I understand why and I’m so grateful. He constantly sees vast potential in his students and allows them to expand and grow in his classroom. He provided me the first classroom to ask the teacher, “why?” The inquisitive leaner in me thanks him!

Mariela Murdock Posted 5 days ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing teacher. He truly cares about his students and their family. Both my kids has Mr. Woods as their teacher. He has a way of teaching that brought the world and culture to life for his students and the their families. We watched our first live opera at the Met on the movie screen in town! I can't tell you how incredible it was to see this. Mr. Woods made that happen for his kids and family. Our first Opera was Madame Butterfly April 2, 2016. My kids first rolled their eyes when we were going to see the opera. Let me tell you they were hooked after that first opera! The music, story line, props, costumes, the actors and the interviews! WOW!!! We looked forward to all the operas afterwards. Another memorable moment in the creative life of being in Mr. Woods class was meeting some amazing exchange students from around the world. We had foods from different countries. We met and spoke to people we would not normally meet. Learned about their country, their customs, and their politics. We learned so much that night. Mr. Woods creativity and positive energy just makes you want to learn more and explore outside of your little world. Mr. Woods expanded our kids imagination, taught them more then just whats in the books. He taught them about other countries cultures, to explore to reach out to others you may not know. My kids can still sing his History songs. Every school needs a Mr. Woods.

Jessika Manning Posted 5 days ago

My son was excited to start 7th grade this year because he knew he would have Mr. Woods. The very first day of school he was enthusiastically telling me how Mr. woods class was. I immediately thought he sounds like a special teacher. Like you would see on the Ellen show talking about how he makes a difference in kids lives. He makes learning fun and creative by making up dances and songs and more. Allowing the kids to use their voice and stretch their legs, they get out of the mindset that school is mundane. He is also very involved in each student individually and will not hesitate to contact parents for praise as well as concerns. He balances having an exciting learning environment with no-nonsense attitude when it comes to rules and respect for each other. I love how he has brought back an enthusiasm for school and learning with my son. He respects and admires Mr. Woods very much!

Colleen Call Smith Posted 5 days ago

I had the pleasure of working with Dunn during a summer institute at the National Museum of the American Indian. Dunn was selected to attend the 2019 Native Knowledge 360° Summer Teacher Institute. Native Knowledge 360° (NK360°) is the National Museum of the American Indian’s national initiative to inspire and support transformative teaching and learning about American Indians. This Institute brought together education professionals (teachers, teacher educators, instructional coordinators/curriculum specialists, librarians/media specialists) who recognize a need for, and are interested in advancing their practice of incorporating more complete narratives about American Indian histories, cultures, and contemporary lives into their teaching. Dunn actively participated in the Institute and shared valuable experiences, perspectives, and insights from his tenure in the classroom. It is clear from the his professional work that he holds a commitment to advancing more complete and inclusive learning experiences for his students. His passion and intellectual curiosity is commendable and certainly creates a learning environment in which his students' voices, perspectives, and questions are valued and celebrated.

Steven Buckner Posted 5 days ago

It’s only been a few weeks into the school year and he has already inspired our daughter. His enthusiasm for teaching shows through his lessons and many stories he tells. He is a well deserved candidate for this nomination.

JENNA BEGGS Posted 5 days ago

Long before my son even hit middle school age I knew of "this awesome teacher" via the district social media pages & other peoples children. While I didn't know his name then I most certainly do now. Mr. Woods really is an "awesome teacher" & so much more. He has the ability to engage students in learning in a fun & positive environment. It is refreshing to have my son come home from school & tell me about his class not only willingly ( & with more than "it was ok"), but with excitement. Imagine the enrichment of kids minds if all of their learning experiences were like this!

Elvia Martinez Posted 6 days ago

It’s only been a few weeks into the school year and I’ve never seen a teacher so committed to his students. With the level of enthusiasm and passion that he shows, my daughter has taken a new level of interest in school. He is actively involved, always willing to help, and gives sound advice. There are many more great things to be said. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings.

Danielle Cios Posted 6 days ago

What to say about a man who inspires my 12 year old son to be more, open his eyes and do more in life rather than just get by. He has has tapped into a piece of my son's mind to explore ideas, think and be creative. Mr. Woods is a wonderful, worldy teacher, and an incredible mentor for these children and I am thankful for him to be in my son's life now and forever. Thank you Mr. Woods!

Janice Goin Posted 6 days ago

He taught my granddaughter. This is not just a job to him, but a lifestyle. You can tell he loves teaching and his kids. He certainly made a difference for my granddaughter. We felt blessed to have had him as a teacher.

Heather Thomas Posted 6 days ago

Although it has only been a few short weeks, I have noticed that my son is actively engaged in learning about history under Mr. Woods' direction. He is an enthusiastic, passionate and magnetic teacher that can pull even the shyest kids into the lesson. He has high expectations for his students and empowers them to take responsibility for their schoolwork which has had a positive impact on my son. He is the one teacher he always rambles on about when he gets home from school!

Kassi Posted 7 days ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing teacher, mentor, and colleague. He is creative and hardworking, and you can tell the love he has for his students and the craft of teaching. Never before have I met someone who lights up and fills a room like he does, captivating everyone around him, so it’s easy to see how he could inspire a class of students. I met Mr. Woods during a summer institute as a fellow teacher and even though our work together is complete, he continues to inspire with his hard work. He is incredibly well deserved for this and any award!

Brandy Hunter-smith Posted 7 days ago

Mr. Woods throughly cares about students and their education. He is so passionate about everything he does regarding teaching. Definitely someone who want you child to learn from. He continually looks for fun and interesting ways to teach his students to help them retain the information. His love for teaching and his students is truly admirable. Mr. Woods goes above the bar to ensure there is open communication with parents and students. I’m so happy to learn of his nominee, he is truly one who deserves all the love.

Tanya Grignon Posted 7 days ago

My daughter had Mr. Woods, and now my son has him for this year. So far, Braiden has come home everyday and talks about Mr. Woods and his teaching. Braiden tells me that he feels Mr. Wood really cares and notices when he is off or sad, and goes out of his way to lift him up. Huge thank you and hugs to you Mr. Woods.

Michelle Barnes Posted 7 days ago

Mr. Woods is such a wonderful teacher who is passionate about teaching the kids. He involves them in the discussions in fun ways instead of just question and answer. My daughter loves his class and he’s the first teacher she’s had who has made learning fun and exciting!!

Mattie P. Sanders Posted 7 days ago

Mr.Woods is a teacher of all teachers. As far as teaching is concerned, he is the 8th Wonder of the World.

Shane Carter Posted 7 days ago

I am a former high school teacher who is now in my second career, as the program coordinator for ORIAS at UC Berkeley, which develops professional learning opportunities for k-12 teachers. I met Mr. Woods through his participation in a year-long program with Qatar Foundation International. He was one of about 23 teachers selected to spend a year becoming teacher-experts on teaching about the culture, history, and politics of the Middle East. My role, as a was to plan and help facilitate the 5th weekend in their series, to take place at UC Berkeley. The full group convened for 5 intensive three-day learning weekends, during which Mr. Woods was always an enthusiastic participant. He is an extraordinary teacher in too many ways to mention, but here are three that stand out. First, his questions and comments showed that he was always trying to imagine new knowledge and ideas through the lens of his students. He made sure that he was learning the things he would need in order to bring topics alive for his young students. Second, his warmth and openness win him friends in every new situation. It is easy (and wonderful) to imagine the sense of care and support his students feel in his classroom. And third, I am not sure I have ever met another teacher with as much energetic curiosity as Mr. Woods. If he models this approach in his classroom (and I am sure he does), he is teaching his students how to feel appreciation, respect, and excitement about themselves and their world. I wish every kid could have Mr. Woods for a teacher.

Hani Eldor Posted 7 days ago

Mr. Woods, AKA Dunn or Pren, is a remarkable person, full of charm and wisdom, a creative teacher who inspires everyone, students and teacher-colleagues alike. I met him 2 years ago in Japan on a delegation of teachers from different countries. It didn't take long till he befriended all of us. I was, and still am, impressed by his so many talents! He is so worthy of this award!!! Congragulations, my friend :)

Tracy Wilder Posted 7 days ago

Pren Woods was created for teaching. I am so very thankful for all the teachers my children have experienced, we've had some really good ones. But once in a while, there is one you know they (and I) will NEVER forget. Teaching not only runs through his veins-it IS his blood. It is rare anymore to see a teacher so passionate about teaching, and with what appears to be an almost innate knowledge of how to get through to an age of student that is beyond any understanding in this Middle School mother's mind ;). His skill in the arts, and desire to make learning fun was so exciting to witness. As a parent, when you watch your "I can't stand school" child in the front yard, gathering her friends and neighbor kids to create a short film along with a historical rap about the Cold War, you are amazed. And with every single assignment, and every comment, I could hear the excitement bleeding through, excitement that only a teacher who truly understood the definition of the word could provide. I felt from discussions with Mr. Woods, a sincere responsibility to insure every student felt worthy and valued. And what's more, his desire to draw together a world that is so torn by hate and intolerance, has made such an impact on that same student. One that I hope will carry through her school career and change a world that is currently, in my opinion, moving in the wrong direction. And isn't that what it's all about? We are raising and training, and teaching the next generation. The one that will be Presidents, and Doctors and Lawyers and Policeman, and, if we are lucky, Teachers that will continue the legacy of this wonderful person. I am excited to have a younger son to soon be experiencing Mr. Woods. I can't think of a more deserving person for this award.

Maria Posted 7 days ago

I got to know Dunn several years ago as the Program Coordinator for a two-week NEH teacher institute he was attending. Dunn is one of those teachers I've made a point to stay in touch with -- his passion for life and for teaching is truly inspiring. He spends much of his free time exploring new professional development opportunities so he can learn about the world and bring that research back to his classroom. He is always finding innovative ways to keep his students engaged like creating songs about the concepts in his classes. Mostly, I think Dunn is an inspiring teacher since he goes out of his way to show every person he meets that they are special. He is not a teacher who forgets a student's name the minute they leave his classroom - once you meet Dunn, he will always be a part of your life.

Lisa Adeli Posted 7 days ago

Dunn (Pren) Woods is a dedicated, passionate educator, who wants the best for his students. He also truly strives to bring global perspectives into his classroom.

Sheryl Silver Ochayon Posted 7 days ago

I met Mr. Woods this summer when I guided a group of 25 educators through Poland with the Echoes & Reflections Advanced Learning Seminar: Poland Journey. Mr. Woods was chosen from 183 applicants to participate in the Journey. His application evidenced his passion for learning and also for teaching about the Holocaust in order to make the world a better place. During the Journey this was even more evident. Each participant was given the name and basic information about a victim of the Holocaust in order to present him/her as a human being with a story instead of as an anonymous victim. Mr. Woods was given the name of Shmuel Chaliuta, a ritual slaughterer (shochet) who was murdered in August, 1942 by being shot into a pit in the woods outside his hometown of Tykocin - a cruel and violent death. Though there was very little information available, Mr. Woods did justice to Mr. Chaliuta's memory. He spoke to the other participants about Mr. Chaliuta's character and described him as a human being. But more than that, Mr. Woods seemed to actually take Mr. Chaliuta into his heart. As we stood on the riverbank in Tykocin, Mr. Woods sang a spiritual to/about Mr. Chaliuta, who was a very religious man. It was clear that Mr. Woods had almost incorporated Mr. Chaliuta into his own being, otherwise he could not have sung his spirit that day on the riverbank. It was a beautiful sight that I will never forget, and I'm sure the other 24 educators felt the same way. Finally, 77 years later, Mr. Chaliuta received the eulogy and the homage he deserved - and this, from a man of a different color, of a different religion, of a different era, who had never met him but who bonded with him and with his memory. I am sure that Mr. Woods has or will bring all his emotional intelligence to teaching about this in his classroom and I am sure that the memory of these victims of genocide are in his good hands and will never be forgotten.

Laura Posted 8 days ago

When you’re around this guy, you can’t help but learn! Mr Woods is one of those individuals who is constantly changing lives through education. His students respect and adore him, his colleagues revere and emulate him and his friends long to converse with him to learn something new. He is more deserving of this award than anyone else I know!

Anita Tucker Posted 8 days ago

Mr. Woods is a talented and gifted teacher. He loves his students, knows their families, and dedicates time in the office helping parents daily. He uses a myriad of instructional strategies with his students that are challenging, engaging, and fun. Students sing songs, collaborate, and think and write argumentatively. Mr. Woods put so much time and effort into gaining insight and knowledge to share with students and colleagues. Me. Woods exemplifies what a teacher should be. He is the teacher we all want our own children to have. He is dedicated and committed to teaching and reaching students.

Susan Seay Posted 8 days ago

Mr. Woods has such a gift for teaching that he has led the adults in his community to dig deeper and research the places he visits. He posts compelling pictures on social media that has led me to dig deeper into my own history.

Cassidy Legates Posted 8 days ago

Mr. Woods was my 6th and 7th grade teacher 10 years ago and I still remember his class like it was yesterday. I have never had a teacher more passionate about his students. Mr. Woods absolutely went above and beyond to make sure every day was a new adventure into learning and having fun. Even a decade after being in his classes, Mr. Woods still has a friendship with a lot of his old students and has gone to many of our graduations and parties. I can almost guarantee not one of us has forgotten the words to the songs we made and performed in his class. Mr. Woods has absolutely changed my life and my love for history.

Breann Johnston Posted 8 days ago

Pren Woods is the best! He gIves new teachers (such as myself) hope that a teaching career can be fulfilling for many years to come. He is very dedicated to his students, and he is a true role model for them. He is a lifelong learner, and I know students who observe his passion will also have a hunger for knowledge throughout their lives.

Courtney Bruffey Posted 8 days ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing teacher. My son had him in 6th grade for World History and when he had to take World History in high school 4 years later, he said, "It is easy because I still remember everything Mr. Woods taught me!" Mr. Woods makes the content interesting and memorable. He forms lasting relationships with his students and takes a genuine interest in their lives. He still call both of my boys (one he didn't even teach!) on their birthdays to sing them their birthday song!

Cassandra Garlington Posted 8 days ago

Mr. Woods is in my eyes an exceptional person. He was my daughters world history teacher last year. Throughout the year , he always keep me informed on how she was doing in his class and what he was teaching . He truly cares about his students and want all of them to succeed and become successful adults . He keeps the kids interested in learning . He is always willing to share what he’s learned and is always open to learning new things so that he can incorporate it into his teaching. I wish a lot more educators were as passionate about teaching as he is. I am so grateful that my daughter was one of his students. He is a true gem.

Leslie karras Posted 8 days ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing person! He shows his commitment to building a nurturing environment that supports learning

Rachel Edwards Posted 8 days ago

It was an honor and privilege to be a friend and colleague of Mr..Woods. He is an outstanding educator and is dearly loved and respected by his peers and his students. He truly strives to develop the minds of the students in his classroom to be knowledgeable and well informed citizens. And he is truly a life long learner himself as he continually immerses himself in other cultures by traveling the world over.

Lisa Hoffmann Posted 8 days ago

I first me Mr Woods in 2009 when my daughter was entering the sixth grade. We went to meet the teacher night as she was very nervous to be starting middle school. That evening i knew there was something different and special about Mr Woods! He was to be her social studies teacher that year and luckily for the following year as well. This was her first exposure to a syllabus, which is crucial to learning. As a parent i appreciated the syllabus and his communication with me so much! I felt like i actually knew what my child was learning and that she was cared for. Even though his classes were hard for her and she wasn’t sure if she would get good grades in his class, she knew that Mr Woods was always looking out for his students! He pushed them to be smarter and think of life outside their world. I have many friends that have children that have been in Mr Woods classroom and all of them have stories just like mine of his love for teaching and his children! Fast forward 6 years from meeting my little sixth grader... He came to my daughters High School graduation party and her and some friends sang songs they learned in his class! This year she is getting married to another of his students and i know we will see him there! As a side note he even called me 2 years in a row to sing me Happy Birthday! I felt very special! My daughter and I will be forever grateful to Mr Woods for not only teaching her new ideas but his caring for her and me for ten years!