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?"



Comments (1315)


Lisa Hamilton Posted 5 days ago

My heart is full looking at these recent comments. How wonderful that the comments keep coming in for Mr. Woods. He has touched so many lives and will continue to do so because he is an outstanding individual. He is already a Lifechanger to our family. We are anxiously awaiting the results on Friday!

Keegan Cromer Posted 7 days ago

Me and my siblings were all fortunate enough to have Mr. Woods as a teacher. Going into middle school I was very nervous for what was to come, but Mr. Woods certainly made it a lot easier! He builds an individual relationship with each student and is not only a great teacher but a great friend

Beth Haight Posted 7 days ago

I met Mr. Woods on a Fulbright trip where we were both learning about Greek and Turkish culture and history. We met again in Charleston a year later. Everywhere he went he was singing, engaging with kids, bringing up topics about justice and equity, and always learning. He creates a network of colleagues all over the world and keeps up with us! Mr. Woods is an amazingly gifted individual that I happen to be know. He is definitely a life changer!

Caity Harris Posted 8 days ago

I met Mr. Woods around 2011/2012 when my brother had his course at Alston Middle School. He immediately created a relationship with me and continued one from that moment forward. I attended a different middle school for my three years but within the two to three that I saw him at my brothers functions or other friends who attended AMS he always made it a point to remember me by name - or nickname should I say since he gave every person a nickname and still somehow managed to remember them all. Mr. Woods is truly one of the best teachers & friends to this day. I always wished I had a teacher like him at my middle school. He deserves nothing but recognition & this award!!

Priscilla Johnson Posted 11 days ago

Nobody does it like Pren! Simply put, Mr. Woods is the epitome of what good teaching represents. He embraces the whole child in order to capture their heart and mind. His lessons are transformative and innovative because he commits fully to making every second of learning memorable and magical. Outside of the classroom, Mr. Woods is really just a good human. I remember at a ceremony where we were both recognized as honor teachers for our district, he laid eyes on my mom and began singing "Happy Birthday" to her with his rich tone, and bellowing opera-styled flair. I had told him several days prior that we would be recognized on her birthday, and he remembered. He took a moment meant to celebrate him and made it about someone else. That is why Pren Woods is a lifechanger.

Trey'nt Black Posted 12 days ago

Mr Woods is a kind, enthusiastic, goofy and funny person i enjoyed my 7th grade year in his class. He taught me that high school and even college was no joke, teaching us and supporting us and now im a junior, getting ready to start a new year. As i come to a close in my school life and enter adult hood, i just want to say thank you Mr Woods for helping me and teaching me.

Devon Smith Posted 12 days ago

Hey My name is Devon and I was honored to be one of Mr. Woods students. I consider myself one of his original students because he taught me in 2016 and now I am a senior in high school. He has always made my middle school life easier and fun. We learned in such a different way that made the classroom such a great place to be. After my 7th grade year I told every history teacher I have had that Mr. Woods taught me this way and that I really wanted to only learn this way. ??

Ashley Wimberly Posted 12 days ago

There is no doubt that Mr. Woods is a phenomenal and well-respected educator. But what makes him so special is that he takes the time to build relationships. He builds relationships with his colleagues, parents, people in our community, and most importantly with children. I have had the honor of getting to know Mr. Woods over the last 2 years, as he is a teacher at the Middle school where my 2 oldest children attend. Even though he was not their teacher, they came home regularly telling me stories about Mr. Woods and how he had brightened their day. He touched their lives and made each day a little better for them with heartfelt and kind interactions. My boys look up to him, they admire him, and they just think he is so cool. What an amazing role model for two 13 year old boys trying to find their way and navigate life! Since we have been home, he has reached out many times to check in on them and our family. He has kept the relationship going and truly shown he cares about my children and their well- being. All this from someone who never even taught them!! I can honestly say he has left a mark on all our lives and made a huge difference just by having conversations and showing interest. We are grateful to know him and better because of it too.

Ariel Smith Posted 12 days ago

I had Mr.Woods as my history teacher back in 6th and 7th grade. I’ve just graduated, but he’s definitely made the largest impact out of any teacher or professor I’ve ever had. I remember his teaching was always joyful, creative and engaging in a way that made it impossible not to learn and enjoy doing so.

Mary Popeo Posted 13 days ago

My name is Mary and I am co-founder of PCV, a Japanese peace education nonprofit incorporated in Hiroshima, Japan. In 2017, Pren participated in a program that we help to coordinate: the Oleander Initiative. During this 10-day program that takes place in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Tokyo, Pren and his colleagues from the Middle East and Japan learned about what happened in Hiroshima, studied peace education curricula at Hiroshima schools, and returned to his community, where he implemented his own curriculum based on the lessons of Hiroshima. Pren is a shining human - a joy to be around. He cares deeply about his classroom and about the world, making parallels between events happening around the globe and his students' experiences and contexts. He creates opportunities for his students to express themselves in creative and innovative ways. I wish that I had had a teacher like him growing up. Cannot say enough!

Anne Posted 13 days ago

I met Pren when we both attended a seminar on Mozart and the Enlightenment in Vienna. Pren always brings experiences and knowledge from his travels and studies back to enrich his classroom in creative ways. His students benefit from his energy and the connections he makes.

Matt Legare Posted 14 days ago

As a high school principal, I know from experience that Mr Woods has a huge heart for all children. During Covid he organized resources to make sure our graduates who needed extra love and support and made sure that love and support was received. He is a true educator and public servant.

Leila McClough Posted 14 days ago

MR. Woods was my seventh grade history teacher. Each day he came with the same enthusiasm and energy, It was never a day that Mr. Woods didn’t put a smile on the faces of his students. Mr. Woods didn't care who you were, your age, or how smart you were. He holds each and every one of his student to an exemplary level. Thats one of the things I loved most about his class. His high spirts and amazing attitude made learning easier. To this day my older family members and I can sing the songs that he made to help us remember content. Its not because the songs were catchy, its because he grasps the attention from each student making the class fun and memorable. He truly cares for each of his students, prior and present.

Thomas Posted 14 days ago

Mr Woods changed my life in such a positive way. He is so funny, empathic and an incredible human beeing. And the thing what i believe is the most valuable thing about him, he cares. For the children, that might change the World some Day. The People who struggle to cope with the world. The friends, who might be in the need of someone who listens to them. A stranger, who feels like a nobody. And he cares about all of them. He listens to them. And then he helps. So that's why I chose to nominate Mr. Dunn Woods. Cause he's listening. He's helping. And never forgets to smile. Ps. Actually, he has also an incredible singing voice. But listen for your self.

Eliza Linton Posted 14 days ago

I met Pren through a friend of mine that taught with him and was immediately drawn to his warm personality and infectious smile. His passion for teaching and life is apparent within minutes of talking to him. I have always loved hearing about his teaching methods and how much he truly loves being and educator. He genuinely cares about the success and wellbeing of each of his students and is the kind of teacher I hope my children have when they start school.

Raphael Posted 15 days ago

Mr woods wasent only changing my life in the classroom but he is a very prominent member of our community and would go out of his way to support me at swim meets and support me emotionally, mr woods thought me what it meant to respect someone and what friendship is truly about and I hope to encounter mr once mire in my lifetime because I can vouch that my life was truly changed by my friend, mentor and teacher.

Emily Pasquariello Posted 16 days ago

Mr. Woods is a delightful gentleman who immediately lifts the spirits of all those in his presence. While I was never a student of his, I can see how his thirst for knowledge and history makes him the amazing educator that he has become. He genuinely cares about humanity and people and making a positive impact in children's lives. Honored to call him a friend!

Layla Dominguez Posted 18 days ago

Mr. Woods teaching isn’t just memorizing information and taking test, his teaching is compelling and interesting, I still find myself singing his silly songs and catch phrases to myself 5 years later and it’s helped me a lot throughout high school and life in general .He doesn’t settle at mediocre and pushes his students to be the foremost versions of themselves. I’m so grateful I had him as my seventh grade history teacher!

Laura Melfi Posted 19 days ago

As a parent, I appreciated Mr. Woods’ kindness and attention to my son. My son Joe was not in his class; however he knew my son through other situations in the school. He made sure that Joe knew he was an important kid (all kids that are around Mr. Woods know they are important!). He has an ability to make students understand that each one of them has some gift to contribute to daily life. This incredible attribute of Mr. Woods is one we all aspire to emulate!

Jackson Corcoran Posted 19 days ago

Okay , hearing that Mr. Woods had this opportunity to show everyone in this state and country that he is a teacher with more pride and positive influence. I’ve know Mr. Dunn for a long haul now , after him having my sister I gained the title of nephew and gained lots of life lessons pride . We shared to the opera one year and had a great time learning about the history of different cultures and ways of life . Mr. Woods in a man full of love and happiness. He has stayed in contact with me and I am proud to call him someone I know and trust

Shane Sanford Posted 19 days ago

As a local elementary principal of a school that is a feeder school for Mr. Woods' school Alston Middle, I've heard stories from parents and students of how dynamic Mr. Woods is. I hear about him calling former students and parents on their birthdays long after they have been in his class so he can sing to them. I hear about how he uses his frequent travels to make the world come alive for students. As a person who has taught overseas and is married to a Japanese woman, I know that Mr. Woods uses these experiences to connect students to others. He gets people from other countries to serve as guest speakers for his students so they can not only see the differences in others, but how we have many similarities and common ground as well.

Colette Posted 20 days ago

I've known Dunn, a fellow educator and middle school teacher, for about five years. What stands out to me is the visit we shared to the National Museum of African American History. We have discussed everything from meeting the needs of students with learning differences to the challenges of teaching American history. I know him to be an extremely dedicated and caring teacher. Thank you for considering him for this honor.

Sonia Lee Posted 20 days ago

Not only is Dunn Woods a phenomenal educator, he is a remarkable person! Although I have never worked with him professionally nor had a child in his class, I have witnessed the impact he has made on the lives of young people. I first met Dunn nearly a decade ago when one of my nephews was in his 7th grade history class. Since then our paths have crossed numerous times through church and at many of my family's celebrations. Undeniably, Dunn brings history to life for his students year after year; however, I believe the even greater gift he possesses is the ability to build lasting relationships with his students. He stays in contact with former students and their families and is regularly invited to their milestone events and occasions. As an educator myself, I understand the value of building relationships with young people. It is imperative for students to have strong connections with other trusted adults (besides their own parents) so that they might have positive role models, learn trust and mutual respect, receive support and encouragement, and grow emotionally. Dunn Woods epitomizes this virtue, and I am thrilled that he has not only made such a positive impact on my own nephews but on numerous other young people too!

Marilyn zielke Posted 20 days ago

As A retired teacher I have watched Pren for the last Seven or eight years. I can’t say enough good things about this man. He truly changes the lives of all he comes in contact with through his love of learning, his humor and his kindness. When he studies in the summer he lets the community learn through him by way of his posted journals. I am proud to know him and call him friend

Edna Mae Boroski-Siehl Posted 21 days ago

Mr. Woods has continued to encourage, build, inspire, and stand with his students both present and former during the pandemic. His classroom is now more virtual than ever, but his impact is still felt wherever his students are. He is still changing lives.

Camryn Alverson Posted 21 days ago

Mr. Woods inspires me daily. I had him as a 6 grade student. At first we all thought Mr. Woods was a strange teacher and just hard teacher. The more involved any student gets in his class the the more they learn in and out of the classroom. He continued to push and help students and eventually we all come around. He began my love for learning. Without Mr. Woods I don’t think I would continue to pursue my dreams. Even after I was in his class he continues to be a part of his students lives. He is hands down the most influential teacher and person i’ve ever known.

A Musselman Posted 21 days ago

Prenn counts as a mover and a shaker. He is well-known in our community as a teacher who can connect with kids, and middle school kids, at that! I admire the way he maintains contact with former students, encouraging them and celebrating their successes. In that manner, he certainly serves as a life changer for the young people in our town.

Shuree Ramirez Posted 21 days ago

Prentiss is full of life and energy in all he does! He is so deserving of this honor!!

Brayden Storman Posted 21 days ago

Mr. Woods was the BEST teacher I’ve ever had throughout school. I’m going to be a senior in high school this year and I haven’t had a teacher who tops him or is anywhere near as good of teacher. He was my 7th history teacher and everything he taught of stuck for the entire year. The way he teaches his students is like nothing any teacher has done before. He makes his class interesting and makes sure every student is engaged. He makes his class something students can look forward to. Mr. Woods taught a Cold War song and said that we would remember it forever. Did he lie? No he did not. Truly one of the best teachers out there and I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher. He made 7th grade a special year and something to look back on in the future.

Todd Carter Posted 21 days ago

I meant Mr Woods on an educational trip to China and Japan. In this group of selected teachers, Dunn stood out as an inspirational leader. With this charismatic personality, he shared his love of teaching mainly his love for his students. He shared how to make class exciting and fun while challenging each student to their highest academic level. It became clear that students would respect because how he individually approached each one. I am a better teacher because off Mr. Woods. Thank you.

Glen Gendzel Posted 22 days ago

I am certain that Dunn has changed MANY lives in his classrooms over the years. He was one of the participant teachers in the NEH Summer Institute when I was on the faculty a few years ago and he really stood out for his energy, charisma, creativity, and good humor. Dunn shared many great ideas about classroom pedagogy. I could tell right away that his students are very blessed! He floored everyone at the "talent show" by singing an original song, complete with dance steps, that he uses to help his students learn about the "Cold, Cold War." I will never forget it! Now if only I could sing and dance, too...

Amy Broberg Freeman Posted 22 days ago

I had the honor to travel with Pren in 1991-92 during Up With People. Every day of that year I remember Pren having wonderful energy, heart, charisma, and authenticity that spread to all he met. I would recommend Pren for the Lifechanger of the year award because the world of education needs more humans like Pren. His passion for his educational community, vibrancy, love of learning and teaching has touched thousands around the world...most importantly those in his classroom. Thank you for considering Pren and his future students for this honor.

Jessica Posted 22 days ago

Me. Woods is so invested in the lives of his students. He claims them as family and strives to see their education through to ensure they do the best they can. It’s inspiring as a future teacher!

Theresa Moreau Posted 22 days ago

I know Mr. Woods through his work with the metropolitan opera educational outreach program. He attends trainings yearly to bring back innovative tools and techniques in order to reach his students. Mr. Woods is more than an excellent educator. He has a heart to build long-lasting relationships with his students. Without his dedication to the whole person, he wouldn’t be half the educator he is today. I’m honored to have an educator such as him as a friend and colleague as I achieve my own teaching goals.

Wilma Storey Posted 22 days ago

Mr Woods taught both my grandsons. He was such an inspiring teacher, one is on track to be a history teacher. I have seen the interactions with Mr Woods and his students, it always amazed me how he seems to know how to communicate with such a diverse group of students. Ask any of Mr Woods students parents and all will tell you he is an exceptional teacher. Mr Woods always treated others with utmost respect and listens to others opinions. I thank Mr Woods for his teaching dedication.

Sarah Van Zant Posted 22 days ago

Pren is an amazing educator and deserves the accolades he receives. He inspires others with his enthusiastic and happy demeanor. I met Pren at the World War Summer Teacher Institute in New Orleans and in engaging and learning with him about the war in Europe, his passion for education was evident. He inspired me by sharing how he engages his students in the learning process and I thought to myself, “I need to be more like him!” His teaching style is vulnerability and he is able to reach his students with that vulnerability to give them life lessons. Pren is truly a life changer; he gives his true self to his students, his peers, and his community!

Alex K Posted 22 days ago

Pren is a dedicated educator who is devoted to lifelong learning. We all have a lot to learn from his example!

Dana Farley Posted 22 days ago

Mr. Woods is an EXCELLENT educator and a great example for others educators! He truly cares about his students not just at school during the school year, but all year long and many years after. He goes above and beyond what is asked of him and leaves a lasting impression on everyone that meets him.

James ancrum Posted 23 days ago

Aw man I don't know where to begin speaking about Mr. Woods. I was a teenager in jr. High (bruke-rivers middle) when I met Mr. Woods. Full of energy is an understatement. He is a teacher's teacher, went above and beyond to teach lessons. Whatever hot song was on the radio Mr. Woods would use it to teach the lesson. The man could do a album easy haha. But beyond that he could tell something was wrong and he was able to get students in the right mind set to learn and live. Give him a text book and dry erase board and a tennis ball and he will out teach anyone without a doubt. I believe he won teacher of the year that school year but if he didn't he deserved it. With all that being said I want give Mr. Woods his flowers while he's here and can enjoy them.

Deshonnae McNair Posted 23 days ago

Mr. Woods was my middle school teacher. class. I always loved going to his class every day i loved the awesome class performances it helped us stay engaged while learning. I still sing those songs today. Lol “The Soviet Union guess what they was doing? Spreading communism around the world little girl, the USA said no no no way.”

Rachel Edwards Posted 25 days ago

Even during the summer Mr. Woods is still active in promoting educational issues by being interviewed by a scholarly journal and being a panelist on a discussion on the impact the pandemic has had on students, teachers and parents.

Janyce Hursey Posted 25 days ago

Dunn loves teaching and his students, A short conversation with him and you know this is true. He has fabulous stories and I always walk away having learned something, A teacher of all. Boundless energy and a huge ??

Kenzie moten Posted 26 days ago

Mr.Woods has a wonderful personality both in the classroom and outside. He can brighten your day instantly and is so willing to teach every person whom comes through his classroom door. He is amazing!!

Quynh Pham Bowman Posted 26 days ago

Mr. Woods was never my teacher. We only had brief interactions in the hallway at Rock Hill High during my freshman year back in 1998. He was always funny, inviting, and made me smile. At the end of the year, he sent a Bearcat notecard to my parents encouraging me to succeed. It was touching that he would spend time to build-up a student that wasn't in his class. It was truly a special moment to read the note and feel like you had someone rooting for you. In that, he taught me even the smallest actions can be very impactful and meaningful to someone.

Rhona North Posted 27 days ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing educator! He really connects with his students and cares about their success. It’s been five years since my son was in his class and we still talk about the lessons he (we) learned from him. Mr. Woods has left a lifelong impression on my family and we always look forward to hearing from him.

Chioma B Posted 27 days ago

Me.Woods was my middle school history teacher. That was the only teacher that I ever had that made me love history class. I always looked forward to his class every day. From projects to class performances I’ve always had a great experience; even test because his teaching method fit the way we remember (music). He was always there through any circumstance and always went the extra mile. He’s apart of the reason I push myself to become a teacher to inspire kids and to make a difference. Thank You Mr.Woods!

Beth LeCours Posted 28 days ago

I met Pren Woods (Dunn) at a NEH summer seminar in 2014 and his passion for teaching and enthusiasm for learning still inspires me. Early to rise, last to leave and completely engaged is how I remember him. In class discussions his creative viewpoints were insightful about the musical content (opera) and the historical context of the classical era. He truly immersed himself into the intense study of Mozart, Vienna, and Viennese culture. Inquiring and encouraging all to try a new local food, visit a modern art exhibition, notice a unique feature of an architectural design, or participate in a traditional custom which he researched or happened upon was eagerly shared. What impressed me most was his ability to transform complex ideas and easily communicate them to any audience students, families, administrators or inexperienced colleagues with joy and patience. He models a high level of dedication to the craft of teaching and genuinely meets every person and experience with an open heart.

Jayvion Cooper Posted 30 days ago

Mr.woods has done a lot for the city of Summerville and it’s students has paved the way for me and others he has taught more than history but life and I can’t thank him enough

Elyse Posted 1 months ago

I met Pren at a teaching seminar for National Endowment if the Humanities, his passion and enthusiasm fueled the creativity and discussions. He made a point to connect with every participant and shared his best practices with us. It was a delight to learn with and from Pren.

Sue Posted 1 months ago

I met Pren through a local social group. He is very outgoing and inclusive of everyone around him and has a great thirst for knowledge and zest for life. He is committed to sharing his real life experiences to better help his peers and students to understand diverse cultures and history. I wish I had a teacher that would have inspired me like he does his students.

Martha Runnette Posted 1 months ago

Pren is a born educator in every sense of the word — although I did not know that when I first met him almost 30 years ago. Over the past few decades, I’ve observed his unflinching commitment to his students, both while they are his students and afterward (many of whom have commented here). What is now apparent to me is his parallel commitment to the adults — his education colleagues locally and around the world, the families of his students, and in my opinion, anyone else he happens to meet. You can’t help but be changed after a conversation with him. The world is his classroom, and we are all his students. Pren, you are a life changer for sure! I am grateful you are still part of my life all these years later!

Sherry Roberts Posted 1 months ago

Good morning, I have thought about this since first learning of Mr. Woods nomination. I am the definition of a procrastinator, but I have to say a few words about this amazing man. I have had the honor and the joy of knowing him for many years and I have also been privileged to see the result of his influence on the youth of our community. He spreads joy and knowledge simultaneously at every opportunity. I have heard many of the youth who have taken his classes, state that college was a much easier transition as a result of his style of teaching. They have also stated they have become a better person as a result of his influence. I have witnessed shifts in attitudes toward different cultures, a shift in their desire to learn, and an awareness of and an appreciation for other cultures. The unrest that is happening in the world today could be greatly lessened by having more educators like Mr. Woods. If more of us truly knew our real history we would function better as a whole. Mr. Woods is masterful at educating all ages, he is creative and unique. His energy is boundless, the energizer bunny looks lethargic in comparison. He is changing the world one person at a time. We need more people/teachers in the world like him.

Lucia Wattrick Posted 1 months ago

While I have not been lucky enough to have Pren teach my son, I know that all those that have met him and have had him as a teacher are very blessed indeed. He goes out of his way to make EVERY SINGLE CHILD/PERSON feel SPECIAL and LOVED. He's the teacher that students will remember long after they graduate as that one teacher who made a huge difference in their lives. You can't fake passion, creativity, values, fun and love of teaching. Pren is awesome and brings all that and more to the teaching table!

Dr. Sumara Case Posted 1 months ago

I met Dunn Woods just over a year ago at a "Slavery and the Constitution" seminar held at Mont Pellelier in Virginia. I was immediately impressed by his activism, energy, and advocacy for underepresented groups in society. With particular regard for education, Dunn exhibited a zealous optimism around improving outcomes for students of color and other marginalized groups. Dunn's approach to the work was impassioned and innovative. I was inspired both by his intellectual discourse about history and his ability to apply the knowledge to working with current students. Any educational setting is likely to benefit from the insight and expertise Dunn holds.

Charbory Lesean Belton Posted 1 months ago

Hello, I met Mr. Woods back in 7th grade throughout my years of Burke Middle/Highschool what feels like centuries ago. He has been one of the most influential, motivational teacher I have ever been blessed to have come across during my time of middle school. From his charisma, to the way he brought a welcoming smile to school no matter how rude students or even colleagues would be towards him. His teaching methods were able to stick with me longer than any other teacher that has entered my life. As an introvert from a troubling background, I respect this wonderful man to the most I can express! I cannot say I was the most polite student when it came to the way I spoke to people, however Mr. Woods would never give up on me due to the hidden potential he saw inside of me and many other students that entered his classroom. This is the type of teacher that a LOT of schools need in their establishments to teacher the generation of students; especially Black students. It's amazing that at the age of 28 (as of the publishing of this comment), I still remember one of the best songs I've heard him sing, "Bring me my Flowers". This has been a song that has stuck with me and assists in keeping that spark within me as an ascending artist. I treasure this man so much and hold him at a high pedestal of my favorite teachers of grade school. Much blessings to Mr. Woods and I wish nothing but the best for him! Love you forever, Uncle!

Courtney Osborne Posted 1 months ago

I met Dunn while participating in a teacher program through QFI, but I ‘knew’ him long before that from his active participation and support offered on numerous teacher collaboration sites. Dunn is so fun, creative and passionate about supporting the social-emotional comments of a classroom through all of his learning experiences. Whereas many teachers set time aside specifically for social emotional activities, Dunn is an expert of seamlessly crafting it directly into his lessons and interactions making it authentic and therefore significantly impactful. As a parent, Dunn is the teacher you wish your child has an opportunity to learn from.

Josh Halpren Posted 1 months ago

Dunn’s done a great job at organizing a Facebook page that has connected teachers across the country to meaningful professional development opportunities. It has been directly responsible for helping me grow as a professional.

Melva Grant-Burns Posted 1 months ago

Mr. Woods was my daughter’s 7th grade teacher. She is now the graduated class of 2020! Thank you for your selfless acts of kindness. This guy reached out to every one of his pass students that was graduating this year to do a well check up and see where their were mentally and physically during the closing of school. He is an amazing teacher with a huge heart and strong values. Thank you sir for a job well done!

Kim McCully Mobley Posted 1 months ago

Dunn Woods is an amazing teacher. He always goes the extra mile for his students. His compassion and creativity know no boundaries. His energy is contagious.

Jennifer Moore Hamilton Posted 1 months ago

When you meet Pren for the first time, you leave that interaction a better person. His joy, his ability to connect and his ability to care even if you have just met, is one of the reasons we have kept in touch for the past 29 years. Pren is not afraid to do things differently or to dive into a conversation that may be uncomfortable, but one that will leave both parties knowing so much more. He is 100% the person who should be given this honor. My now 10 year old son has met him and my hope is that one day my whole family will have the opportunity to engage with this tremendous, larger than life human. I love you dear Pren and will forever be in your corner. Also, this award does not mean you are not a life changer of every year already!

Bettye Smith Posted 1 months ago

I met Pren while traveling and I was immediately drawn to his zest for life, travel, teaching and of course his beautiful voice. Pren has experienced so much and he takes his vast experience and relay it in the classroom. His students are so lucky to have such a beautiful person who is so committed and caring.

Tara White Posted 1 months ago

Pren takes teaching outside of his classroom walls. He looks for ways to expose his students to the theatre, opera and different cultures even after school hours. During his time off from school he spends time traveling to enrich his instruction. Building relationships is the key to opening a mind. Through a little happy birthday song or a handwritten note of encouragement, Pren is able to make connections that will last for many years to come!

Pearl Mack Posted 1 months ago

I met Mr Woods while traveling. As I got to know him,I was greatly impressed by his vigor for life, teaching, world travel, and his students. He wears his love, and passion for teaching like a coat of arms he never takes off. The world and our children need teachers like Mr Woods who will help champion them into the best version of themselves. Meeting you has truly been a pleasure.

Bismah Posted 1 months ago

My family and I met Dunn when we were traveling. We were drawn to his warm, affable personality. When we returned home we continued to be in touch and learned so much more about him and his passion for teaching. Dunn has impacted so many lives in such a positive way, and he continues to strive for the best for everyone around him. Such an honor to know him.

Austen Posted 1 months ago

Even though it has been a while since he has taught me. I will always remember how passionate it was about teaching me and my classmates. He is an amazing teacher.

Debra Brady Posted 1 months ago

Mr. Woods reminds me of my mother-in-law. How, and what could he possibly have in common with an old English woman from Brooklyn? Well, my mother-in-law had 9 children and countless daughter in-laws and numerous grandkids, neices, nephews, yet all of them felt like they were something special in her eyes. We all felt that way. We felt that way because we were all special to her. Everyone has people that mean something to them but not everyone has the ability to convey that. Mr Woods makes everyone who came in contact with him somehow feel better about themselves. He somehow knows what each individual needs. The light that radiates from him is unmistakable and all want to bask in it. Our son had Mr.Woods the first year we had moved here, it was a very hard. He came home first day and said, teachers are very different here! Well, he was partially right, Mr Woods was unlike any other teacher my 3 boys have had. His novel approach, vast understanding and love of history is contagious. I wanted to take his class. His ability to connect with children (and adults) is amazing. I still stand in awe. I will be forever grateful for him making a difficult transition a little easier, there was a time going to Mr woods class was the only thing that made him want to go to school. I have heard it said that people will always remember how you made them feel, in Mr woods case it is "you can teach anything to students if you make them feel important and seen". That's the secret.

Hank Posted 1 months ago

I met Dunn as a fellow traveller around the world when he was in Toronto. Dunn is a passionate and loving person, with lots of valuable knowledge and insights in history. I am honoured to call him a friend, and I, as a global citizen, am glad that we have educators like him around the world.

Laura Ballesteros Posted 1 months ago

I have had the pleasure of being part of a WWII European co-hort sponsored by the WWII Museum with Dunn and have stayed in touch with him. He inspired me with his musical talents to think outside the box in connecting music and history. He has continued to support me and our colleagues in our individual endeavors. His travels and experiences have encouraged many to get out there and truly experience life and history. During these troubling times, his ability show us that life must continue is both impressive and reassuring.

Jennifer Lea Posted 1 months ago

Pren is amazing!

Beth Posted 1 months ago

Dunn has more energy and enthusiasm for teaching than anyone I know. He is constantly learning and deepening his practice, and I continue to be impressed by his awesomeness.

James Gross Posted 1 months ago

He is one of the greatest teachers I've ever had. He taught me history, how to be confident infron of large groups, and how to be a team leader. I wish I could have had him for longer. He is a great friend, and a fantastic teacher.

Madison Larimer Posted 1 months ago

I met Pren when I was in elementary school and although I haven’t seen him in probably 25 years now, I still remember him and his smile. He was a member of our church and was very involved with the youth group. I remember that he always had this positive energy about him and that he loved music. I truly believe he was the one who first sparked my love of music and I will always be grateful to him for that.

Karli Myers Posted 1 months ago

I met Dunn last year on a trip for Holocaust educators in Poland. It was great getting to know him. It is evident that Dunn is passionate about not only educating but impacting lives of his students. I’m continually impressed and inspired by how much he goes above and beyond the call of duty as an educator. Dunn is extremely deserving of this honor!

Ramiyah perry Posted 1 months ago

Mr.woods goes above and beyond to make sure his students lead their lives in the right path. As one of his students he has taught me so much and helps me to remember to always do the right thing !

Nancie Lindblom Posted 1 months ago

I have had the pleasure of working with Dunn in a professional development capacity traveling to Louisiana and France to study WWII. Dunn’s energy is infectious. He leads any group he is in through creating an inclusive environment and making everyone feel at ease. Dunn is a fabulous collaborator and a delightful to work with!

Gayla Hammer Posted 1 months ago

The National History Day program and the American Battle Monuments Commission offered a program called Understanding Sacrifice to research a local WWII soldier who was buried at one of the ABMC cemeteries in Europe. I met Dunn while participating in this program and had the opportunity to participate in a year long class and travel with him for about two weeks. After the trip, I kept in contact with him and noticed that he has continued to have a passion for learning. Dunn has an extremely positive attitude about education and strives to create lessons that engage his students and increase their learning. He has impacted the lives of students, but also fellow teachers.

Nasaru Ozaki Posted 2 months ago

I have known Dunn for a long time, and he is one of my friends. He has a broad perspective and is interested in many different cultures. I suppose Japan, where I live, will be one of them. His flexible mindset makes him a force to be reckoned with as an educator, and I hope he continues to focus on global education and I can say that he is a man of the future. And don't forget that he's also a great singer.

Betsey Coleman Posted 2 months ago

Pren is a remarkable educator and human being. Although I live and work in Colorado and Pren is far away , I encounter him in countless national educational initiatives. His commitment to global inclusive education is total. He is a visionary leader . And a warm person who connects with EVERYONE.

Sean Wallbridge Posted 2 months ago

I've known Pren/Dunn far too long. And I'm grateful for that. Beautiful man inside and out, funny, and full of life. While I've never been a student in one in one of his classes, I've witnessed (probably daily or weekly) his commitment to his craft as a mentor/educator on Facebook. The pride in his work and the connections he has made shows in his comments and posts and inspires me all the way up here in Canada. He's probably a better dancer than me too.

Jon Posted 2 months ago

Aloha Dunn. I feel so lucky to have met you and learned from you in San Jose. Your passion and focus and wit bring so much to education in general, and to your students specifically. I love that you have such honest and high standards for the people in your life, standards for quality of work but also for being a quality human. Best.

Toni Perry Posted 2 months ago

Pren, I am so grateful that all three of my children have had the honor and pleasure of being taught by you. Each child is different and got something different from you, but all three were extremely successful under your teaching. Your life and educational experiences make you a gem in the classroom. My children are very knowledgeable in world history. Even my 22 year old still gleens from your teachings. I love when they get together and talk history and attribute much of their knowledge to you. Continue to have a thirst for knowledge and a love for teaching children. Continue to pour all you have into our Youth. Thank you for touching the lives of the Perry children. Love you!

Tiffany Snyder Posted 2 months ago

Pren Woods is an outstanding teacher of World History and an amazing friend to his students , their families and the staff he works with each day. He is of excellent character . He is a teacher even students who may not have the pleasure of having him , know and love him . He is always available and willing to help students thrive to achieve their very best . My 3 daughters had the pleasure of having him as a teacher and knowing him very well during their 3 years at Alston Middle School .Mr. Woods is so deserving of this award. I wish him the best only ! Every year I looked forward to his phone call singing Happy Birthday to the girls and us parents. He is such a giving soul! Kindly, Tiffany Snyder

Abbey Posted 2 months ago

Mr. Woods is the kind of teacher you will always remember, even if you didn’t have him as one of your teachers. He makes learning fun and teaches in a way that you will absolutely not forget. He is thoughtful and kind. Mr. Woods sings happy birthday to everyone even if it is over voicemail. He is a good man who has definitely impacted my life for the better.

Trish Everett Posted 2 months ago

I had the distinct pleasure of witnessing Mr. Woods up close when we attended a teacher professional development program together at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC. He lights up any room he is in, but was also eager to listen and learn. His magnetic personality made him a joy to be around, both during structured PD activities and in conversation over dinners in the evenings. He gives of himself endlessly and seeks opportunities to bring absolutely anything he encounters back to his classroom - the more unconventional, the better! Mr. Woods is the kind of educator I aspire to be.

Ron Nash Posted 2 months ago

Dunn Woods is an outstanding role model and teacher. I'm hoping that his application not only makes it to the finals for consideration but to the status of Life changer of the Year...his gift to be able to reach students of all ability levels makes Dunn the ideal candidate for this honor. I recommend him warmly and without reservation...Ron Nash

Sandra Meador Robertson Posted 2 months ago

Attended an immigration and literature seminar in California with Mr. Woods and he clearly was the energizing force in the cohort. Always a voice of concern and activism for the unheard, always a coach for the flagging spirits, always up for another chapter/exhibit/discussion/rehearsal. Dunn Woods keeps teh energy in the class moving, even if that class is a bunch of middle-aged teachers who want to relax a bit. I can only imagine what the energy level in his classroom is, and how validated his students must feel when in his class.

Par Klingstam Posted 2 months ago

I reconnected to Dunn earlier this year (we travelled the world together in 1991-92). I visited his school and talked about Sweden and had lunch with the students. The students had prepared questions to me, some on delicate matters like WW2, some more personal like what do a 7th grader in Sweden do on his/her spare time? I could feel that Dunn’s enthusiasm have had a great impact on the students, they were curious and eager to learn. I think that is thanks to Dunn as a teacher and person! He sees every student (and person) as a unique human being and guide them with respect and love. I could also see how much efforts he put into every moment in class and in the canteen, and he really loves what he’s doing!

Los Posted 2 months ago

If it’s not mr woods it’s not a route you wanna go down !

Nikysha D. Gilliam Posted 2 months ago

I met Mr. Woods through mutual associations, as we were both middle school history teachers at the time. I have since moved on to teach high school English. What strikes me about Mr. Woods is his far reaching impact. Both he and his classroom are memorable, the lessons that he teaches are long lasting. Students from years ago come back to ask about some of his famous ones, like his Cold War unit. He is not only a teacher, he becomes a family member, attending first communions and graduations, and visiting job sites of former students. The love that he showers on his students is returned immeasurably so. To say that his is a stellar teacher and a life long learner is without question. He dresses up for units of study. He travels abroad to bring the world to his students, and he encourages his colleagues to do the same, sharing information and resources with them. Mr. Woods is indeed a life changer. Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care, and caring is what he does - all that and more. I’m more than glad to know him and am incredibly proud of all that he has accomplished thus far.

Kaylie Tonzola Posted 2 months ago

Covid-19 has been insane. 2020 in general has been insane. But Mr. Woods is always making sure that we are ok right now. During the school time pandemic, and we were still learning, Mr. Woods made sure that we knew that his schoolwork was never as important as our safety, and our family. He always said, “If you can’t do it, we’ll figure it out later.” Some projects that I remember are his journaling project and the Superhero project. His journaling project made us (well, at least it made me) think about how we are right in the middle of history. I personally really enjoyed his Superhero project. I think quite a few people know about that. We had to create a hero that would solve a problem created by Covid-19. My hero made local news and Mr. Woods was celebrated as a creative thinker with his pandemic projects! Which is all very true. And all of his kids know that he misses us dearly! He will always be one of my favorites, and will always be a part of my family! Thanks for teaching me “da truf!”????

Amy Doolin Posted 2 months ago

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Dunn when we were both members of the National World War II Museum Team Europe Cohort. Not only did I get to spend a week in New Orleans with him, but I also had the great experience of traveling around France with him as well. Since then we have stayed in touch and I have gotten to know him as one of the kindest, empathetic, intelligent, compassionate, and thoughtful human beings I have ever had the pleasure of getting to know. When talking about teaching and his students it is obvious that he cares deeply about both. He is the kind of teacher that will make up songs and do whatever it takes to ensure that his students learn. In addition to being a great person, he is always seeking out new ways to grow as a person and a teacher. The WWII Cohort is just one of many PD opportunities he has participated in in his quest to bring as many new and interesting resources to his students as possible.

Lia Posted 2 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 7th grade teacher this year. During the pandemic, Mr.Woods made sure everyone of his students were okay. He even took time out of his day to write me a paragraph making sure I was good and about my work. Being a student in his class, this made my day knowing a teacher cared about me this much. I was really upset that the rest of 7th grade was canceled because I had such great teachers this year, like him. His class was always sooo fun and I couldn’t wonder what we would do the next day. He made each student feel special by giving them a nickname or something else. He always had great energy even days you could tell weren’t going the best. He made each lesson memorable and awesome. I especially loved the hands on activities such as puppets, skits, singing, dancing, etc. I even got to throw an egg at him once! And I loved the intensives like blow pops or something else!! And trust me I probably learned more grammar in that class than my actual ela class. I really am going to miss 3rd period but I know because Mr. Woods cares about his students so much that he will always have an important role in my life.):)

Kristin Posted 2 months ago

Dunn is an awesome outgoing person who loves life. I met him through a mutual friend at a trivia session. His sense of humor is extraordinary along with his one of a kind personality. I know his students should consider themselves lucky to have him as a teacher. Knowing him is a blessing.

Megan Sanders Posted 2 months ago

I first met Mr. Woods 25 plus years ago. He was a co-leader for my middle school youth group. Even as a young person, Mr. Woods had a love for life and that made the world around him a better place.

Toni Nunes Posted 2 months ago

I met Dunn through a trivia friend of mine - he found out I was Portuguese and invited me to an international event for his students so that I can speak to them about my country and culture. Dunn’s students love him ! He is THAT teacher - the one everyone talks about for years and years. The unforgettable one and the one everyone remembers as being the one who taught them the most. His energy and enthusiasm and love for people and teaching is genuine. Happy to see him being recognized!

Alston Posted 2 months ago

My favorite teacher.

Alyssa Miller Posted 2 months ago

I met Mr. Woods during a WW2 themed summer seminar to France. He was such a powerful force and could always bring a room together. I remember thinking how knowledgable he was on the topic, and this is saying a lot because my grandfather is a historical author! My favorite moments of that trip were Dunn singing on the bus the songs he created to help his students understand different historical topics. He is such a creative And intelligent mind, and it is such a pleasure being his colleague and friend. If anyone deserves this award, it is Mr. Woods.

Jacki Mariest Posted 2 months ago

Wow, there is not enough I can say about Pren. He is a true inspiration. I have been a parent of children who have passed through Middle school, one of the most difficult times for children and parents, and I have not met a teacher more dedicated than Pren. He puts 100% of his heart and soul into teaching and into his students. He exudes the concept of “no child left behind” not because he pushes kids through no matter what, but because he puts the time and dedication into helping each student reach their full potential. Please consider him for this award because no one is more deserving.

Victoria Vicente Posted 2 months ago

Pren is one of the most energetic and dynamic teachers I have ever had the pleasure to collaborate with on a professional development project. Pren was supportive of all the teachers in the program and not only offers feedback to other professionals, but has a profound impact on the lives of those he has met. Pren encourages me to continue teaching at a high level and to embrace all of my students as they are my own. His warmth and grace is reflected through his passion as an educator. Having travelled aboard with Pren also was an experience that I will never forget! He embraced the Arabic culture and language by attending all of the activities and cultural festivities. I often ask myself, How can I become as energetic and genuine as Pren? His daily songs and enthusiasm for life and learning are present before he enters the room. Pren is a real life changer and is a true representation of what every teacher should strive to model.

Jason Smith Posted 2 months ago

I met Mr. Woods at a National History Conference in San Antonio. He was the most engaging personality I’ve ever met. He was very interested in everyone’s backstory, where they had traveled, and how they were involved in education. I’ve since become Facebook friends with him and have seen the connections he makes with students. He has kids that he taught years ago coming back to him as adults asking for life advice, seeing how he is doing, and thanking him for the impact he made on their lives. He truly is a one of a kind world class teacher and human being!

Charlsie Wigley Posted 2 months ago

I met Mr. Woods in Warsaw, Poland through Echoes & Reflections Journey to Poland program. However, upon meeting him, I realized quickly that his name preceded him as I remember his active presence in a grants for educators group that I had been a part of on social media years prior. I remember reading his constant advice to other teachers about grant applications, and I was inspired by his comments and relentless enthusiasm and optimism. It is that group that encouraged me to apply for summer grants that have strengthened my practice as a teacher and opened up so many doors my 7th grade students in Alabama. Though I have not had the pleasure of sitting in his classroom, I know that Mr. Woods is a phenomenal teacher. I know this because of the mindset he has. He pushes all of those around him to be more critical of their beliefs and practices. If he does this with teachers, I can only imagine how this plays out in his classroom. I am grateful that my path as an educator has crossed with Mr. Woods because I have been inspired by his thoughts, words, and actions. As evidenced from the many comments on this page, I can say that he is more than worthy of the honor of "Lifechanger of the Year." He has already changed lives, and it is my hope that his life now gets the due measure of being changed by receiving this honor.

Ben Hunt Posted 2 months ago

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Woods as a colleague during a multi-year summer teacher institute with the National World War II Museum. His passion and energy for education is infectious. He has a dedication to his students that is truly remarkable, as he regularly keeps in touch with them, long after they have left his classroom. What impresses me most though is his creative use of songs in his teaching. While they may appear to be standard, light tunes, in reality they are covering deep-historical concepts in a way that a Junior High student can understand. That is not something anyone can do. He is truly a life-changer.

avery smith Posted 2 months ago

mr. woods is great! him and i have certainly have our ups in downs but in the end he is a incredibly amazing teacher and one i will always remember because he helped me so much to become who i am today!

Echo Rue Posted 2 months ago

I met Mr. Woods while on an NEH Summer Seminar for educators based on the Immigrant Experience in California. Through the course of the 3 weeks during which we learned, toured and worked together, his energy and enthusiasm was infectious. There is no question Mr. Woods is a compassionate and caring teacher, a mentor who loves learning and sharing that love with his students. His constant quests to learn and travel in order to bring back new experiences and lead by example are inspiring to his fellow educators as well as to his students. Mr. Woods is able to pull subject matter across fields of study to make conversations and learning experiences authentic, engaging and accessible to all students. Since that time 3 years ago, I have followed his endeavors via social media and am always impressed with the impact he has on so many in his immediate community and beyond. He is indeed a Life Changer...he has changed many lives for the better!

Heather Pilon Posted 2 months ago

I met Pren in South Korea back in 2008. I was a university teacher and my cousin, who is also a middle school teacher in Georgia, connected us. And I'm so glad she did. Pren had won a fellowship competition from The Korea Society in New York and was selected as part of a group of 25 secondary educators to go to Korea. He was learning about Korean history, culture, and arts for 11 days and I had the good fortune to meet up with him for two of those days (and I'm so glad I did!) I was impressed about his incredible desire to learn about the diverse countries and cultures of the world. I was equally impressed about how he takes all of his amazing knowledge back to his students to help them grow their own lives and to become impassioned for the history and beauty of this great planet we live on. You know, we only met twice in those 11 days back in 2008, but Pren has kept in touch with me for major events in my life. Over the years, he sent well wishes to me and my kids on our birthdays. He reached out during the time of my brother's passing to send me words of encouragement. It's so rare to meet a fellow teacher and world traveler who doesn't just enjoy you in passing and then forget about you. He's never forgotten me and my family. He's truly a teacher of the world. A global citizen, if you will, and a true, loving friend. Thank you Pren! You make the world a better place.

Elisha Platts Posted 2 months ago

What a wonderful person to know ! I meet Mr.Woods when I was in elementary school, he then became my teacher when I was in middle school. The only teacher I know who made songs to teach and make the lesson easier for us to learn and understand.

Heather Byington Posted 2 months ago

I worked with Pren, who I know as Dunn, Woods when we attended a program for teachers in the summer of 2014. I was so impressed with his intellect and enthusiasm for history throughout the program, as well as with the ideas he shared with the group on how he could convey what we were learning to his middle school students. I was also impressed with his authenticity, resourcefulness, friendliness, and willingness to share his singing talents with everyone. He is inspirational to so many. As we maintain contact through social media, I’m so impressed with his dedication to his students. It’s so evident that once you are one of his students, you will always matter to him. I hope he gets this award because he deserves to be recognized on a grand scale.

Janee Campbell Posted 2 months ago

To know Mr. Wood you would love him ! From the group projects, creating songs at the end of every lesson to just devotion he had with his students made me look at school so different. I was honored to have him my 6th and 7th grade year and he really made school especially history unforgettable. Just coming into the classroom you know you were entering a totally different atmosphere. Not only has Mr. Woods made a impact on my education but me as a person I was so shy coming into school but when I entered his class I came out my shell . Thank you Mr Woods for everything ??

Heather Pilon Posted 2 months ago

I met Pren in South Korea back in 2008. I was a university teacher and my cousin, who is also a middle school teacher in Georgia, connected us. And I'm so glad she did. Pren had won a fellowship competition from The Korea Society in New York and was selected as part of a group of 25 secondary educators to go to Korea. He was learning about Korean history, culture, and arts for 11 days and I had the good fortune to meet up with him for two of those days (and I'm so glad I did!) I was impressed about his incredible desire to learn about the diverse countries and cultures of the world. I was equally impressed about how he takes all of his amazing knowledge back to his students to help them grow their own lives and to become impassioned for the history and beauty of this great planet we live on. You know, we only met twice in those 11 days back in 2008, but Pren has kept in touch with me for major events in my life. Over the years, he sent well wishes to me and my kids on our birthdays. He reached out during the time of my brother's passing to send me words of encouragement. It's so rare to meet a fellow teacher and world traveler who doesn't just enjoy you in passing and then forget about you. He's never forgotten me and my family. He's truly a teacher of the world. A global citizen, if you will, and a true, loving friend. Thank you Pren! You make the world a better place.

Jocelyn E. Howard Posted 2 months ago

I met Pren through some coworkers in the educational field. He was warm and welcoming from the start! Pren’s exuded so much excitement when talking about his students/school, I became just as excited while listening to him! Since then I’ve followed him on social media and am so proud of the work he has done and continues to do with his craft!

Krisha Deaver Posted 2 months ago

I met Mr. Woods in an extraordinary place: Vienna, Austria. An extraordinary setting was a fitting, given the extraordinary person Dunn is. We were grant recipients for a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) summer seminar for secondary education teachers. The seminar was titled "Mozart's Operas," and the three-week, fully immersive seminar had us both eating up long professor lectures each day, but also traipsing all over historic Vienna, Austria, day and night, to consume the city's musical genius. While the seminar and its Vienna location were absolutely life-changing, the aspect that's likely had the most far-reaching effects on my teaching and my personal growth (if I could quantify such a thing),was meeting Dunn Woods. Imagine a tranquil, temperate June evening with the sun low in the sky. It's Vienna, and the city landscape is temporarily shut out while twenty-five teachers and their professors from all across the U.S. casually get to know one another and dine in a serene, idyllic beer garden.   Imagine a person so delightfully open to other people that he steps away from his twenty-five American colleagues, strikes up a conversation with a German-speaking couple on a romantic date, and before you know it, he's serenading them with his gorgeous baritone voice. If you can imagine someone that open to others, that giving -- that full of LIFE -- then you just might glimpse what makes my friend, Dunn, so magical.  Imagine an educator so dedicated to his students that his social media is filled -- positively brimming over -- with anecdotes and insights into his world of teaching middle school students; anecdotes that will make you want to reach through the internet and hug a middle school student. His timeline teems with fleeting accounts of truly listening to and respecting students while always aiming to lift them higher. Dunn gives a face to the real work teachers do; a face I'm thrilled he shares for all his social media followers to sense the enormity of what dedicated teaching entails -- providing glimpses into evenings and weekends full of never-ending syllabus tweaking, lesson prepping, and grading. And somehow in his sharing, he exudes excitement for the learning he's engendering in students. And for his fellow colleagues, a peek at Dunn's social media is always a boost -- just like being with him in seminar in Vienna was years ago. Even at the end of a long day of teaching when I don't think I can string together a coherent sentence, if I see a post from Dunn, I know I'll feel a shot in the arm of renewal. No matter what he shares, I'll want to love my students even more than I already do and work even harder than I already am. And no matter what he shares, I'll learn something about how to be a better human being. In person and across the miles (I'm in Los Angeles), Dunn exemplifies what a dedicated, passionate, patient, indefatigable, curious, and determined educator looks like.  For these and a thousand other ways Dunn's voice has educated, elevated, and inspired all within his reach, he definitely embodies the title, "Life-Changer."

Dorien Steed Posted 2 months ago

Hello, my name is Dorien Steed. I had Mr. Woods as my first class of every day seven years ago when I was in sixth grade. At that point in time I was a fairly reserved student. I was always in my shell and treating school like it was a walk in the park. I quickly learned that Mr. Woods’ class was no place for shells and that this would certainly be no walk in the park. To this day I have never met a teaching style that brings greater engagement and enjoyment within a classroom while continuing to challenge my understanding of new content. By remixing popular songs to be educational and relating it back to the lessons he taught us, students were able to easily memorize the information. It seems so simple and yet Mr. Woods has proven it to be an extremely effective method of teaching. I still have a plethora of memorized songs that I use against my college history courses. For me however, this style of teaching has given me so much more than just social studies knowledge. He also gave us life skills meant to build a virtuous character. By having us sing in front of each other, Mr. Woods forced me to be brave and step out of my comfort zone. At first it brought me anxiety. I often felt that I was being judged when I had to stand up and speak or sing in front of others but Mr. Woods just kept pushing and pushing all of us until all fear was gone. Mr. Woods is a loud and confident man and he always encouraged his students to be the same. I recall another characteristic value of Mr. Woods being honesty. There was one particular quiz that year where many students did not do particularly well. I can not speak for the class but I know my own reason for poor performance on the quiz being the simple fact that I didn’t study. Mr. Woods gave us all the information we could possibly need to do well and yet after the quiz he still gave us the assignment to go home and write a note to him on how he could have made the quiz easier. It struck me then that it was never his goal to accommodate to us. He wanted us to be honest with ourselves and admit that we were not trying our hardest and studying as recommended. He constantly challenged us in these little ways not to make life harder for sixth graders but to prepare us for what was yet to come and to instill character building values like honesty, confidence, and work ethic. For some teachers, instructing students unit to unit is all they do with no particular interest in their success or future. For Mr. Woods however, teaching is a very personal ordeal. He cares deeply about the paths we take once we pass through his class and continues to support us every step of the way. Mr. Woods is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had in and I can truly say that he changed my life.

Victoria Rowe Posted 2 months ago

I met Prentiss at church quite a few years ago when my daughters were young. I was directing a youth group when I met him and we were taken with him immediately. He was great with the kids so I asked if he would like to help with the youth group and he was fantastic! The kids loved him! We built a beautiful friendship from there. Prentiss is the kind of person who lights up a room with his smile and positive energy. Not only is he a wise, fun-loving person with a great sense of humor and a beautiful singing voice but he also has a deep love for God and a commitment to others. He’s always happy and I think that’s because he loves life and what he does so much. He’s one of those most passionate people I’ve ever met.

Colie Langford Posted 2 months ago

Mr. Woods had changed my life forever. To this day he is my favorite teacher because he taught me so much more than just history curriculum. Because of him I was prepared for college level courses and more educated on the real world not just what school has to offer.

Ms. Travis Hazzard Posted 2 months ago

While I don't share the same up- close-and-personal experience as many students, parents, team members, and others who've commented, I've had the equally pleasurable blessing of witnessing Mr. Woods' spirit of excellence in other ways. I use the word 'blessing' because many of us go through life only hoping to tap into just a smidgen of this greatness that is Pren Woods. Not only does Mr. Woods have passion for teaching, but just as important (if not more so), he has a growth mindset that lends itself to a deep desire to want to learn. He actively seeks to do so. What better way to challenge students to be curious, interested, excited learners than to be a curious, interested, and excited teacher? Mr. Woods has shared pictures and details with me of his trips abroad absorbing other cultures. He puts himself in spaces with those with whom he might have a few things in common... and those who are totally different. He observes, engages with, and acclimates himself to different ways of thinking/doing life and relates it to the subject matter he's most passionate about. He becomes a part of the culture. What I find so fascinating about this is that Mr. Woods eagerly walks in the direction of what and who are different. He is unafraid. Through this example, he not only teaches his students what they need academically, he teaches them about acceptance. How refreshing - especially at this point in history as we assess and reassess what and who are important. Additionally, in my opinion, the ultimate unmatched type of love is the one parents have for their children. In close running is the love which teachers have for their students. Not every teacher posseses it, however. Similar to the way mothers and fathers light up when they talk about their children - often to random strangers - I've seen a certain twinkle in Mr. Woods' eyes, the emergence of the most genuine smile, and heard the gentle elevation of his voice while talking about his "kiddos". When I first met Mr. Woods, my child was in the public school system. I remember thinking, "I wish he had just one Mr. Woods. Just one." I recognized how fortunate these young people and their families were that the students got to be recipients of this sweet and rare sort of love from their teacher. So you see, when I think about someone who fits the LifeChanger example through "making a significant difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership", none is more deserving than Mr. Woods. He is the prime model and epitome of what I refer to as the best of the best - both as a person, and, most certainly, as an educator.

Cody Posted 2 months ago

Well about 5 years ago I had mr. Woods as a 7th grade history teacher and I can't even explain the joy you brought to the class he's a wonderful teacher in Mentor he taught me very well he made School fun when I didn't want to be there he pulled me to the side and give me a little pep-talk and brighten up my day he is a wonderful person and teacher and mentor

Roosevelt Miller Posted 2 months ago

Hello, my name is Roosevelt and I am a former student of Mr. Woods! Where do I start? He was definitely my favorite and most memorable teacher I’ve ever had! That says a lot to say that I would continue my education after grade school to become a college graduate! Mr. Woods taught me South Carolina History at Rivers Middle School! From the first day being in his classroom, I knew I would look forward to being one of his students! What stood out is his charismatic attitude, and his eagerness to engage the students in his lessons! He made everyone feel special, even those students who wasn’t popular among the others! He made class interesting, he made songs to make us remember the history that you could use later on if necessary! I still remember the song about the articles of confederation lol! But above all, he made us all felt loved, there was never a dull moment inside his classroom! He is the ultimate teacher, a great role model, and later became a great friend! Mr. Woods is the only teacher that would actually come to my neighborhood just riding past, and I’m like mannnn... I know this is not Mr. Woods! Even after completing middle school and transitioning into high school, he kept in touch to the best of his ability with most of his students! I know this because me and few of my friends were included! I’m also positive if it wasn’t for his impact of some of us, our lives could have taken a totally different direction! So I thank him for that much! I believe on any scale that he is more than worthy to be awarded life changer of the year, if not for the students he impact now, for the thousands he has before! Over 20 years of teaching, I’m sure he hasn’t skipped a beat!

Russell Brady Posted 2 months ago

Mr. Woods is a Amazing Teacher, I had him in my 7th grade year in middle school, My first year in south carolina, Everyday of his class was extreamly educational will simultaniously being fun for everyone. Not a day goes by in my current history classes where I dont think about the fun/educational songs we learned in his class. He truely changed the way I thought about history.

Kim Emery Posted 2 months ago

Mr. Woods is PHENOMENAL! All three of my children were fortunate to be in Mr. Woods’ social studies class at Alston. Over the five-year span my children were in his class, there was always something exciting happening in Mr. Woods’ class from singing to acting out historical events. I clearly remember the first time meeting Mr. Woods at open house with my son. He immediately gave my son a nickname and made him feel eager about starting middle school. Mr. Woods’ passionate energy did not end in the classroom. I constantly saw Mr. Woods at sporting events, award shows, musical concerts and plays.

Briana Destefanis Posted 2 months ago

I was in Mr. woods history class in the school year of 2016-17. He made every class not only about a curriculum but about life itself. Everyday was a challenge, but a challenge that would teach life lessons,new experiences, and of course the importance of history and culture. I’m now an 11th grader and still remember the scramble for Africa. He brought in eggs and scrambled them while explaining the topic. I cannot thank him enough for how he changed my life and outlook on education.

enjah Posted 2 months ago

Loved the music he made in middle school! It helped a lot !

Jacob cribb Posted 2 months ago

Mr pren woods was my 7th grade teacher when I went to Alston middle school, I would always struggle in history but once I came into his class he always had the best methods to teach I would wake up in the morning and couldn't wait to go to school because hes suck a great teacher not only that but overall a great, supportive person

Dinah Chollet Posted 2 months ago

I unfortunately didn't meet Mr. Woods until I was an adult, but that hasn't stopped me from asking him every important question they glazed over in school. At the age of 35, Mr. Woods has taught me more about history and actual SOCIAL studies than I ever learned in school. I enjoy having someone around that I and my daughter can ask all the hard questions without receiving anything other than an honest educated response. He has taken time out of his busy day of teaching to send me long explanations of things I didn't fully understand and has guided me down a path that prompted me to continue learning on my own. We need more teachers like Mr. Woods. He has changed not only my life, but my perception of that life.

Nancy Condon Posted 2 months ago

Think of all the qualities of a great teacher...passionate, dedicated, challenging, engaging, empathetic, creative and caring - and you have Pren. He has found the sweet spot...he loves teaching and his students and his students love his class and him. The world needs more teachers like Pren Woods.

Hailey Morris Posted 2 months ago

I was in Mr.WOODS den for all 3 years i was at alston and he was one of my favorite teachers even though i didn't personally have him.He always made den fun and would make me laugh and the rest of the class i miss den and alston so i think he should when because he was an awesome teacher??

Breanna Inabinet Posted 2 months ago

Mr. Woods was by far my favorite teacher I have ever had. Class was so much fun. Everything I learned has stuck with me. Mr. Woods knows how to make learning very fun.

Jada Grant Posted 2 months ago

If you ever have a bad day? See Mr Woods. I’ve never had interest in social studies until I had him as a teacher. His creativity in making songs for every lesson helped me out A lot! I remember taking tests singing them in my head .. and BOOM there goes the answer ! I am now a high school a graduate and I could never forget the words to the songs. When you think of social studies ..we automatically assume “BORING” but I can honestly say I enjoyed every moment!

Courtney Posted 2 months ago

Best teacher ever, there was never a dull moment in his class he kept at fun and educational

Michala Bowles Posted 2 months ago

He is an awesome teacher, that shows exceptional passion for the students and what he teaches. I am 20 years old and can still remember the words of wisdom and the outstanding techniques he passed onto us. There is no one that could top him, he’s the right guy for the reward!

Bryan Lopez Posted 2 months ago

Middle School can be a rough time for some of us. It’s where we began to make tough decisions that will impact our lives. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or be in my life. I honestly didn’t care at that time. I just felt that if I could get by, that I would be fine. Me.Woods had other plans for me and never let me settle with just barely getting by. He pushed me, called my parents to make sure they knew how I was doing and even came to my house to talk to my parents. At the time, I thought “why is he always in my business”, but I eventually realized he cared for me and wanted me to succeed. I remember many learning lessons in my life. Things that would impact me drastically and change who I was. The biggest lesson Mr. Woods taught me was to never cheat. I was caught cheating in my English class. A few days later, I had a history project due for Mr.Woods on the Mexican-American War. I had to get a good grade on it or I would fail the semester and the school year. The day came for me to present and he told me that unfortunately even if I passed the assignment my grade would still be to low to pass for the school year. I felt horrible and didn’t know what to do. He asked me questions about my research and I answered every single one of them with tears in my eyes. When my presentation was over, he told me my grade for the semester and final grade. I passed the school year as well. In shock I turned to him and he responded “It’s not good to cheat”. I was upset and angry at the same time. I couldn’t believe I was so worried for nothing, but then it came to me. He was teaching me a lesson within another lesson. Ever since that occurred, I have never cheated again. Even if I was unprepared for something, I took my failure instead of trying to pass dishonestly. Mr.Woods changed me that day, and for that I thank him so much for it.

Linda Farnsworth Morris Posted 2 months ago

Passion. That was my first impression when I met Pren. An individual that looked to people around him so that he could share his love of traveling and learning the cultures of the world so he could bring that knowledge back to the classroom and ignite his students with the history of the world. I immediately was intrigued and I have been socially connected with him through our community and I have seen so many young (and older) lives he has touched. He sparks their interest in history/culture at a young age and he remains in their lives once they have left school. There are not too many educators that have that connection. I am honored to know him.

brendan morris Posted 2 months ago

mr.woods was a funny teacher and he did alot of fun activates it was hard for me to pass because i wouldnt to work but he was awsome to have as a teacher thanks for all that he tought me to never give up and that i could do it .

Mikayla McClary Posted 2 months ago

Wow! Where do I begin to describe such an amazing man?! Mr. Woods has exceeded his job as a teacher and his love and support has oozed over to kids like me, who were not formally his students! Over the years Mr. Woods has encouraged me and watched me grow up. He’s been their for aid during the troubled times and a word of encouragement during the good times. He assured me and my friends that everyday might not be good, but theirs something good in everyday. He showed me that their is no distance in heart because I recently just graduated and it was like I never left the 6th grade. ?? The best part about Mr. Woods is throughout my 12 years of school he was one of the many few teachers who had a MAJOR impact on my life and helped mold me to the gal I am today. The best part of this is he continuing to do what he did for me for other students!! Now if that’s not a life changer...idk what is! LOVE YOU MR. WOODS!! ??????

Angela Portis Posted 2 months ago

I am a member of the community in that Mr. Dunn teaches in. All my nieces, nephews & children in my community speak so highly of him as an educator! When I met him, I immediately realized why. His love, excitement & energy for teaching, molding young people radiates from him. He makes me feel like, I should re-vist middle school, so that I may have the opportunity to be taught by him!

Kayla Curtis Posted 2 months ago

One of the best teachers I know. He was so good to my daughter and made sure she knew everything she was supposed to know. Thank you for everything Mr. Woods we love you.

Jennifer Fox Posted 2 months ago

I had the pleasure of meeting Dunn through a mutual friend and so happy that I did! He is full of life, love and so much more. This is someone who more than deserves recognition for all the wonder

Shannon Emery Posted 2 months ago

There are few people who bave a combination of sheer presence and kindness that Pren does. Every since I met him, he knows no stranger, can make you laugh, and is a friend to all. He goes above and beyond for his students and it shows in the love they have for him. Most importantly in the respect that they show him speaks volumes. As for his shining personality, as I said, he knows no stranger and can talk with those who are willing. He can command a conversation and push you to think differently, even if he follows it up with joke. Combined with his big laugh and love to sing, I'm glad to have gotten to know Pren.

Coltyn Remeika Posted 2 months ago

Middle school is a land of uncertainty and drama, where every occurrence feels like the most important thing in the world, until the next thing happens that is. Where growth follows a path most similar to a roller coaster halfway off the tracks, and any real lessons you learn probably won’t be realized until much later. It is the age where we somehow decide that we know everything there is to know, and anyone/thing challenging that notion is simply below us. Indeed a tasking group of minds to work with and influence, and as I’ve come to understand as the years go by, there are only so many up to the real challenge that it presents. To put it as best I can, Mr Woods took my concept of learning and flipped it on its head, and while it was down there decided, “hey, I’ll teach it to break dance too.” It was only sixth grade but I was growing tired of the repetitive nature of my studies,I was no longer having to try in school and my social life was beginning to take priority. In short, school was just getting boring. And then I met the visionary who we all know as Mr Woods (although then I can promise I probably thought he was more of a lunatic than anything), and had a personal renaissance so to say when it came to education. His approach to teaching was alien and intriguing to me; one second we would be looking at a map and the next everyone in the room would be breaking out into harmonious singing about the Cold War. He tricked kids who thought school wasn’t cool into being invested their studies, and that is as great of an achievement as I can imagine. Children will always be the future of our world, and Mr Woods did his part and much much more in preparing our generation to tackle the issues in society we see today. I have never met an educator even close to being as creative as him, and I can confidently say that his impression will last a lifetime for me. I think more than anything though, you could tell Mr Woods genuinely cared about his students. I would say 80% of my grade class had a personalized nickname from our teacher, and he remembered every single one of us. I was lucky enough not to have a very difficult home life, but I know without a shadow of a doubt I would have had an extra father if needed in Mr Woods. Being someone who knows firsthand the effort and dedication Pren Woods has put into his students over his teaching career, I can confidently say I don’t think there is anyone out there more deserving or qualified for this award. Here’s to hoping you receive the recognition you have earned, I know I will forever be grateful for what you have done for me, and what you continue to do for the youth of our world. With love and gratitude, Coltyn Remeika Former Alston Middle School Student

Helga Mandel Posted 2 months ago

I know Pren Woods from his traveling time as a member of UWP. I was a host mom in Germany. When his cast travelled through our country I followed them to several cities in my neighborhood. Whenever Pren noticed me in the facility, he started to sing for me. I was deeply impressed by that and I am deeply impressed to see how he has developed. I can imagine, no, I know that he is an amazing, a wonderful teacher.

DeeDee Posted 2 months ago

Thanks for all you do on social media to help whites learn about anti-racism. It's been a heartbreaking time but I go to your daily posts and get encouraged. You are in my prayers because I know some of what I have seen in people's responses has to be upsetting or hurtful. Keep calling people out.

Ayla Camp Posted 2 months ago

Being a student in Mr. Woods class in 7th grade was an exceptional experience for me. The lesson plans were alway innovative and the parodies he created for remembering historical events always stuck with me. What impacted me the most was knowing that he genuinely cared that all of his students fully understood the material he was teaching.

Kayla Posted 2 months ago

Mrs. Woods is one of the main reasons I fell in love with the subject of history. I considered becoming a history teacher because of the impact he had on my education. He is amazing with his students and gets everyone involved in class. His class will definitely be one I will never forget.

Jacob C. Maszcak Posted 2 months ago

Mr. Woods was and still is an excellent teacher. My entire middle school experience he always found the better in people. There was a lot of negative things that occurred and Mr woods was there to help and talk it out with each and every student. He wants the best and the most enjoyment for all his pupils and will put forth his max effort. He definitely changed how I view school and let me know that I can always enjoy my work, and That I’m smart enough to do it. There was never a dull moment between him, his students, and lessons.

Adam Weiner Posted 2 months ago

Mr. Woods is a great teacher. I have known Pren for over ten years as a colleague and a friend. The way he approaches teaching is unique and his student involvement is exceptional. His enthusiasm bubbles out of the classroom and into the hallways. His love of teaching is contagious. Many times when I was feeling sorry for myself about not reaching a particular student, Pren would listen and gently steer me in the right direction, or give me a new perspective on the situation. I can say wholeheartedly that I am a better teacher because of Mr. Pren Woods.

Nathanel Hunt Posted 2 months ago

Mr.Woods was my seventh grade history teacher. I am graduating now, but I will never forget him. I really enjoyed his classes because he was never boring. Mr. Woods should receive this award not only for his brilliance, but also his kind heart.

Shamiah Thompson Posted 2 months ago

I will be a high school graduate as of June 11th. Mr. Woods was my history teacher back in 7th grade at Alston Middle School. History has always been my favorite subject but nobody has taught it the way as Mr. Woods did. He taught us in a way that showed his creativity and he made us get involved and active in his lessons. He never turned us down to showing our creative sides but encouraged us to think outside the box and show our own creativity. Even when we didn’t want to. All my life I have always been a shy kid, I don’t care to talk as much but sitting in his classroom I didn’t fear to speak my mind, ask questions, or even hesitate to do anything just to be myself. I still remember all the songs we sung in class and just being in the class as a whole. He has always been an outstanding person and he leaves an impact on people no matter where he goes. I can remember him always smiling and being positive. Most people don’t think back on their lives especially in middle school but I will never forget. I am glad to come across this and I believe this award best fits Mr. Woods and his character.

Terri Tafoya Posted 2 months ago

Pren is an amazing educator! He has my vote! He changes lives of students everyday!

Barbara Sawyer Posted 3 months ago

Mr. Woods has my vote for being "LifeChanger of the Year" Award because he's an excellent teacher and knows how to motivate the kids with his fantastic history songs - that they sings and love!!! He was so much fun in our daughter's middle school class! Just a few moments ago our daughter was completing the application for teaching position and it asked of a teacher that inspired her, she put Mr. Woods because he really is an exceptional teacher and friend. We have kept in touch over the years, our daughter just graduated college with honors during COVID 19 (very tough time for those graduating) and he sent her a card to congratulate her. He's an amazing person that knows how important education is - we need more people like him! :-)

Jada Crockett Posted 3 months ago

Me.Woods Is A Great Teacher. I Love How He Notices A Lot About Student Just By How He Connects With Them In His own Way. He Is Just Great I Swear.

Jobie horton Posted 3 months ago

Mr Woods was one of my favorite teachers ever he was so energetic and fun but he could be serious at times when we needed help. I remember when I was scared to go I’m front of the class but then he kept on making me the first to go up in front of the class. He knew the bigger idea or purpose. It was to gain my confidence. Now I’m the most confident kid in my grade thank you Mr Woods

Gloria Jackson Posted 3 months ago

I am so proud of Mr. Woods. He is a positive force who brings the goal of excellence into the classroom as he leads his students to success. You could not find another teacher who cares more about the students, and who assures that students obtain the quality education that they deserve. He is very deserving to be named the winner the "Life Changer of the Year" award!

Rachel Edwards Posted 3 months ago

Loved reading about the project you did with your students during the pandemic. It has all the makings for a children's book. As a media specialist I akways encouraged teachers of all grade levels to share a read aloud book about the time period they were getting ready to teach in their Social Studies or History classes. I still remember so many titles like "The Faithful Elephants" that showed another aspect of WWIi. These stories written by your students about their lived during the pandemic will be priceless one day.

Stanley Johnson Jr Posted 3 months ago

I met Mr. words when I was in the seventh grade I never met a teacher that you can learn from so much he would take a hip-hop song and turn it into a history lesson To this day I still remember some of those songs like give me my flowers before I die oh remix it for the song you don’t want no drato this day I still remember some of those songs like give me my flowers before I die oh remix Fergie songs you don’t want no drama What I’m trying to tell you is he has a great spirit teacher and I learned so much from this man in my middle school years he is a very great history teacher followed that he says he won’t lead you congratulations Mr. Woods

Kiahwana camel Posted 3 months ago

If i didn’t remember a teacher from middle school I definitely remember Mr. Woods! He was energetic, made learning fun and relatable.He also taught me to always give people their flowers before they die! I still implement that in my life today!

Deshawn heyward Posted 3 months ago

Me Woods is probably the smartest guy I’ve ever met! Always willing to teach and help out when ever he could. And impartial in his decisions. Right is right and wrong is wrong. A born leader with exceptional talent !

Robin Woods Posted 3 months ago

COVID-19 has not slowed my brother down. He’s calling kids on their birthdays, making special videos for them, doing phone call checks. He even took time to call all of his graduating seniors (kids he taught five years ago) to see how they were doing. Recently, he took up the task of making sure every high school senior was getting adopted. He saw the local adopt a senior page and wondered about those without technology or huge social networks. He, single-handedly reached out to guidance counselors at the three high schools and said “give me names of seniors who may fall through the cracks here and I’ll take care of the rest.” I am a guidance counselor and he blows me away with his energy and commitment. I’m one lucky sister.

Anthony Pelekakis Posted 3 months ago

About 8 years ago, I had Mr. Woods as my 6th grade social studies teacher. Coming into middle school I had a very shy and awkward personality, but Mr. Woods helped bring the best out of me and has shaped me into the person I am today. I remember Mr. Woods making the learning experience very interactive and fun for students through numerous activities like class sing-alongs of songs he created to relate to class content, class theater performances where students had to depict various important events in history, and more. Besides teaching social studies, he also taught me life skills that I still use today. I remember him making us memorize famous speeches and having us recite them in front of the class which has really made me comfortable with public speaking in my college courses. today. I also remember him teaching us how to be great leaders through his different types of activities. The little things like that may seem just seem like another class activity, but I would say that Mr. Woods and his style of teaching as left such a huge impact on me. Out of all of my teachers, he has most definitely been the most memorable one and I want to thank him for the person I am today and for a lot of my recent achievements in my personal and professional life. I am so proud of what he has been able to do for me and I just imagine how many more lives he has impacted and touched. I applaud him for how much he cares for his students and the multiple communities he is a part of. Thank you Mr. Woods for everything that you have done and I am excited to the many more things you are going to achieve.

Shaun Mitchell Posted 4 months ago

The amount of lives an ordinary teacher touches and changes every single school year is an amazing thing. Mr.Woods however is about as far from ordinary as it can get. His class room was the place that many people learned that school could be fun, assignments did not have to be boring, and that everyone was on the same team. Above all the thing that stands out is the way he still keeps in touch with us students and still takes an interest in what he helped us become even as some of us enter our early twenties and havent had him as a teacher in nearly a decade. His obligation to us wasn't just as a teacher, he was a role model and a friend too, and because of that he didnt give up on us as soon as we finished his class or even when we graduated and there needs to be more teachers like him in our schools.

Kimberly Sage Posted 4 months ago

I met Mr. Woods in 2014. To this day he is still such a big role model in my life. I have never met a teacher so engaged with his students and so sit on them learning and retaining information. He definitely used a different approach to teaching his students and every bit of effort paid off. Here I am six years later and I am still using the information that I learned in his class to help me in my studies. I can’t say that about many of my middle school classes. He always knew how to keep his students engaged and to give them a safe, open, and versatile learning environment. But he was always more than a history teacher. I am now a music educator major, and he even taught me things that are used to this day in that subject. He knew I had a passion for music from such a young age and he always encouraged me to follow my dreams. So here I am now about to embark on a new journey that I know I can do because of his support. During this quarantine due to the coronavirus he has taken the time out of his day to call all of his seniors who he hasn’t taught For six years now and I know that he still cares about us as much as he did the first day we walked into his classroom and he will always want what’s best for us because that’s just the person that he is.

Morgan Johnson Posted 4 months ago

I met Mr.Woods in middle school when i was in one of his classes ... let me tell you . This was the only class I could learn it . He would take a current “hip” song at the time and somehow turn it into a lesson! Not sure how but till this day when those songs come on I sing his version ! One of the best teachers I’ve ever had . I am glad he can continue to do the same for others !

Rachel Edwards Posted 4 months ago

Wow...can't wait to hear who the Grand Prize winner is...but in the meantime I am enjoying reading all the comments from all over the world. The amazing thing is that I retired 10 years ago and I met you as a teacher probably 5 years before that, and you were doing all kinds of unique things in your classroom and traveling all over the world then...and you are still going strong...you are truly amazing to have the courage and the drive to keep searching for and learning new ideas and techniques to motivate your students and all who know you to become life long learners. You open the whole world to your students everyday in your classroom.

Karen Posted 4 months ago

Pren just never stops. Again, he comes up with another way to reach and teach his students in the form of an assignment that actually helps him to do a welfare check on his students.

Yuliana Seferino Posted 4 months ago

Congratulations Mr.Wood I never had you as my teacher but I sure did know about you got a sense of humor and always make education more fun with the creativity songs! Congratulations!

Lisa Posted 4 months ago

Schools are closed while our community is “flattening the curve” of the Coronavirus pandemic. My daughter, Helen, received a phone call from Mr. Woods checking in on her during this time. He is no longer her teacher, but sees her in his Alston school wide den group that meets once a month (“Tiger den” for Alston Tigers). He was calling all of her fellow den students to touch base and offer support during this uncertain time. Incredible or what?! It is in perfect character he’d do for all the students at AMS. His act of kindness affirms my opinion how gifted he is in the art of teaching. Caring for students first always leads to great teachable moments. We appreciate you Mr. Woods! Stay safe and strong!

Rachel Edwards Posted 4 months ago

I enjoyed reading the article that just came out and I am not surprisef that the writer interviewrd you. It also didnt surprise me thst she had heard of you and contacted you because you never stop.figuring out ways to help your students in your classes when they are in school and when they are not in school. You truly care about the well being of your students and what they are going through everyday. This pandemic is a historical event that will have a great impact on our whole world and something your students will never forget...hence your idea of having them come up.with a super hero during this difficult time, plus their daily journal writing. Your students are blessed to be taught by such a caring and life long friend and teacher.

Carter Cook Posted 4 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of the best teachers in the state. He is an awesome teacher and will really make you laugh. Any day in his classroom is a good day.

Mattie P. Sanders Posted 4 months ago

Bam! You nailed the GATE!

Rachel Edwards Posted 5 months ago

Love that you are having uour students write in a journal each day during the quarantine period. Throughout history there have been similar situations and this will be something the students will never forget. Also liked the activity you did online over the weekend.

Pren Woods Posted 5 months ago

My heart is with each of you during this pandemic. Please, reach out, if I can be of any assistance. What am I doing? Largely bored out of my mind. prenwoods@gmail.com

Elinor Coaxum Posted 5 months ago

Pren and I were on the same 7th grade team for three years. He was an awesome instructor and brought history to life for his students. He let them know by his behavior toward them just how special they were to him. His enthusiasm was infectious! Absolutely enjoyed working with him.

Cici Lonsberry Posted 5 months ago

Mr. Woods is always outgoing and supportive. I will always support you in all you do Mr. Woods. You’re an incredible amazing inspirational and great friend to every one you meet! I would’ve loved to have you as a teacher! Keep up the incredible work! You deserve it Mr. Woods.

Lief Harper Posted 5 months ago

Mr. Woods, Only one word can describe you as a teacher and member of the community. Well two now that I think of it "Utterly Incredible". Even though I wasnt in your class, I still managed to cross your path and I believe it was for the better, I also wouldnt change a thing about any of our interactions. You need to keep doing exactly what you are doing because I dont think you've reached the height of your success and impact on this world yet. From Lief N. Harper

Shaina Melton Posted 5 months ago

He is a fun teacher. One of the best ones I have. I understand a lot just because of his song.

Kaylie Tonzola Posted 5 months ago

Mr. Woods is my teacher this year, in the 7th grade. Currently, we're on "Coronavirus leave," if that's even going to be considered a thing, but he made sure to email us and tell his students that he is going to miss us very very very much until we can get back, whether it be on April 1st or sometime after that. Our work from him is fairly straightforward and it's to make us recognize that we are living through a historic event, only as teenager, too! My friends and I have been texting and FaceTiming, and discussing how we actually miss going to school because we're so bored. If we were in his class right now, I can guarantee that no one would be saying that. He's constantly checking in, making sure we're ok, and even sending us things that would pique our interest. In the past he's sent me news articles that would make me think, such as stories about a Greta Thunberg mural. It always makes me feel happy that he's constantly thinking about his students, or his kids, even in times of sickness, like now. Thank you Mr. Woods, for everything you've ever taught us, including "the truf!"

Rachel Edwards Posted 5 months ago

Thanks for the update on your educational endeavors...keep doing what you do best...educating others...

Jade Smiley Posted 5 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 6th grade social studies teacher. He had such an impact on my love for history and politics. That I now study political science with a focus on international relations and comparative politics and minor in history at the amazing University of South Carolina Columbia. He is very deserving of this award!

Kylie Posted 5 months ago

Mr. Woods is truly so deserving of this award! I was in middle school 10+ years ago, and I still remember his impact. He is such an amazing teacher, role model, and a bright light for all his past, present, and future students.

Noah Posted 5 months ago

Mr.woods should definitely win this award because the way he inspires his students and treats all of them like family. I had him as a teacher 10 years ago and I can say he was my favorite teacher. Never seen someone so happy to come to work and always in a positive mood. I remember when I was in a bad mood he would always find a way to cheer me up if it was a funny joke or him singing so if anyone deserves this award it’s definitely Mr. Woods

Rachel Edwards Posted 5 months ago

It was so neat watching you get recognized at the DD2 School Board Meeting last night and seeing you get a standing ovation.

Marshall Posted 5 months ago

Mr. woods was my favorite teacher in middle school. He impacted my life in so many ways and to this day I can still remember some of the songs he use to sing. On my birthday one year he popped up and surprised me at my house and sang happy birthday to me. By far the best teacher there is!

Tamari Smith Posted 5 months ago

Mr. Woods was my favorite teacher in 7th grade and the most memorable teacher I could ask for. Still to this day in high school I remember all those songs he has us sing in class and all the laughs I had in his class. Not only did I laugh a lot but I learned a lot from Mr. Woods I’m so grateful I was able to be taught by him.

Braiden Posted 5 months ago

Mr.woods is a life changer for me because if im walking down the hall looking sad or mad he will ask if im alright and make shure im ok. I like that ??

CaPa Posted 5 months ago

This is Cam and Paige. We are CaPa and we hang out with Mr. Woods every day at courtyard, spilling the “T” and laughing and making jokes. He is very trustworthy. He always makes us feel special because he always knows when we are having a bad day.

Joe Lewerk Posted 5 months ago

Pren is a rock of support to teaching colleagues near and far. Most recently he thoughtfully provided comprehensive feedback for my application to a highly selective professional development opportunity in the midst of a hectic teaching schedule. I highly value his professional knowledge and expertise.

Michaela Lewis Posted 5 months ago

I had Mr. Woods as a History teacher for sixth and seventh grade and he completely changed my life. He awoke my love for history and since then it has been my favorite subject and I spend all my free time reading about it. Not only did he inspire my love for history, but he inspired me to be come a teacher. His class was so much fun and I enjoyed it so much that I found myself wanting to inspire children the way he did. Although I am going into elementary, I try to bring elements of what he did in his class into mine. He is one of the greatest teachers I have ever had and in my opinion, one of the greatest teachers ever.

Nicholas Cliver Posted 5 months ago

I am so happy to call Mr.Woods one of my teachers. He is funny and smart. He can make your day so good with just one sentence. He can make the most boring subject to the best. I am so happy for him to win this award.

Ms. Barbara Posted 5 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of the best teachers at Alston. Kids have so much fun learning in his class. They enjoy the singing education. Outstanding!

Colleen Engbrock Posted 5 months ago

I cannot describe the impact Pren had on my child. His passion for his job is above any I have ever seen. He is enthusiastic about his job and about teaching social studies. He challenged my daughter and showed her that a subject she hated was actually enjoyable. He truly changed her view on this subject in school that followed her into college classes. He strives to not only see his students succeed in his classroom, but in life. He continues to follow all of his students progress through high school and into college. He is the BEST!!

Beth Sanborn Posted 5 months ago

Dunn Woods, We are so lucky to have you in our school in Summerville Sc. Your work in school and our community goes above and beyond. Beth Sanborn, Summerville, South Carolina.

Pren Woods Posted 5 months ago

A week ago, I received an amazing surprise—top 5 recognition in this competition. I am incredibly grateful for the love and support of the many communities behind me. I am blessed to have such an amazing job. On to the Florida!

Trinity mcclam Posted 5 months ago

I am so proud or my uncle/teacher I truly have gained a bond with him this year he has made me smile every day I since the first day of middle school he is without a doubt the funniest person you will ever meet he has definitely changed my life he make every one feel good including me even when I go to high school any time some one says shut up I am going to correct them he is a true blessing and I sincerely am blessed to be his niece/student

William Edwards Posted 5 months ago

Although I was never a student of Mr. Woods, I have always felt like one of his students. He has always expressed interest in my extracurricular activities and always asks how I am doing in school. I have always loved classical music so I am very impressed with his opera in school program. Every time I attend one of these events, I am very impressed to see how many young students he can get to come to the opera. Mr. Woods is a wonderful person and truly is a life changer. Congratulations!

Nellie Kennedy Posted 5 months ago

Congratulations Pren on your amazing accomplishment! You are definitely fulfilling a purpose in which you are called and gifted. May you be richly blessed in future endeavors. You have so much to offer to the young and old. Sincerely, Auntie Nellie

Kelsey Hearing Posted 5 months ago

In all my time as a student, I’ve never had a teacher show as much passion and love for education and their students as Mr. Woods. I never felt like just another student in his class, he makes genuine connections with everyone and these connections don’t end once the school year end. Even when I was in high school, my mom would receive e-mails from Mr. Woods to congratulate me on the things I had been up to. Although I’m only in college, I foresee myself being a lifelong learner and I think a huge part of that is due to Mr. Woods. No one deserved this award more than Mr. Woods! Thank you for all you do and continue to do for your students!!

Ivan Mendez Posted 5 months ago

Pren is an awesome teacher here at Alston. He helps the kids whenever they need help or if they are struggling in Social Studies. After all, I would not be in the position that I am in today (State Geo Bee Semifinalist). Keep up the good work Mr.Woods!

Ariel Dukellis Posted 5 months ago

I met Pren in an NEH summer program about exploring the immigrant experience through drama and literature. He is a passionate educator who spends his free time selflessly supporting his students and continuing to educate himself and make connections with people all over the country and all over the world. He brings focus and excitement to all he does and is always ready with just the song for a lesson or a birthday. Truly a lifechanger!

Karen Lewis Posted 5 months ago

Well my friend I’m very excited for you, I wish you well. I want people to know that you are well traveled, talented, speak a few languages, and your teaching style is unique for you. You are an intellect and a great teacher. The reason that I know is because I’ve witnessed you in action. God bless you ??????????

Kelley Smith Posted 5 months ago

Congratulations! Well deserved for a teacher who puts everything he has into educating students. Mr Woods is a top notch educator and it is an honor to work with him. Best of luck!

grace Posted 5 months ago

Mr. Woods is the bomb! I have know him forever. He taught my sister and brother throughout middle school. I personally did not have Mr. Woods as a teacher, but I do know him very well. My 8th grade year we took a trip to Washington, D.C. and he was one of our chaperone. He’s the best!

Leila ben said Posted 5 months ago

I took part in an educational program in Japan and I met Dunn there ! Im a teacher from Tunisia North Africa and we connected immediately I was so touched by his passion for teaching ,and his sense of humour .It s always fun when he is around ..I m so blessed to have met such a wonderful person

Nathan Droze Posted 5 months ago

Mr Woods, what a great teacher honestly one of the best. One day in class you’re dressing up as a king reciting a presentation, next you’re in groups talking about the next project coming up and how well you’re going to do on that. Mr Woods was a very outgoing teacher if I could’ve had him for all my classes I would’ve done it and never have gotten bored everyday was a new adventure. Congratulations Mr Woods I’m so very proud of you and the impact you’re having on the children nowadays!!! KEEP UP THE GOOD HONEST HARD WORK!!!!!!

Gayna McNeish Posted 5 months ago

So proud of Mr. Woods on becoming a top finalist! He works so hard to bring History alive for his students. Everyday he is changing the lives of students. So blessed to work with him and call him my friend! Congratulations Mr. Woods!!!

Theresa Blitch Posted 5 months ago

Pren is a lifechanger in so many ways. Saturday night he officiated my son and daughter-in-law's wedding. When Bryan and Courtney decided to get married, Pren was the one that they wanted to help them say their vows. Nevermind the fact that this is one thing that he had not done. No worries, they said. Get ordained because you are the one that we want. You are the one that knows us best and will make it special. And he did, because Pren is that person in ones life that can make the most important few minutes of your life extra special. He might be in the "top five" in the country, but he is "1 in our hearts!

Riley Posted 5 months ago

MR. Woods!!!!!! I knew you could do it!!!!!!

Payton Ridge Posted 5 months ago

Congratulations Mr.Woods! You really deserved that, you have been nothing but amazing and an awesome leader in my life! I wish you the best of luck in Florida in the top five!!!!

Elaina Smith Posted 5 months ago

Pren, has been such a star ?? in so many lives! I’ve known him since we traveled the world together in 1991. We had deep experiences learning about WWII and in Germany! Pren has turned that passion on his students and his research work. We still keep in touch and I look forward to his yearly call. He makes me feel seen and heard and valued! I could only imagine how he pours his heart into his students! Pren is an amazing force of life and love! I'm proud to call him friend!

Rachel Edwards Posted 5 months ago

I came by Alston.to congratulate you but you were not there. I figured you were off to another educational event. I am so happy and thrilled for you.

Lisa Hamilton Posted 5 months ago

CONGRATULATIONS!! Our family is elated with the news that Mr. Woods is a National Finalist for the LifeChanger of the Year! Top 5! We always knew in our heart he would be chosen. There is no denying the positive impact Mr. Woods has on his students and their families.

Jacqueline Johnson Posted 5 months ago

Congratulations Mr. Woods. Well done. Well deserved.

Dan K. Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations!

Jacqueline Cruz Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Mr. Woods!

LaShana Fogle Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Mr. Woods when I saw the announcement I screamed because you so greatly deserved this recognition.

Christopher Hamner Posted 6 months ago

Hey wow! Congratulations. What a wonderful honor, and wonderfully deserved.

Melissa Jaffe Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Mr. Woods on becoming a finalist! Our family is so happy for you. You are Charlotte’s favorite teacher and you are an amazing teacher. Wishing you the best of luck! Thank you for being such a caring and engaged part of our child’s life.

Hillary D Posted 6 months ago

You've inspired Libby to think critically, be encouraged, and dream big! We're extremely grateful to have you as her teacher! Congratulations!!!

Jess Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations! Well deserved!

Stephanie Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods taught my daughter and is now teaching my son. His hands on approach to teaching is incredible. He makes history FUN and the kids do not realize they are learning. I am grateful to Mr. Woods for inspiring our kids. He is a one in a million teacher!

Tyler Stello Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Mr.Woods!!!! You definitely deserve this reward! You have inspired so many students through your “quirky” style of teaching that keeps kids engaged at the same time knowledgeable. YOU ROCK!!! ???? - Neph

Julie Krutsch Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Pren!

Molly Willard Posted 6 months ago

So VERY exciting! Top 5?! No surprise there. We already know you're #1 ?? Congratulations my friend, so very happy for you, all accolades are well earned and deserved. MW

Sherry Martschink Posted 6 months ago

Awesome person, awesome award. Congratulations.

Amy and Henry Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Mr. Woods!!!

Brittany Klein Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations on being one of five finalists in the Life Changer Award!!! You are so inspiring to your students and to fellow educators. It is amazing to see what you have done for so many students and friends throughout your life!!

Jenn Posted 6 months ago

Exciting news Mr. Woods! Congratulations! ??

Marcia Caldwell Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations! Matthew is blessed to be in your class this year! You have made a huge difference in his attitude towards school! This is the best school year he's had! His attitude, desire to learn and self esteem has improved and I thank you for all that you do! God bless you Mr. Woods!

Tara Bailey Posted 6 months ago

Not only had Mr. Woods been an influential presence in my daughter’s life as a student, but he has been a model for me as a teacher. I often consider Mr. Woods when making decisions in the classroom and for my students. He is a life changer if ever there was one.

Stephanie Reed Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Mr. Woods!! You are very deserving of this award. You truly care about your students and it shows in all you do. So happy for you.

Michael Ridge Posted 6 months ago

Congrats on making it to the top 5. You are very deserving of this award. The judges see your character and passion and we as parents see it too.

Rachel Edwards Posted 6 months ago

Way to go...so proud of and for you! Enjoy every minute.

Allison Kennedy Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations! It's a well deserved award for you!

Haley Sessoms Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations to you. I'm not sure I have ever come upon such as involved and caring teacher as yourself.

Cassandra Garlington Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations. Well deserved!

Vanessa Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Mr.woods ??

Judy Dalgo Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Dunn! Well deserved. It’s been great knowing you as a virtual colleague. I wish you all the best.

Bob Adkison Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations!

Kimberly Waitt Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Uncle! We are so proud for you! You are an amazing teacher who goes above and beyond the classroom. Our lives are forever changed by having you part of our family. Love, The "Swaitts" ( Sobecks and the Waitts)

Mattie P. Sanders Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations are in order for Dunn Woods. He is an educator personified. The Grand Finalist Prize found its way to the most deserving school and individual.

Secil Yazicioglu Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations for this well-deserved title Dear Dunn!

Nadine Fletcher Posted 6 months ago

You are deserving of this award!! Congratulations!!

Mark Murdock Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Mr Woods! Well deserved! The impact you had on my daughters was amazing.

Rachel Edwards Posted 6 months ago

Pren...I am so proud of you. It was an honor to nominate you because you have always impressed me with your love of children and your desire to keep learning and sharing your knowledge with others. Keep on doing what you have been doing since I met you over 15s years ago!

Beth Martin Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations!!!!

Ann Bailey Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations! I am so excited for you. You are such a gift to me and my family.

Sheryl Leslie Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Pren

Shauna Cihacek Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations! You are a kind, caring and motivated individual that I am proud to know. Even more important is all the people whose lives you change with your outgoing personality and caring teachable moments.

sandra makielski Posted 6 months ago

Way to go! Congrats!

Ron Passmore Posted 6 months ago

I am not surprised at all. Way to go Mr. Woods!!!

Anita Tucker Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations!!!! I’m so happy for you! This is so exciting and very well deserved.

Brandi Jackson Posted 6 months ago

Congrats!!

Melva Grant-Burns Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Mr Woods!! We are so proud of you!

Tara Ferguson Posted 6 months ago

Dunn!!!! You are amazing and so worthy of this honor. I am so happy for you. Love, Tara

Liz Sears Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations! You are a wonderful teacher!

June Sullivan Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations!

Nicolas Williams Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations!

brittany guerrero Posted 6 months ago

congratulations!!! wish you the best

Belkis Madera Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Pren...well deserved! So happy for you.

Arlinda Davis Posted 6 months ago

This experience has truly introduced me to some fabulous educafors and support staff. I am so happy to have met Pren and collaborate with him. Congratulations to you and the the best is yet to come.

Marisha Woody Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations! I’m not surprised! With much love, The Woodys

Kristie Smith Posted 6 months ago

Congrats Mr. Woods! This could not have happened to a more awesome and caring teacher!!!!

Jacquie Jones Posted 6 months ago

Oh my gosh Pren!!! We are SOO happy for you!!! You deserve the very best!! Go get’em! ????????

Jen Posted 6 months ago

I am so, so proud of you. You have been in my life for five years and I have seen all the guidance that you have given teachers and students. I’m honored to call you my friend. Keep up the good fight—you are an inspiration to us all.

Janice Goin Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Mr. Woods You are a true lover of teaching with an ability to zero in on what is going on with your students. My granddaughter was so blessed to have you. This a gift from God. Keep on keeping on with what you are doing. Well done, Mr woods, well done! Glad you are being recognized.

KRISTY BRYANT Posted 6 months ago

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Angela Martino-Lewis Posted 6 months ago

I am so proud of you. You are such an inspiration to so many students. Way to MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Eric Northard Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Dunn on this well deserved award! I am so grateful to you for information you have shared with me and my colleagues about amazing PD opportunities! It's made a huge difference in my life and in the lives of the students I teach. Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

Anita Collier Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations! I'm so very proud of you and all your accomplishments.

C Salley Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations on being named a grand finalist for LifeChanger of the year! You rock!

Tracy Posted 6 months ago

I heard congratulations are in order!! Not that I am at all surprised! I know you will go all the way!! Tracy

John S. Johnson Posted 6 months ago

Way to go!!!!! Woot woot !!

Tammie Sorrells (Lauren’s Mom) Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Mr Woods!?? You are an inspiration!

ASHLEY PATTERSON Posted 6 months ago

CONGRATULATIONS PREN ON THIS HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT, WELL DESERVED! YOU ROCK AT WHAT YOU DO, AND WHO YOU ARE AND IT SHOWS! XOXO ASHLEY

Kelli Passmore Posted 6 months ago

CONGRATULATIONS!

Ramona Jasso Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations to you!! Though I am not surprised!! Enjoy your celebration!!

Nicholas J Turoski Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations. Well deserved and long overdue!

Jim Hamilton Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Pren! So well deserved - I can't think of a more representative "LifeChanger" than you!

Angie Wrenn Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Mr. Woods!!!

Lorraine White Posted 6 months ago

Congratulations Pren! This is an honor and another accomplishment that is so deserving. Your love and commitment to educating students is very evident in your teaching style. God Bless You!!!

Barry Grecu Posted 6 months ago

A.MA.ZING! So happy and proud for you, Pren. You deserve all the accolades and, as I’ve said before, I just wish I was a middle-schooler again so I could be in your class!

Michelle Vecchio-Weinmeister Posted 6 months ago

Pren!!! Never a doubt that you are a life changer...with or without this award! But, I'm so happy for you. You deserve this recognition. Awesomeness all around. Congratulations!!! Best, Michelle

Shermon Jones Posted 6 months ago

My first time meeting Mr. Woods was in 7th grade. He easily became one of my favorite teachers because of his passion and effort he put behind teaching his students. Up until that point Social Studies had been one of my least favorite subjects, i had always believed it to be boring. However, going to Mr Woods class was the highlight of my day, singing those songs ( which I still find myself humming to til this day) and eager to see what song we were remixing. If anybody is deserving of this award it is Mr. Woods because it wasn't only about teaching, it was about building an ever lasting relationship with his students. He showed us that he cared and thinking back, that was over 10 years ago and I still remember enjoying those life lessons that he taught. At 25 I am able to now appreciate those lessons and those times where he had to pull me to the side because that showed me that he cared and wanted better for me. Over the years I know that he's touch far more lives than I can imagine and I wish to be able to do the same. Keep being Great Mr. Woods, you are greatly appreciated.

Michelle Emmett Posted 6 months ago

Not surprised to see so many lovely comments! You were a fantastic addition to the Oleander Program in Hiroshima and I’m so pleased to see you consider to deliver messages of tolerance and peace.

Jenelle Howard Posted 6 months ago

My first encounter with Mr. Woods was in January 2019. I was a new teacher at Alston Middle School, filling in for a teacher on maternity leave. Mr. Woods was one face I will remember about that first day as he welcomed me to the school and made me feel right at home. He made a difference in how nervous and overwhelmed I felt coming into a school halfway through the year not knowing routines, the staff, and even scarier, all the children that I was now responsible to teach. He reassured me that I would love the school. His inviting spirit made me feel welcome and comfortable in this new environment. From that first time meeting him, I could always turn to Mr. Woods for advice and I would never leave without a good laugh between the two of us. Everyday, Mr. Woods uses this same inviting spirit to reach his students in his social studies class. His style of teaching and project based learning formatted classrooms allows students to take ownership of their own learning. They are comfortable exploring new ideas and sharpening the 21st century skills they will need in future careers. The comfort students have around Mr. Woods is a joy to see. They know that he has high expectations of them, but more importantly, they know that his care for them and love for teaching them are far higher.

KRISTY BRYANT Posted 6 months ago

My college age daughter still remember the song that he would sing. Such a wonderful teacher. So glad my daughter had him for her teacher. His teachings really stuck with her.

Brad Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods is the most life filled, inspiring and exciting teacher I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet! Even though he did not directly teach me he was still huge part in me developing into the young adult that I left Alston middle school as!

Lillie Thacker Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of the most wonderful teachers I have met. He makes sure students are getting all the education that they need to be successful in life. He cares for all of his students and I believe he has the ability to inspire those around him. Mr. Woods is a amazing educator and I just want everyone to know that he teaches because he loves his students. He wants his students to have an amazing life. That's why I love being in his class. I just want everyone to realize how amazing he is. You will never have another teacher like Mr. Woods.

Erin Hurst Posted 6 months ago

I’m so excited for Mr. Woods! He was one of my favorite teachers in middle school. He is very caring about all of his students. He is so creative and inspiring. I loved all the songs and the plays we did in class. I was very lucky to have him as a teacher.

Sheryl Silver Ochayon Posted 6 months ago

Pren, the way you commemorated Reb Shmuel Halyuta by singing about him on the banks of the river Narew as 25 educators from all over the US and I stood in the town of Tykocin, Poland last summer, can never be forgotten. I don't believe that anyone could remember this simple man in a more touching or righteous way than you did. As a result, I will not be assigning him to the group of educators I will take with me to Poland this summer to teach them about the Holocaust. Although I want Reb Halyuta to be remembered as a victim of the Holocaust, I think I would just be disappointed by anyone else's attempt to do him justice. I would be standing there and remembering your striking presentation. Thank you so much for eulogizing him in a way that I'm sure no one has before.

Endia Triplett Posted 6 months ago

Literally best teacher I've ever had...so good he is the only one i remember. I loved coming to his class because he made it so interesting. He taught textbook and real life. Its been forever and you probably do not remember me but im rooting for you !!!

Alison Mills Posted 6 months ago

You are not even my daughter’s teacher but she loves you and wishes she was in your class. Isabel loves signing up with you!

Stroud Lale Posted 6 months ago

If there were more men in the lives of children like Mr Woods, this world would be a completely different place. He's invested, genuine and kind educator. Mr Woods has impacted my family greatly and I can't even begin to thank him enough. It's a privileged to have him as apart of my son's journey.

Jim Hamilton Posted 6 months ago

Pren, I’m so excited for you! You are very deserving to be a finalist and win this award! You’ve approached the life changer award with the same vigor and determination you bring to the classroom. The positive impact you’ve had on my children, while they were students and even now - fast forward 10 years and you’re still involved - is unimaginable, unless you know Pren Woods. And we’re not alone. Many Alston and Summerville families can share similar experiences and relationships. I am grateful for you being you. Thank you my friend and wishing you all the best!

Stanley Myrda Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods really cares about the students, not only how they are doing in class but how they are mentally. I have seen how he interacts with them to ensure they understand what is being taught. He has the ability to see if a student is understanding the material or not. As an instuctor, it is important to be about do do this. I am an instructor myself and have learned from him through our interactions. It is a hard time in life for the students he teaches. they are trying to fit in and learn who they are. I believe that there are numerous students that owe their success in life to the guideance he has provided them over the years. My son has done very well and I truely believe it was do to his guideance and support in school from Mr. Woods.

Robert Sumersett Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods is really nice and unique. He has been a mentor to me this year and a male role model. He pushed more than I have ever learned in any other class. Mr. Woods is truly a good teacher.

Amanda Posted 6 months ago

This gentleman goes above and beyond with teaching. He is my child’s favorite teacher. His astounding attitude and teaching methods are out of this world! He is genuine and has a character of gold. You are blessed in life if you have ever come into contact with this man!

Jose V Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods is good teacher. He made me like school. Before him, I hated school. I’m in his class right now and it’s a great time, the writing not so much. He’s still awesome.

Tammy Myrda Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods is a breath of fresh air. From the moment I met him I loved they way he interacted with parents and their children. With me as a parent and a person. You could feel his excitement to teach and guide families to be a part of his class, To be apart of my children’s studies and accomplishments. To be a part of something more! Always smiling. Always encouraging... Always caring and staying in touch long after my kids grew up. I remember my family always wanted to be a part of his offerings/knowledge. My family would get so excited to see him at school events/volunteer/meetings. He always remembered the kids extended families and would share the kids successes. Mr. Woods always made us feel special. Game changer as to my kids education and desire to learn. Congratulations Mr.woods on being nominated. May your light shine

Tristan C Posted 6 months ago

Mr.woods is a great and inspirational teacher. He makes learning fun this impacts me because i was expecting to do book work, but he lets us do activities while learning and we do very easy work and he give out pep talks knowing coaching us to succeed he is very fun and a great,leading,caring,and inspirational teacher he helps us when he can encourage us even when we are at our lowest of lows Mr. Woods is a great teacher.

Wade Hamilton Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods is the most sincere and genuine educator. He remembers all details, events, and moments that are important for his students. I believe an educator who truly cares can make a life changing difference. Middle school is a formative time for young kids, and it is such an important time to have an educator as involved like Mr. Woods.

Rachel Edwards Posted 6 months ago

So very excited for Mr. Woods. He is like the energizer bunny when it comes to motivating his students and colleagues. Wherever he goes in the summer or throughtout the year he emails himself so thet he can use everything he learns and experiences with his classes...and I am lucky that he copies them to me...

Tracie L Ray Posted 6 months ago

I have know Mr. Woods since 2011 when my youngest daughter was a student of his. At first I was a little apprehensive but as time went by I knew he was a godsend for all who were blessed to have him as a teacher/mentor/leader. My daughter learned more that year than any other year. I remember my older child coming home from college and said she need help with something – They are 4 years apart – My younger child said I got you and she started singing the song that she had learned 2 years prior. My older child said WOW wish I had someone teach me like that. Both girls still use the skills that my younger child learned from him. The older one is a Respiratory Therapist and the younger in Nursing School. Thank you Mr. Woods for the teaching and the singing you gave in the school and out.

Susan S Posted 6 months ago

I’ve had the privilege to know Pren for a few years. He takes education so seriously that he takes the time to answer questions for those of us much older than he with kindness and grace. I look forward to his summer trips as he documents it on Facebook, educating his community at large.

Bea Chambless Posted 6 months ago

I wasn’t lucky enough to have Mr.Woods as my teacher 7 years ago in middle school, but I am lucky enough to still cherish memories of his songs and happy smiles in the halls. He was that teacher who just loved to teach and that really resonated with all of the students in Alston at the time; not just his own. He is a kind and dedicated teacher who just happens to also be insanely cool. “G- O- O-D J-O-B, good job good job!”

Felicia Whetsell Posted 6 months ago

Thank you for my first opera experience!! I truly enjoyed Porgy and Bess!! The fact that it was the first day of Black History Month was icing on the cake. It is a joy to work with you at Alston Middle School!!

Gabrielle Gibson Posted 6 months ago

I enjoy hearing about Mr. Woods's class from my child when he gets home from school. I can tell that Mr. Woods makes an effort to make sure that the students in his class are engaged and enjoy participating. My child is actually learning and is excited to discuss the things he discovered about history that week in class. Thank you, Mr. Woods.

Tara Bailey Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods doesn't just teach students for a school year. They remember his lessons - academic, cultural, persona, and societal - for a lifetime. He is literally a Life Changer and a positive force in the education community. I am so very thankful that my daughter had him as a teacher! If only all kids could be so lucky.

Charlotte J Posted 6 months ago

Mr.Woods is a very caring teacher he cares about every student even he does not know them and he is very creative in so many different ways as well.

Alan Birkemeier Posted 6 months ago

Pren is a wonderful and inspiring teacher who goes above and beyond to make sure his students know that they are cared for. One of the best.

J.B. Duncan Posted 6 months ago

Pren and I first met as part of a cohort with the WWII Museum Summer Teacher Institute. His dedication to his craft and most of all, his students, shines though in everything he does. He has a tireless energy that can motivate anyone. He is devoted to shaping the minds of young people, and teaching them about issues that will resonate far beyond the classroom. Yes, history is important, but history combined with compassion and understanding will truly make a difference in the lives of our future citizens.

Christian Repsher Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods is a really great teacher. He teaches everybody about history, life, and DA TRUF. he really cares about every one of his students, and he shows us that every single day through every one of his songs, dances and poems. Mr. woods truly deserves this award.

Olivia C Posted 6 months ago

Mr.Woods is an amazing teacher. He makes lessons fun even if the lessons are very sad. Mr.Woods teaches us life, history and the truth. Mr.Woods is a whole experience not just a trip. You will have to be ready to have his interactive class! Mr.Woods is an adult i will never forget.

Eli H Posted 6 months ago

mr.woods has broken bounderys between students an teachers i feel like this class is my home and this thought inspires me to keep learning this class isn't just students coming to gather knowledge it is a community that mr.woods built

Grayson Posted 6 months ago

Mr.Woods has been a great teacher all year,the reason?He does not only helps thru fun but also does not do basic book work like most teachers of his type would!He is also the most easy to remember in history.

Nicodemus Donovan Posted 6 months ago

mr.woods is a great teacher and can get students to remember stuff with puppets ,songs ,and etc. he also respects and helps his students throw 7th grade .There is also never a dull moment in mr.woods class.

Luke Hamacher Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods is and will probably be the "Big star of our small town" through all his years of teaching and after. He is the teacher that will always be in mind, and I might not remember everything from him but he will always be in my good memories!

Roland Fulcher Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods is a wonderful teacher. He is very innovative in his teaching style and the way that he keeps his students motivated. My son loved being in his class. Pren makes learning fun for his students, but he also holds them accountable and has high standards for them. He has made a very positive impact on my son and every student that he has taught over the years. We are very fortunate to have Pren Woods teaching in our district.

Rachel Edwards Posted 6 months ago

So proud that Mr.Woods was selected to participate in the WalMart We Teachers program!

Gabriguez “Buddy” Rodriguez Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods calls me “Buddy.” He is really inspiring. Every day, we laugh and sing and it’s all so nice. He says he teaches us about history, life and DA TRUF. We just don’t do history stuff, but real life applications. He is a preacher and a teacher in the classroom and he says he won’t stop. He admits to us yeah I get your on nerves, but you need to be worried when I stop pushing you because that means I have given up on you. So, he is on our case a lot, but you feel the love.

Joshua Nelson Posted 6 months ago

From the viewpoint of a previous student of Mr. Woods, I can most certainly say that he has left a long-lasting mark on my memories and the influence he has on the future that lays ahead. Over 8 years later since I first met Mr. Woods in the 6th and I still recall fond memories of his class and the plethora of enjoyable moments he spread to anyone he interacted with. His pure heart and kind soul is able to leave a seemingly permanent imprint on all walks of life and I am just one of the very many he’s left an outstanding influence on.

Madison Winters Posted 6 months ago

I met Mr.Woods when I was in fourth grade because my brother Micah had him. I’m so thankful to have met Mr. Woods he’s now my teacher and I enjoy having him teach me . He does so much for all his students.And I enjoy being able to meet him and learn from him. He has changed so many lives including mine and other students, he’s inspired so many people and brought smiles to everyone’s face through his amazing teaching he teaches us for fun enjoyable Ways that everyone loves so I thank you Mr. Woods for all you do. I enjoyed being able to meet him and learn from him. Love, Maddie

Miss S. Posted 6 months ago

The cafeteria staff at Alston is fuly behind Mr. Woods.What a great guy! I love that he knows every single cafeteria worker's name. He notices immediately when there is a new person and he stops and ask, "What's your name? Welcome. Then, he asks,"when is your birthday?" We all laugh because we know what that means--surprise birthday song. I dont know what he does in his class, but it doesnt matter because every space is his class. Kids go through the line and they are expected to have manners towards each other AND us! He also does these impromptu lessons in the line and the cafeteria and next thing you know, students are breaking out into song. Brings a smile to me every day and will even tell us when he is going to be absent.

A Mitchell Posted 6 months ago

I have known Mr. Woods ever since I was a student teacher 7 years ago. I was on his team and,in many ways, he provided me with mentoring more than was expected of him. I returned to the school four years ago and in the past two years, we have been teammates. I love that he has such high, reasonable expectations for every type of student. I am a demanding math teacher and it's nice to have someone to talk to about the importance of rigor and relevance in the classroom. He is also great at relationships and he is quite funny throughout the day at hall duty or cafeteria duty. Never a dull moment! It's nice to have a fellow African-American teacher who "gets"me and validates me. Teaching can some times feel like you are just alone out there some time, trying your best to make parents and students understand your work ethic. This can be especially true where there are only a handful of teachers of color in a school.

Addison Britt Posted 6 months ago

Mr. woods is a great and fun teacher who really cares about his students. He is always looking for new ways to teach his students in interactive ways and to make things interesting!

Payton Ridge Posted 6 months ago

Mr.Woods has played an important role in my life. He has always been very interesting in the ways of how he teaches all of his students. He pushes us to do our very best not just at school but in our personal lives. He helps us all by giving us fun activities to help us remember or history and prepare us for everything to come. He not only teaches us social studies but about life and he is just a very wonderful, inspirational, talented man and I am so happy that he is my social studies teacher!!

Danielle Posted 6 months ago

I am writing this as a human service professional, a parent, and a citizen who will share this world with many of the students who Mr. Woods has influenced. Having the opportunity to sit within one of his former 6th grade Social Studies classes, daily, for several months, I was able to witness the power of this man's inspirational qualities as an educator. Through boisterous presentation, his ability to instill personal accountability and responsibility within EACH of his students, and his methods that allow students to respectfully participate in collaborative thinking, Mr. Woods is an educator for future leaders. Just an FYI...I learned of this nomination after searching for him to request one of the songs that he spontaneously came up with and taught to his students several years ago. The song included ALL of the information in the Ancient Egypt curriculum that my daughter is studying now. This is a prime example of the type of educator he is, a person who instills knowledge through methods that will be utilized in generations to come!

Katy Wilson Posted 6 months ago

Missing you and your kindred spirit, Pren! Looking forward to when our paths cross again to share stories and a drink or two. Keep inspiring. Keep changing lives. You inspire me.

Michael Otterman Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods is an inspiring educator. I had the pleasure to meet and get to know him when he was a participant of our foundation's Oleander Initiative, a week-long immersive workshop in Hiroshima, Japan, that inspires educators to create peace education lesson plans for their students back home. Woods is pure heart and soul -- fueled by his boundless empathy and enthusiasm -- it is clear that education is his life-work. - Mike Otterman, Otterman Foundation

Kamilah Williams Posted 6 months ago

I met Dunn (Prenn) on a trip for educators sponsored by National History Day about six years ago. We became fast friends and spent much of our free time exploring the famous cities of Europe together. Like so many have mentioned, he has never met a stranger and I was marveled at his ability to sing with (or for, for that matter) people at restaurants or in the middle of street! He encouraged me, in our short stay, to enjoy life and the people you encounter everyday. Dunn is a risk taker and motivator to his family, friends and students. It is because of him that I too write parting letters to all my students at the end of the school year. While we only "see" each other on Facebook these days. I know when we meet in person again, we will easily pick up where we left off!

Rachel Edwards Posted 6 months ago

January was another typical month for yiu because you were in two different states participating in professional activities that benefit your students and you also help coordinate taking over 75 students to see a Broadway production of Porgy and Bess. Way to start the year off !

Mrs.Lumpkin, Kathleen Posted 6 months ago

All i can say keep up the good work mr.wood

James Hill Posted 6 months ago

I was actually a student in Rock Hill High School years ago when Mr Woods was teaching there. He was adored even back then by teachers and students for singing "happy birthday" to people daily. It made us feel great and everyone enjoyed it. Now he teaches my foster son, and I am grateful for that as well. I enjoy the help. We are working together to help my foster son. I couldn't ask for a better teacher who cares as much as he does for my boy. I am thankful for everything he does and look forward to working with him to improve my son's grades. James Hill

Heather Roodt Posted 6 months ago

Mr Woods is currently my sons teacher. We have family dinner every night for years I’ve been asking him “what did you do at school today” and for years I’ve gotten the same response, “nothing”. Mr Woods has changed this response from my son, I hear stories, songs and at times we debate. All sparked by his classroom and teaching methods.

Richard Simpson Posted 6 months ago

Pren woods has been a very wonderful teacher. I had him for 7th grade history and it was absolutely amazing. His teaching style and how he incorporated activities into the learning curriculum was fantastic. I miss his class so much and would give anything to go back.

Emma Bison Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods is the reason I left my private school and came back to public school. My brother had Mr. Woods in 6th grade and sang happy birthday to me in the gym at his basketball game. I had Mr. Woods in 7th grade and it was the most memorable year!! We went on a school trip to Washington DC and that was the absolute best trip ever! I wish everyone in middle school had the opportunity to have Mr. Woods Emma Bison

Kathleen Sullivan Posted 6 months ago

I first met Pren "Dunn" Woods in Hiroshima Japan, on an immersive course for educators from the US and the Middle East to hear the first hand account of the atomic bomb survivors and understand how to better relate the realities of the nuclear age to a younger generation. Not an easy subject matter, but one that Dunn engages willingly to help bring a true reckoning of nuclear history to young people, inspiring action for disarmament. A serious man but at the same time full of joy and spontaneity, Dunn is passionate about his students, and his commitment to education and the arts. When he takes on a project he engages with it fully, and thrives in collaboration and sharing ideas. He is an independent thinker, but also remains open to the possibility of changing his point of view, a rare skill set today but one that should be cultivated by us all. Dunn is a delightful human being. He could moonlight at the Metropolitan Opera but he loves his students too much to give up teaching for singing. Let him know if it's your birthday and you might be lucky enough for a serenade. Happy Birthday never sounded so dramatic and at the same time so sweet. Mr. Woods is a life changer indeed!

Linda Faust Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods just happens to be a favorite teacher. He’s thoroughly engaged and concerned for his students. Through Mr. Woods eyes, his students are able to experience what made history but not just by reading the words but by understanding the world and complexities of the time. Thank you, Mr. Woods, for being a life changer for my child this year!

Vinny Wedderspoon Posted 6 months ago

Pren is more than just a strong member of our community, He is a beacon of positivity. In a world that at times can be wildly polarized Prens generosity and devotion to spreading his positive mindset is unwavering. With his infectious wanderlust and enormous intellect, not only do we need more teachers like Pren shaping the minds of our future, but we need to support the ones that we already have. Where I’m thankful to say I’ve known Pren for some time now, I’m even more thankful for the knowledge he’s passed on to me and the open window into his travels that he carries in his conversations.

Laniya Washington Posted 6 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 6th grade social studies teacher. Before his class history was not that interesting to me but he soon changed my outlook with the creative activities and songs we would make in his class to make sure we understood the concept, the class was very energetic and he always made me smile it was a fun and memorable experience.

Kegan McNamara Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. I can still remember the fun educational songs we sang in class to help us learn new information. But aside from the fun he always pushed us to be better students and people even if we didn’t realize it. Most importantly though is that he came to school every day and inspired every student to love learning.

Drew Dixon Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods was my teacher when I was in Middle School and to make a short story out of the wonderful time I spent with this man is that he is one of the most genuine down to earth people I have met in my entire life. He made me feel apart of a family and gave me a reason to want to go to class everyday. He made everything fun but highly interesting. Learning with him was a breeze. He gave me hope and love and brought happiness to my life. After close to 10 years he still calls me by my nickname that he gave me back then and it makes me happy every single time still. He breaks every scale to rate a person on because he goes above and beyond. I still tell stories to this day about this great man. Thank you for everything Mr. Woods. -JB

Destiny Horne Posted 7 months ago

Pren is bigger than life! He doesn’t meet a stranger! I’ve know him for about 15 years and love to hear of his innovative ways of teaching.. wish I had a teacher like him growing up. He loves his kids, he’s proud of his school.

Christian Reader Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods can be described in three words: Best.Teacher.Ever. He is one of the few teachers that actually cares about his students and wants them to learn. He includes all of his students in his class and never leaves anyone out. If you were to go into his class you would most likely walk into a class song that is not only fun but teaches the students about whatever subject they may be learning. Also, he will give you a nickname whether you like it or not, mine was read because of my last name Reader, and even if you don’t like it at first, you will. I wish I could go back to his class and sing all the songs. My favorite one had to be about the Cold War. I would type the song but you really need to hear it from someone who had the privilege to be in his class. I hope that while you’re reading this you understand why he should be teacher of the year because if you asked anyone who had his class they would say the same. Good luck Mr. woods????

Cole Waggoner Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 7th grade history and taught me more than history. He thought me how to get out of my confront zone that’s something I really struggled with and I don’t know how I would be to day if he didn’t push me

Eboni Johnson Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 6th grade Social Studies teacher. Before I took his class, many people told me “good luck” and other things of that nature. I soon realized why. Mr. Woods was a tough teacher and nonetheless one who pushed you beyond the limits you’d set for yourself. Mr. Woods saw in us students what we couldn’t see in ourselves. He knew of our capabilities when we were too nervous to try. He had specific goals for how his classroom would be ran and how his students would conduct themselves. I often found these rules a nuisance, but I respected him for setting standards and not wavering from them. Much of the foundation Mr. Woods established back in 6th grade I can use in my young adult life now. He, by far, was one of the most impactful teachers I have ever had, and I’m not just saying that. I, entering my 20s now, still sing the history songs he taught in 6th grade. He mimics many of the standards my college professors have set now. They, along with Mr. Woods, care most that we LEARN and KNOW the material versus just receiving a good grade. In 7th grade, I’d see Mr. Woods walking his current students down the hallway and feel slightly jealous that I was no longer in such a lively, energetic Social Studies class (and Social Studies was always my least favorite subject). Without exaggeration, I can definitely say that Mr. Woods’ class prepared me for college much more than any of my high school classes did. My hope is that you all can see the light he shone on all of us and the genuinely superb teacher he is. It is not everyday that we come across someone who is so deeply invested in the future of his students, especially at such young ages.

Junuh Waller Posted 7 months ago

Before taking Mr.Woods class my 7th grade year at Alston Middle School, I was not fond of history or school in general. Mr. Woods helped me realize my strengths and pinpointed the things I now appreciate the most about myself. He made a huge impact not scholastic life but also on my personal life. I found a role model in Mr. Woods like I haven’t been able to find again in any other teacher since. I greatly appreciate the effort he put into making every student fit in and realize their worth. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the title life changer of the year, than Mr. Pren Woods.

Ivan Mendez Posted 7 months ago

I am a student at Alston Middle. Mr.Woods is a wonderful example of a teacher: a big heart, a kind soul, and someone to talk to. He says good morning to all of his students every day, which some teachers do not do that. He also helps out those who struggle in Social Studies. He is both a teacher and a mentor when people seek guidance. He puts the pride in Tiger Pride

Theteka McDaniel Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods is a wonderful example of what an educator should be. He has created a classroom environment where his students know success is attainable. His priority is to know them as individuals, know their full potential and motivate them to rise to it. His classroom environment is energetic which creates an exciting learning environment. His students take pride in their accomplishments and are true believers that they can do anything. He shows tremendous support to his colleagues. He constantly gives of himself to provide support to Alston Middle School that helps make the vision of the school a reality.

Michael Ridge Posted 7 months ago

My name is Michael Ridge. Mr. Woods taught my soon and now is teaching my Daughter. I can honestly say they he makes a huge impact on his students lives. He even keeps up with them when they have moved on in life. Mr. Woods is always in communication with parents keeping us informed. He has a heart for each of his students and wants the best for them. As long as you follow the "SYLLABUS" and do your work you will do just fine. Not only does he teach in the class room, but he even attends sporting events, other extracurricular activities. Mr. Woods Thank you for being awesome and for all you do.

Phil Peters Posted 7 months ago

I met Mr. Woods in the summer of 2014. We were both in a course offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities for 3 weeks in Vienna. To say that he is a lifelong learner is an understatement. He is an enthusiastic sponge for new knowledge and learning experiences. And the best part of that is that he shares his experiences with such an infectious energy that he can't help but motivate others. I was fortunate to have breakfast with him almost daily during our Vienna experience and learned a great deal. A great mind and a greater soul.

Hank Harden Posted 7 months ago

My son had mr. Woods his 7th grade year and no matter how much he disliked the glass or any type of projects that he was having to do in the class , he always let it be known that Mr Woods always kept him on track and kept him motivated throughout the year, Hunter often referred to him as a mentor. 10 out of 10 teacher, 12 out of 10 human being.

Hunter Harden Posted 7 months ago

I used to be one of mr. Woods students back in my Alston days, no matter what kind of day I had or how me and his relationship was at the time, no matter what he always wanted the best for me and continued to let me know how intelligent I was every single day and he is the

Camille Chilcote Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods!!! Yes I am finally commenting ;) I’ve known Mr. Woods for only a few months but he has become one of my favorite people!!! Any room he enters is filled with joy, laughter and entertainment!! I can’t wait to here my birthday song coming up in February:)

Conni Higginson Posted 7 months ago

Sam still talks about Mr Woods and how tough he was on him but Mr Woods knew he needed it and so did my Sam. He's still embarrassed that Mr Woods showed up at our door to sing Happy Birthday to him, one of the highlights of my life. ?? A wonderful and caring teacher that really takes the time to get to know all of his students, not an easy feat considering how many there are at any given time.

Julie Ritchie Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods is AAAAAA-Mazing! I LOVE his style of teaching by connecting history and arts, which makes learning so much fun and really helps students retain the information for the long-term. I'm so very glad two of my 3 children were/are blessed to have his inspirational teaching! Thank you, Mr. Woods!!! : )

Jacqueline Johnson Posted 7 months ago

During my daughter’s years at Alston Middle School, Mr. Woods has had a tremendous impact on the way she learned. She would always come home singing a song that he has thought them to assist in their learning. I was able to recognize some of the lyrics even though Mr. Woods recreated as his own. I always look forward to hearing the “new lyrics.” When her time was up at the Middle School, I was sad. I was hoping Mr. Woods would go with her but... He is a wonderful teacher, an inspiration, a Blessing to his students and those whom he comes in contact with.

Jacob Tyson Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of those teachers who truly has a passion for helping not only his students, but for everyone. Mr. Woods believed in me when I couldn’t. I didn’t want to put in the effort. I believed I struggled in history class, but that all changed when Mr. Woods pushed me to be my very best. I was failing but he gave me a chance. He excelled me to become the better man I am today. I’m now a straight A student who is about to graduate High School. Without the impact of Mr. Woods in my life, I wouldn’t believe that I can succeed, or that I can become a better version of myself. I use to despise history class, but now I love it.

Courtney Starling Posted 7 months ago

I met Mr. Woods 7 years ago and will never forget my first impression of him. I was meeting many of my fiancé’s family’s friends and coworkers for the first time. He had a way of making me feel at home right off the bat. He was amiable and immediately had me laughing. Flash forward several years and my fiancé and I needed an officiant for our wedding and we knew exactly who to ask - Pren! We already knew he would bring a wonderful positive energy to our wedding, but until we started working with him I didn’t realize how much of a hard worker he is. It is apparent that he has spent time doing his research in making our ceremony as fluid and successful as possible. He has followed up with us immediately including scripts, directions, and timelines. I’m so happy to have chosen him for this responsibility and I fully trust in his abilities! I am thankful to have met and known Mr. Woods all these years and know that he has much to offer in anything he sets his mind to.

Melissa Posted 7 months ago

My daughter had the privilege of having Mr. Dunn as her instructor in the 7th and 8th grades. His innovative approach to education and his ability to engage students in the learning process really sparked her analytical skills. Pren's ability to foster critical thinking and channel each student's individual gifts have enabled the success of countless students -- including my daughter! Last spring she graduated from Clemson University as the Outstanding Senior in her program and is now an IT analyst for a major international IT consulting company. We owe him our gratitude for all that he did to inspire her.

Angela Lewis Posted 7 months ago

Dunn is an amazing person. I met him in Poland in 2019. He is very knowledgeable, and has a lot to offer. I learned a lot from him during my travels. He has a contagious smile and a zest for life.

Tara Posted 7 months ago

I had the privilege to meet Mr. Woods through mutual friends. My children never had the opportunity to have him as a teacher however he always ask me how my boys are doing. It is always a pleasure to run into Pren and catch up!

Beth Ford, NP-C, CPC Posted 7 months ago

Pren has always uplifted everyone around him. We first met him on a cruise ship and continued to cruise with him as often as possible after that. He is always charismatic and outgoing and attempts to involve those around him. Once on Christmas day we were riding with Pren on a smaller boat across the ocean in the Dominican Republic on an excursion. Pren immediately recruited all around him to sing Christmas carols at the top of our lungs while we bounced along the waves. If anything exciting is going on you can find Pren in the middle of it inspiring those around him as many find himself or herself drawn to Pren's positive personality. We always tried to recruit Pren in trivia because of his extensive knowledge of other cultures and not only U.S. history but history from around the globe. He spent many years traveling numerous countries in an attempt to learn, understand, and help educate others about other cultures. This is shared in his class room as he teaches students to appreciate and tolerate other customs and beliefs. Pren's message of tolerance, kindness, and positivity, enhanced by learning from our past, is greatly needed in this day and time.

Beth Fiorito Posted 7 months ago

In the three years I have known Mr. Woods, I have grown to appreciate his dedication to his students and to the teaching profession. On any given day, you never know what you might see or hear coming from his classroom. He often sings his way through his lessons. His students learn history through songs and performances that stick with them for years. His ability to get the most reluctant student to participate and succeed is nothing to take lightly. He has rigorous standards and has set the bar high. He expects the best from his students and in return, he gives his students his best. Just recently, I walked by a window and saw students throwing raw eggs at Mr. Woods. At first, I was taken aback, but after realizing this was Mr. Wood's way to encourage his students to study and prepare for tests. For every question they answered correctly, they were able to throw an egg at him. What a brilliant way to motivate the students! Every year, we have students and parents requesting Mr. Wood's class. They have seen or heard about him and insist on having him. It only took one full observation in his room to realize how fortunate his student are. If my own children attended Alston, I would make sure they were among the lucky ones!

Jackson S Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods was one of the best teachers I have ever had. He taught me how to better take notes and be a more conscientious student. The material I learned in his class stayed with me longer than any other class I took. He was engaging with his students every day and I’m sure he impacted the lives of all of them as much as he did mine.

Nicole G Posted 7 months ago

Mr.Woods is the type of teacher who you would never forget. He is a kind and caring teacher. The way he teaches leaves an impact on a student’s life forever. His teaching skills are amazing the way he sings the information is unforgettable. Thank you for inspiring my daughter!

Jason Rohde Posted 7 months ago

My daughter is a student in his class, and my wife teaches on his team at the same school. From the moment I met him, it was very clear that his dedication to teaching and his commitment to his students reach a level that could be called inspirational. He travels extensively to rich cultural centers and historical sites to expand his, literal, global perspective. He also travels to shares his experiences at seminars and on panels. Even in the briefest interaction with him you become inescapably aware of his passion for his students, as he speaks warmly about past students, many of whom he keeps contact, and attends significant milestones in their lives. As a parent, I feel fortunate that my daughter has the privilege of benefiting from being in Mr. Woods' classroom.

William J Davidson Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods was the most influential grade school teacher I had growing up in the Summerville area. He challenged every student to step outside of their comfort zone to complete projects that required creativity, time management, and accountability for one's work. As a graduating student at Clemson University in May, I think Mr. Woods was influential in being a role model first and foremost, but also a building block for what I would see in the real world. Even on days that I was not motivated to step in his class, Mr. Woods would engage with me and challenge me to be better every day. This is a value that is hard to come by. Mr. Woods is an example of what a school teacher should be. He is kind, charismatic, challenging, yet fun to be around. I cherished every experience I had with Mr. Woods.

Jacqueline Cruz Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods is an outstanding and kindhearted teacher that has exceptional ways of teaching students. My son had him when he was in the sixth grade, and he always came home singing songs about history that Mr. Woods taught. Not only is Mr. Woods compassionate about what he does, but he is also very thoughtful about his students and his peers. He leaves a powerful impact on everyone he has met.

Kaylee Spears Posted 7 months ago

Mr., Woods was one of the greatest most phenomenal teachers I've ever had. I always looked forward to going to his class in 7th grade. Thanks to Mr. Woods who believed in me, I accelerated in school and took challenging courses. Now, I have completed a multitude of AP classes and I feel accomplished. I would like to thank Mr. Woods for the encouragement and on going support, He believed in me when I did not believe in myself. To this day, Mr. Woods' legacy lives on in my heart. Mr. Woods is passionate and astronomical in his teaching skills. The attitude he conveyed everyday in his classroom was always positive and up beat. I wholeheartedly advocate him for this award as his positive demeanor far surpassed that of any of his colleagues. Alston Middle School is often regarded as a school of lower education but he inspired me, as well as many others, to instill confidence in my future despite said assumptions. I have the upmost respect for Mr. Woods. He always made light of many challenges I faced during this time in my life.

Julia Singleton Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods has been instrumental in the education of all three of my daughters. The girls are each four years apart and were excited when they learned that they would be in his class. His kindness and humanity has changed the lives of all the children and families that he has touched. He has called my daughters to sing happy birthday to them on their birthdays, and gone out of his way to do so. He has encouraged the children to go to the town farmer's market with the entire family to experience economics first hand. We all went and saw Mr. Woods there, and it was a wonderful real-life learning experience. I see Mr. Woods at all of the school performances and ceremonies, and he is clearly loved by all. Children, and adults, that he has taught all flock to him when he enters a room and surround him with gratitude, respect, and love. When my oldest daughter, Olivia, passed away at the age of 19 (two years ago) from Cystic Fibrosis, Mr. Woods was a great source of support for our family, and a person that my two younger daughters could go to while at school if they needed support. He had Olivia in his class when she was well enough to attend, and he was always gracious with accommodations and support. More than all else, he gave Olivia happy days as he incorporated education with song, and real life experiences. He gave her happy memories that she shared with her sisters, and the entire family. Mr. Woods is the kind of teacher, leader, and member of the community that one holds in the highest regard. He has my unending respect and gratitude. He is a treasure to our children's lives. He makes them feel LOVED, each and every one. He is worthy of the honor of "Life Changer of the Year" more than any other educator I have known in my 21 years as a parent.

Tireka Goodman Posted 7 months ago

Mr.woods is a life changer because he helped me a lot through 7th grade. He taught me how to write an essay the right way. He also taught me how to write notes. He gave me a way to remember history and I’ll never forget it. The way he taught me made me score higher than expected on my SC ready. Mr. woods is a life changer in maybe ways and thankful for him.

Shauna F Cihacek Posted 7 months ago

As a minority, I have been hesitant to call attention to myself. After meeting Mr. Dunn Woods, I realized that is not helpful for my minority students; students need to see positive minority role models so that they can also strive to achieve more. Dunn has encouraged teachers of color to try for fellowships, seminars, and other professional development. Without his positive encouragement and shared experiences, I know that this minority would still be hesitant to try anything outside my boundaries. Mr. Dunn Woods has changed my life. I am more willing to take risks and more confident in my teaching.

Liezl Pelekakis Posted 7 months ago

Mr Woods is an amazing teacher! He taught my son and nephew in the sixth grade. I remember when they would come home, they would sing songs that they learned from Mr Woods about history. He made learning so much fun for them. Now that my daughter is in middle school, I still see how so many students are so excited when they are interacting with Mr. Woods.

Shauna Cihacek Posted 7 months ago

There is no one who is more of an inspiration than Mr. Dunn Woods. He is a great motivator for so many. I met Mr. Woods at a conference in 2018. Ever since that chance meeting, I have been inspired to do more as a teacher. Looking at what he does in the classroom and does during his conferences that he attends has given me motivation to do more with my students. My students have a different experience in my classroom than they may have had several years ago. All due to a chance meeting with this wonderful man, many of my students' lives have changed in Iowa because of a man that my students have never met. If he can do that for one teacher many states away, how many others has he met that have their lives changed due to Mr. Dunn Woods.

Lauren S. Posted 7 months ago

3 years after I had him as my teacher I still remember his songs, which I never thought I’d need after 7th; but here I am in world history now actually using them to my advantage on tests. Truly remarkable man and teacher.

Amber McTerry Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods will go down as one of the most memorable teachers I've ever had my entire life. He was the first and only African-American male teacher for me and the first one that comes to mind when I think of teachers who actually made lessons fun. His unique style of teaching has allowed me to easily remember history lessons until this day, because of how he intertwined current trends with various historical topics. Every time I hear Fergie or Rihanna, it takes me back to when Woods used their music to teach me about the Yemassee Indians and Populism. In my personal history book, Mr. Woods will go down as one of the most interesting and impactful teachers of all time.

Sydney Davidson Posted 7 months ago

How many characters are allowed? I’ve had children in the school system for many, many years now and while there have been several teachers who stand out, none quite have the profound presence and elicit the most positive thoughts and memories as Mr. Woods. My twins are in the 8th grade now and my daughter was fortunate enough to have Mr. Woods for 7th grade Social Studies. Last year both twins went to DC and Mr. Woods was one of their chaperones. I’ve always had high respect for the teachers who spend day in and out with our kids. Mr. Woods doesn’t just show up to do a job. His passion reaches beyond the walls of the school and even the historical sites of our Capital. He devotes his time off to these children and to bettering himself in every facet of life so that he can support our kids and help to change their lives. Mr. Woods is the teacher that the children and parents alike never forget. He keeps in touch. He checks in on his students and their siblings and families - I know this because he’s done it for us. He supports these children inside and out of school. I remember my daughter coming home from school in early September 2018 and saying that her Social Studies teacher said he would attend sporting events, birthday parties, performances and anything else important to his students if invited and given notice. How many teachers can be found on the sidelines on their day off, supporting the child who may not otherwise have support or who simply wants to include their teacher? (For that matter, how many kids want to invite a teacher on an off-day? Mr. Woods’ kids do!) I cannot think of a person more deserving of this award. For all of the many lives he’s changed, it’s time to honor this most honorable man!

Sarah Stewart Posted 7 months ago

I've known Mr. Woods since my son was in his 6th grade class about 7 years ago, then he taught my daughter 2 years ago. He was an amazing teacher who taught them so much and challenged them every day...Mr. Woods taught them so much! But he wasn't just a teacher, he became a wonderful friend and continues to be part of our lives.

ryleigh altman Posted 7 months ago

Mr.Woods completely changed my life. I was starting my 6th grade year at a new school and had been completely terrified. Then I met my first period history teacher, THE Mr.Woods. I had only heard stories from a few people I knew had him before and me being the shy little girl I was, I was extremely nervous. I knew he was the exact opposite of me but then as the first couple of days passed by- I slowly broke from my shell. Mr. Woods taught me that learning is fun. He brought me out of my shell and ended up pairing me with life long friends that I still talk to. Not only did he teach me the importance of always going above and beyond but he never failed to put a smile on my face with all the silly songs we would have to sing. To this day, Mr. Woods is my favorite teacher. He is the reason why I grew to love learning and why I became a strong student.

Keondria Posted 7 months ago

Some people remember what they wore the first day. Some people remember remember what they had as their first lunch meal. But the most impactful memory that I have is Mr. Woods as my history teacher in middle school. I absolutely hate it history my worst subject I never received good grades I was never interested in what I learned would never stick. Mr Woods was able to create songs chants and dances that allowed us to have fun while learning. A lot of my peers would say “your teacher is so extra“ but then I realize that they were just jealous that they weren’t able to have the fun that we had. If I could sum it all up Mr. Woods created an opportunity for me to enjoy a subject I absolutely hated. I remember a lot of the funny jokes songs and relationships that we had as his students. Congratulations and continue to be the crazy fun Mr. Woods that we all know.

Joseph Scialampo Posted 7 months ago

I was a student of Mr. Woods a few years ago. He is without a doubt the teacher that I will remember the most for the rest of my life. He always did a twist on learning that made it fun and stuck with me. He is caring and all around a really great guy. He deserves more than Life Changer of the year, however he is the best person for it. Keep singing it Mr. Woods we all love you!!!

Austin McCray Posted 7 months ago

Wow, where do I even start? How about the day I walked into my 6th grade Social Studies class and realized, "I'm finally gonna be taught by someone that looks like me". Little did I know, Mr. Woods would go on to become one of my favorite teachers of all time! Whether it was his high energy classroom presentations or his reasonably high expectations for his students, he never failed to make an impact on those around him. While I haven't been taught by him in almost a decade, his lessons remain near by whenever I am faced with challenging times. As an adult I can look back on those experiences and honestly say I was blessed to have one of them greatest teachers in the history of teachers. Here's to you Mr. Woods, thank you.

abbey snyder Posted 7 months ago

Mr.Woods is the type of teacher who you would never forget. He is a kind and caring teacher. The way he teaches leaves an impact on a students life forever. His teaching skills are amazing the way he sings the information is unforgettable.

Lonese Lang Posted 7 months ago

I honestly can’t sum up what I want to say/write about Mr. Woods... In the beginning we did NOT get along LOL. He pushed me into learning. Mr. Woods was my 7th and 8th grade history teacher, I believe he requested me to be in class again lol. I HATED history because of what happened to my ancestors. I grew to love history because of Mr. Woods. He encouraged me to read about it, go to museums, and also pushed that I should watch the news more. There was this extra credit assignment, we were supposed to go to Ravenel and take a picture of this historical marking and bring it to class. Although I was passing, I really wanted that extra credit!! I just had to have it. My mom had to work, and I was so upset because I knew I had little chances of getting there. So my mom felt bad, expressed to Mr. Woods how she worked and we couldn’t get to the marker, however I still got that extra credit because Mr. Woods was so excited about my drive to want to get there. You knew to go to the restroom before Mr. Woods class, once you were in “learning starts”. I hated that rule, sometimes you just couldn’t get to the restroom when you wanted. Mr. Woods made me so upset, I wrote an “exposé” titled “PATHETIC” because he wouldn’t let me use the restroom. I got the highest grade in the class due to my pettiness. Mr. Woods is truly one of the best teachers I ever had and we need more teachers like him! ??

Justin Posted 7 months ago

Mr. woods was the best teacher I ever had. He brings excitement into the classroom through the way he teaches. He’s like no other teacher I ever had before or after leaving his classroom for the last time. His teaching goes beyond history. He’s a mentor to all; preparing his students and students in the school that aren’t even his to teach lessons that go beyond the classroom and resonate in their day to day life for years to come. I had the privilege of being his student for sixth and seventh grade world history. There was never a dull moment in his classroom with the way he turns the lessons into popular songs and dances and projects that I still to this day remember. His commitment to his students goes beyond the classroom. I had a hard time growing up and mr woods was there for me whenever I needed him. He would take me out to lunch on his days off and talk about the problems I was facing and ways to deal with and solve them. I needed a character reference one time so I asked if he would write one for me and he happily did so. What he wrote brought tears running down my face. He cares a tremendous deal for each of his students even after they leave his classroom and I can honestly say I would not be who or where I am today if he had not been there for me as a teacher, friend and mentor. Every life he touches he changes for the better and I couldn’t be more appreciative of everything he’s taught me. It takes a village to raise a child and I’m beyond thankful he was there to help mold and shape myself and many others in our community.

Julie Pell Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing human being. Full of life and loves what he does. The words “Creativity” and “commitment” and “involvement”don’t due him justice when it comes to describing his teaching style. He goes up, over and beyond what is required and makes connections with his students and parents. Mr. Woods showed up at our house for our son’s birthday party and sang to him. Oh yes, his musical abilities are spot on too. As a former music teacher in Charleston County Schools myself, he took over for me when I left to go on maternity leave. His abilities, compassion and love of life are infectious and what make him the best candidate for this award.

Sakeenah Posted 7 months ago

My first contact with Mr. Woods was interesting because he was so down to earth. Never met a teacher like that. He was so real. My son needed his firmness. He was a troubled teen and Mr. Woods showed him better and appropriate ways to channel that negative energy. He also did a wonderful job communicating good and bad, so we could all help my son. Three years later, Yashua still talks about Mr. Woods’ influence.

Steven Fitzgibbon Posted 7 months ago

I met Mr. Woods through my sister who is teacher as well and from what I have heard he is phenomenal at his job in all aspects with students present and past. Mr. Woods has made an impact on my life by being a true friend and one of the kindest people I know, he is willing to help anyone in any situation. He has always supported me and helped me in more ways than I can count. I can’t think of any person better than him or more deserving of The Life Changer of the Year award. A genuinely beautiful soul!

Jackson Pell Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of the best teachers I have ever had. A man that puts the education and teaching of his students above anything else. Mr. Woods strived to be the best educator he could possibly be for the good of his students. He genuinely cares about his students and their success while in his class and in the real world. He encourages students inside and out of the classroom through his infamous birthday songs and words of encouragement. A very deserving man of the title “Life Changer of the Year”.

B Mack Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods taught me back in 2005-2006 and I still remember the life changing impact he had on education. No only was learning informative, he always made it fun. Mr. Woods forced us learn things about ourselves most history books didn’t teach us. He sacrificed his own to make sure we didn’t go without in our personal/school life. Mr. Woods would be one of the top educators on my list of educators. He was a teacher, a father figure to some and a life coach to many. Job well done. I appreciate everything you taught me.

Lauren P Jones Posted 7 months ago

I'll start by saying that I don't know anyone more deserving of this award! Lifechanger indeed is who Mr. Woods is & all that he embodies. Mr. Woods was my 7th grade History Teacher at Rivers Middle School. In a school where there were many disciplinary problems, children with issues from home, & educational barriers, all of that was minuscule to Mr. Woods. He came in as a burst of fresh air. Something new that none of us had yet to experience. He brought the one thing that we all needed...being himself to educate & enlighten us. He made sure we knew that each of us were of value. We needed to know that. He made learning fun & engaging. I can remember him starting class with a song "Give Me My Flowers...". Even on today I can remember exactly how he sounded with such a powerful voice. The type of voice that made you listen. & that is the type of educator he is. He made one of the hardest subjects for me fun! I can honestly say I learned a lot from him. The greatest gift I learned from Mr. Woods, however, goes beyond the classroom. I remember when he first found out I could sing. He made sure that I used my gift by any means necessary. From singing in front of the class to singing over the intercom. He made sure I sang. He made me realize that I did have a gift that went beyond the church & that needed to be heard. I still attribute a lot of my success as a vocalist to Mr. Woods. Here I am all these years later blessed with the opportunity to use my voice as my career. Mr. Woods always made sure we knew who we are as young black children, as well. Making sure that we knew we are special & that we have a voice. When we stepped into his classroom, we knew that there was a certain way we needed to carry ourselves. We needed to speak eloquently. And we needed to behave & listen in order to learn. The way Mr. Woods made us carry ourselves carried me through the rest of my life. We weren't allowed to be anything less than great. It's so crazy, because I was just talking about him the other day & the impact he made on my life to now see he's nominated for this award! I just want to say Thank You for changing my life. Thank you for being only yourself & for being willing to "love" on all of us. You changed my life & way of doing life so much. I will never forget it. You are & always will be a Life Changer in any path you cross!

James Posted 7 months ago

Dunn is one of the most interesting people I've crossed paths with over the years he deeply cares about the wisdom and knowledge passed down to his students and their wellbeing.

Tyson Perry Posted 7 months ago

Mr. Woods was my seventh grade History teacher, and easily the best History teacher I have ever had. He’s one of the few teachers i had that actually made learning interesting and fun. He had me excited to go to class simply because you never knew how the lesson would be brought to you that day. Being in his class felt more like a summer camp than it did a class. Learning history through song and dance. Taking notes “the college way” to prepare me for college, he’s the only teacher I had that did that. Craziest part is, I actually took notes like that in college. Without me realizing it, what he instilled in me has aided me thru many situations and helped me be a better person. I’m forever grateful to Mr. Woods. He’s my favorite teacher by far. I haven’t had a learning experience like his since him. He’s a one of a kind person. Even when I see him now he’s still the same cheerful, supportive and loving guy that he was back when I was in his class. I have tons of love and respect for him. Mr. Woods is a living legend. I have friends that still talk about him to this day and I’ve been out of middle school for about 10 years.

Jordan Kenney Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of the most involved, and thus one of the best teachers I have had over the years. He strives to get to know the students in and out of the classroom, while still making learning his priority. I have still yet to reach a history class that challenged me like his class did. It is one of the only classes I can distinctly remember what content we learned and all of the learning tools we learned in that class are still with me today!

Shauna Posted 8 months ago

I met Mr. Woods two years ago at a conference. He was energetic and engaging. He talked with me about other conferences and where we can find the information for those conferences. It changed my life as a teacher. I became more positive and more motivated. As I look at posts from Dunn I get inspired again just on seeing what he did with his students outside of school. Mr. Woods reminds me of Ron Clark innovative and passioned way of teaching. Dunn is a Life Changer for me and he needs to be recognized for all he does.

Ryan Massenburg Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was never one of my teachers, but he still made me feel like I was always welcome in the school. He sang happy birthday to me every year, which made me feel great throughout the rest of my day. The way Mr. Woods has influenced young children and others has inspired me to want to teach as well. He has taught me that shaping young minds is one of the best ways to affect our future. Mr. Woods truly is the embodiment of a life changer. Whether it be supporting athletics, or fine arts, Mr. Woods always was there for the students of Alston Middle School.

Peyton Winn Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was one of the few teacher that I still remember to this day. He is still one of the best teacher I ever had. I'm currently a sophomore at Clemson University and I still remember how enjoyable his learning environment was back in 6th grade. Thanks for everything Mr. Woods!

Brandon Ayers Posted 8 months ago

I wanted to leave a comment in support for Mr. Prentice Dunn Woods regarding receiving this prestigious Life Changer Award. So 20+ plus years in my high school career I had the awesome opportunity to have met Mr.Woods. His compassion, integrity, knowledge, teaching style, and love for his students success is like no other. He makes learning very fun and engages his students to learn and get the most out of the lesson plan and class he is so passionately teaching. The knowledge this man has about history is unfathomable,and quite admirable. In my opinion you are just sitting through a class,you are sitting through an experience like you are there in history yourself. How he ties all this together is like a magician,thus making the student earning to learn more and excited about the next class. I as many other students who have had the opportunity to know this man have taken from him more than just his expertise in the subject but life goals,the thought of good choices,and the desire to be a better student and a productive member of society. For all of these valuable teachings he helped shape me into who I am today and I couldn't be more appreciative and thankful for the opportunity to have had Mr.Woods as a teacher,role model and lastly a lifetime friend. Thanks again Mr.Woods for everything and the lasting impact you have had in my life. Sincerely, Brandon Ayers Rock Hill High School, Class of 1999.

Becky Dingle Posted 8 months ago

As District Coordinator for Social Studies I heard wonderful comments about the excitement Mr Woods produced in his classroom for history! I had the opportunity to see him in action one day and he was definitely instilling a love of history that would last a lifetime in his students memories! Using all the arts-music, performance, art works, and storytelling history had come alive and was flourishing through the excited animated faces of his students! Mr Woods is that special teacher we pray all our children get at least once in their education !

Frances Inabinet Bachman Posted 8 months ago

I have work with Mr. Woods for over 7 years. He Is very supportive of his students present and past. We have many past students stopping by the school commenting about his classes - they all respect him and why he is such a profectionist with his teaching techniques.

Nathaniel Hauck Posted 8 months ago

Mr.Woods was the best of the best History teacher I've ever had. He has taught me the Cold War and many other things like the song about the Cold War. He stood by my side and helped me through rain or shine in Middle school, weather I was having a good or bad day. So support Mr. Woods as far as the Galaxy can reach as my childhood Hero and Teacher.

Stuart Woods Posted 8 months ago

It comes as no surprise that Pren Woods is nominated for the Life Changer of the Year Award. He is a passionate, enthusiastic, and a dedicated teacher that gets his students involved and motivated to learn. I would have to admit, growing up in a household with him to a mother that was an educator for 31 years, his drive and ambition as an educator were acquired honestly. In fact, although he was only 3 grades ahead of me, I can recall him sitting me and my sister down at the kitchen table and telling us it was school time while in elementary school. He would teach us lessons through song and memory games, and motivate us while having fun with the thrill of winning prices and/or seeing his excitement from us learning. When I think of how smart he was growing up and taking all AP classes, getting all A's, getting a perfect score on the SAT, and the advanced degrees he holds, I know he could have done anything in the world. He chose being an educator because he had the worlds best mentor at home, and he had educators at school that motivated and pushed him, and others that let him see what was missing and what he would do and could offer kids to motivate them. He realized in life very early on what was his passion and calling. He is committed to his passion and calling and hasn't waivered from it. That is why today, this prestigious award of recognition as a Life Changer is befitting as Pren is an outstanding teacher and has made learning exciting and fun, and challenged his students in ways that have made them better students; thereby better people for our communities that we live in and represent.

Dr. Faisal Radwan Posted 8 months ago

Mr Pren Woods is an amazing educator and community server. He was the preferred teacher of my daughter who is now finishing 3rd year in Princeton university. Mr. Woods had not only taught her social studies as a subject, but a way how to think about future. Pren is a an extraordinarily example of how we love our school teachers to be.

Tyler London Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing teacher. I love the activities we did to help us learn. Mr. Woods taught me so much during the 2018-2019 school year. I hope he wins this award. He deserves it.

Karen Lukridge Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was not only a wonderful teacher, he became a part of our family! He is the most caring and loving teacher! He is a devoted teacher, and continues to follow Sara’s progress even through college. And let’s not forget his singing Happy Birthday messages every year! We love him and couldn’t think of a more deserving teacher!

Kennedy Felder Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is a teacher I will never forget. He has made such a huge impact on my life. I can still remember his lessons and the songs he made up to help his students remember what they were learning. I have never met a teacher that has taught like him. He always had fun activities and many different ways of teaching to help each of his students understand and know the lessons. Mr. Woods is truly a outstanding teacher that any student would be lucky to have.

Sheryl Leslie Posted 8 months ago

Mr.Woods is truly a remarkable teacher and person. Our son, who graduated from high school last year, had the honor of being one of his students when he was in the seventh grade. Mr. Woods deserves to be awarded because we need more teacher like him teaching. Mr. Woods is someone one who really cares and teaches with great enthusiasm and knowledge, not only does he teaches our youth but also inspire them. Mr. Woods is an extraordinary person and I'm glad our son had the opportunity to be one of his students!

Trista Posted 8 months ago

Very fun and upbeat teacher! Keeps the kiddos involved!

R Posted 8 months ago

When I think of Mr.Woods I think of a life changer; someone who will make sacrifices for his students and the people in his life. Mr. Woods is very knowledgeable and is always working on bettering himself and looking for opportunities to give to others/serve his community. Thank you for being you and changing lives!

Thomas Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing and inspiring teacher & his teaching goes beyond the classroom. He stays in touch with students like me and makes sure we excel through life. He has taught me to be confident in myself and how to grow as a person. He truly is a life changer and it would be very fitting for him to receive this award to showcase his devotion to his students and the changes he made in our lives. Without him many of us would have had a very different educational experience.

Jennifer Tuttle Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is an outstanding role model and mentor. My son moved across country last year and was a little nervous about being the new kid in school. As we were touring the school to sign my son up, we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Woods. He instantly made us feel welcomed by his friendly personality. We all left the school with a great feeling a joy the upcoming year and my son was delighted to find out that he would be in Mr. Woods class when the schedule came out. During my son's time in Mr. Wood's class, he felt encouraged and engaged in the content. My son said that social studies had become his favorite subject, which I attribute to Mr. Wood's and his ability to make the subject an interesting one for all seventh graders. Mr. Woods has a great smile that encourages others to do the same, he is truly a joy to be around. We are all happy to know him and his fun spirit!

brittany guerrero Posted 8 months ago

mr. woods is such an amazing teacher!! he makes learning so much fun and interesting, i'm sure if you would go up to one of his srudent they would say the same thing!! the way he teaches and sings makes class wayyy better lol i still remember some of the songs he taught us... he also always encourage his students to the best school:))

Dawn Storman Posted 8 months ago

Mr Woods definitely deserves this award! He expects a lot from his students but make learning fun! My son is very shy and Mr Woods brought some of that out of him. My son would say he was his favorite teacher by far! Anyone who is lucky enough to be in his class will learn so much from him. Stand up guy! Good Luck Mr Woods!

Calvin Harris Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is a fantastic educator and not only in the context of the classroom but also to others around the world. I was never fortunate enough to take any classes with Mr. Woods; I was, however, lucky enough to meet him. I met Mr. Woods a few years ago during a trip I was taking around the world. At the time, I was staying in a hostel in Toronto, Canada, little did I know that I would be meeting one of the most influential people that I have ever met. Shortly after meeting Pren, we were confronted by someone who thought it was appropriate to use derogatory terms to refer to people. Pren took this negative experience and turned it completely around not by getting angry but by educating everyone around us about the issue at hand and honestly making the man look quite foolish for his choice of words, and the man subsequently left. I have met many people from all different walks of life, but at that moment, I quickly realized that Mr. Woods was much different. Mr. Woods speaks with such passion about his students and education that when speaking with him, I realized how impactful having a teacher like him must be for his students. As I write this, I have to think to myself; I am not sure how often he does something for himself because he is always giving and is so selfless. I have been fortunate enough to keep in contact with him over the years since this incident, and every time I speak to him, he is working on something for someone else. When I think of people who are lifechanging and genuinely impactful to everyone they meet, I cannot imagine someone who embodies these characteristics more than Pren Woods.

Crystal Rohde Posted 8 months ago

My daughter is a student in Mr. Woods class this school year. Her history and current events knowledge has grown so much and she applies her knowledge she has learned in his class in everyday conversations. I am inspired by Mr. Woods' teaching techniques and teaching applications as I can see how it has a positive impact on his students. Not only is Mr. Woods a wonderful educator, he is a great colleague to work with. I've worked with Mr. Woods for the last three years, including my first year of teaching. Mr. Woods has guided me, listen to me, and inspired me in my own teaching career.

Jason Miller Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is a first class man that made learning fun for me. I’m so happy he has been nominated to get the recognition he deserves for the job he has has done. It’s rare when you’ve made an impact on someone’s life and they remember you 10+ years later

Peg Lahmeyer Posted 8 months ago

Pren is a wonderful role model for all the students and young people who have the pleasure of being in his classroom or any of the extra-curricular activities he engages them in. Truly inspiring and gifted who makes each child/teen feel like they can do anything. Our grandson who has autism was fortunate to be one of his students. He gained confidence and openness whereas he had been withdrawn and unmotivated. Wishing Pren the best and hope he received this recognition.

Valerie & Sammy Peek Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is amazing! We dreaded the middle school years for our son. But Mr. Woods got them started off with a bang and they never slowed down. Our son was always eager to go to class and came home EVERY day talking about what they had done. We didn't have to ask! It was great to hear him singing around the house about history. Even after he was finished with his class Mr Woods always made a point of engaging him and encouraging him whenever he saw him. Wish he taught college!

Grace Garcia Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing teacher! There is never a dull moment in his class from skits to joking around it is an all out great learning experience . He takes pride in his work even when it comes time to discipline, he gets straight to the point . Mr Woods is an outstanding teacher and as one of his students I have learned a lot from him.

Nick Forte Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is a highly engaging and personable teacher. His positive demeanor and creative delivery of instruction generates a welcoming and productive learning environment. Mr. Woods displays his passion for his content area of Social Studies and his genuine interest for the well-being of all students on a daily basis.

Rebecca pinckney Posted 8 months ago

I don’t remember everything that Mr.woods taught me lol but I know that he has always encouraged myself and others to keep going forward . He’s the coolest and greatest person I’ve ever met . If anyone has ever gotten the opportunity to meet this awesome being they too can say the same thing . Thank you Mr.woods ?? -B

Karen Lewis Posted 8 months ago

I hope and pray that Pren will win the honors of being Teacher of the year. He’s so dedicated to the children and his expectations are the same for all. To win this honor would be the icing on the cake.

Daniel Odenwood Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is a great teacher. By using music to remember events, he makes the classroom fun and inviting. Because of Mr. Woods I still use musical devices to remember coursework and assist me in my studies. Mr. Woods has made and I'm sure is continuing to make a profound impact on many students lives. He makes history exciting and different from a normal course.

Rosaura Sciacca Posted 8 months ago

Hello: I meet Mr Woods through my Daughter Roselyn School, where I was invited to Participate in an International Project; to talk about my Country Panama. And it was a very nice experience meeting and charing with Mr Wood and other Teachers and Parents. And also My Daughter and I were invited by Mr Wood to watch the Opera's at the movie Teather for free. Mr Wood is a very friendly Person, and He is always looking for ways to improof our Childrens Education. Thank You. Mr Wood. ATT Rosaura Sciacca

Evan Pearson Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is a amazing teacher, he always thinks outside the box with his teaching and makes you remember it. I still remember all the songs we sung in class back in 6th grade, almost 8 years later. He has impacted so many people’s life’s positively and i’m sure will continue to do so.

Shakayla Flott Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods helped me tremendously throughout middle school . He has changed my aspect of life forever . Here I am finishing my last semester for my Associate of Science , and will be graduating high school right after!

Tyler Brooks Posted 8 months ago

My daughter had the pleasure of being one of Mr.Woods students. Everyday I would hear nothing but good things about him as a teacher also how fun it was to be in his class. I think he’s an amazing and awesome teacher.

Tyler Swartz Posted 8 months ago

Mr. woods was and will always be a great inspiration for me. He enjoys everyday and shares that joy with everyone else. I would always hang out with him at courtyard in 7th grade and everyday he was out there spreading the joy by singing or telling his great adventure stories. He was always so kind no matter what. He was always so generous by going out of his way to make sure he sang happy birthday to whoever it was. He taught me great manners and respect. He was always so energetic with the way he teaches weather he was singing or acting something out. He made learning so much better and easier to learn. He’s an all around great guy.

Courtney Fogle Posted 8 months ago

Mr.Woods has always been an awesome teacher and a great role model for his students which is amazing and when he was my teacher for 7th grade he helped me with a lot of things I was struggling with in and out of school he also was there for me when I was bullied in situations he helped me up whenever I fell no matter the situation but to summarize it Mr.Woods is an awesome teacher and deserves this award

David Castro Posted 8 months ago

The first time I met Mr. Woods was when my sons had an excursion to the local farmer's market. I was wondering what a farmer's market had to do with a history class... boy, was I in for a surprise! His booming voice reached out across the market as he explained the history that farming had played i the development of the country. He instructed the students to talk to an actual farmer and ask questions about how their farming practices were different now than hundreds of years ago... and where they might be the same. My sons are now 18 and have graduated high school, but they still fondly remember Mr. Woods' class, and remember a lot of things that they learned in it.

Jacqueline Suter Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is an incredible teacher that captivates his students. They don't realize they are learning. He incorporates songs, dances and raps into his lessons. When they start singing and dancing they have learned from him in a way that doesn't feel "boring" or "traditional." Mr. Woods gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their new knowledge in a variety of ways through various projects during the school year. They can create raps, dances, cook food, write poems, newspaper articles and so much more. As a fellow teacher, I always try to get my students in Mr. Woods class because I know they not only will learn but they will thoroughly enjoy being in his class.

Jeannie Fritz Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was an inspiration to my son. Six years later, my son still loves history.

Alex. Teachey Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods has been an inspiration to my daughter. He is an asset to education. Mr. Woods uses simplicity for the children are able to comprehend the school work. He is such a blessing to his students

Courtney Fogle Posted 8 months ago

Mr.Woods has always been an awesome teacher and a great role model for his students which is amazing and when he was my teacher for 7th grade he helped me with a lot of things I was struggling with in and out of school he also was there for me when I was bullied in situations he helped me up whenever I fell no matter the situation but to summarize it Mr.Woods is an awesome teacher and deserves this award

Stephanie Allen Posted 8 months ago

My daughter Regen had the privilege of being a student of Mr. Woods for 2 years in a row. He holds his students to a higher standard of learning and is an amazing teacher. His innovated way of teaching really resonates with his students, Regen still recalls the songs that he taught them in class. Mr. Woods always makes his students feel special from his special nicknames for each child to singing Happy Birthday (He even called on my and my husband's birthdays and sang to us, he has an amazing voice.). I can truly say that his students are the Heart of his work. I can not think of anyone more deserving of being the Life Changed if the Year. Good luck Pren, you are an outstanding teacher, a wonderful person and are very deserving of this award. Excellence is definitely your standard.

Sarena James Posted 8 months ago

Ahhh! My heart leaps in instant applause when I hear that Mr. Pren Woods is up for recognition. He was my daughter’s history teacher in middle school, and for most children, it’s awkward time for truths and self-discovery and learning how to handle new levels of social interaction and academic requirements. It can be difficult. But it was in his class that I saw her scholastic confidence bloom as the assignments given encouraged so much creativity, inviting the uniqueness of every student. Mr. Woods is an energetic genius at getting his students involved in the lesson, simultaneously they learn much. I appreciate his true heart for what he does and watching him teach is like appreciating the best of artwork! Pren Woods is deserving of this award and all of his students are walking awards of his contribution into their lives. Well done sir!

Denise Warwick Posted 8 months ago

My daughter aka Sissy had Mr. Woods for History! He inspired her so much that she still remains in contact with him until this very day. The energy that he has empowers everyone around him to be that person. His love and compassion for teaching shows by the love and appreciation he gets not only from his students but also from their parents. He is truly an amazing teacher, mentor, and human being! We need more Pren Woods in this world. ??

Alyson Posted 8 months ago

Mr.Woods is probably one of the greatest and most memorable teachers i’ve ever had. He is very energetic and also very talented in many ways. He helped me overcome my fear of public speaking and performing! He cares soo much about the kids he teaches and the community!

Katharine Bowen Posted 8 months ago

I sadly didn’t have the privilege of having Mr. Woods as my teacher. Although I wasn’t one of his students, he always treated me like I was. He was one of the only teachers that went above and beyond to make every student feel special. Sometimes it felt like he was more of my teacher than the people actually teaching me. That was in the 7th grade and I am now a junior in college. All those years ago and I still remember him as being one of the best educators and personalities in any school that I had been to.

Sharkea Hicks Posted 8 months ago

Mr.Woods has a gift. He is able to connect with people. He is truly a life changer. Awesome Educator.

Angele Bice Posted 8 months ago

Mr.Woods was my daughters history teacher in the seventh grade. I had the opportunity to see what being a teacher TRULY looks like. The way he cared for and incorporated meaning into his teaching to those students, really amazed me. I have never seen such a thing. Kierra, my daughter, would talk about her favorite teacher so much. Every day she would sing me a new song or teach me something that she learned in Mr.Woods class that day. He really is a wonderful being. We are so thankful that our child experienced such an amazing person.

Rachel Edwards Posted 8 months ago

I can't believe how many people you call on their birthdays. And, you just don't call you sing to them in an opera voice! I still remember when you came over at a restaurant and sang to my good friend...per my request.

Jared Johnson Posted 8 months ago

(Continued) but from righting songs to doing poetry about timelines in history he can really do it all. I never met someone who really sees no ceiling to what can be taught and how it can be taught. He inspired me to not only become a better student but a person in the world! To try new ways of thinking and not be so confined to the regular train of thought. I’m 23 now and I still can here the charisma he brought into the classroom everyday! Lol He’s encouraging, honest, open minded calm and stern when need be! All around when you meet him at any level of life you will walk away with a better mindset heading out into the world! And for that I say thank you for your time and dedication to really being there for us as as a teacher and mentor!

Jared Johnson Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is an outstanding teacher mentor and leader! He always has a way of teaching how to think outside the box. I first came across him in 6th grade and I never had come across a teacher so enthusiastic about education. He teaches in a way so that connects with his student across any spectrum! To creating songs that teach about Mesopotamia

Kayleigh Mahaney Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods you made my first year in public school a one to remember I came in not knowing anyone and came out with friends for life and with great knowledge in history. Thankyou so much I will never forget your class

Katavia Chambers Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods taught me in 9th grade. He was an Awesome teacher! I didn't did do well in his class due to some personal issues. I failed that class. He had a conversation with me to encourage me....Then next semester, I took his class again. This time I put forth the effort because he saw the potential in me and wasn't going to allow me to repeat the same from last year. I ended up having the 2nd highest grade in his class. Thank you Mr. Woods for believing and encouraging me to be great! I used that motivation and encouragement through every challenge in my life. I just finished York Tech College and graduated Mangacum Laude. I remember Mr. Woods telling me that "You can do it!" His words stuck!

Leah Davenport Posted 8 months ago

I didn't personally have Mr. Woods as a teacher, but I so wanted him to be my 7th-grade social studies teacher. I heard from family friends that he made his students become so involved in learning that they had no choice but to have history ingrained in them. I heard that the students were so engaged and that they were constantly excited to learn. One could only imagine my disappointment in finding out that I wouldn't be in his class. But despite mine not being his student, you could always count on him treating and interacting with all the students as if he had taught them. He would come into various classes and sing happy birthday to students -- he reminded them that they were loved. He will seek former students out at high school awards ceremonies -- he reminds them that he remembers them. While I'm already passionate about learning, I can only imagine how magnified my love would be if I had Mr. Woods as my teacher.

Michael Gibson Posted 8 months ago

I will always remember Mr Woods from his teachings for my daughter at Alston Middle School. Mr. Woods did more than be a teacher to his students. I believe the best teachers are those who get involved with their students outside of a school’s expectations. For example. For him to have called my daughter on her birthday and sung her Happy Birthday in class - May seem simple to some- but it went a long way with me and my daughter as well. Mr Woods deserves to be recognized for being a students teacher. The kind of teacher we can only hope for to teach our children. Thank you Mr Woods for being one of the best. God Bless you.

John Beson Posted 8 months ago

Mr Woods was one of my teachers in 6th and 7th grade. I am now 22 and can still remember how hard i thought his classes were! Now i realize how he was getting us ready for life. Showing us the real world! Thank you! From JB

Sylvia M Brown Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was my daughter's social studies teacher in the 6th and 7th grade at Alston Middle School. She would come home every day and say how interesting her class was. I enjoyed hearing about his unique way of making social studies interesting. My daughter was on the shy side but in that class she really put that shyness behind her and she excelled in his class. I am grateful that she had the opportunity to experience his creativeness and I know she will always remember the great experience that she had in his class. He always kept in touch with me to let me know her progress. I am very thankful that she had the opportunity to have such an awesome social studies teacher.

Kierstyn Snyder Posted 8 months ago

I met Mr. Woods when I attended Alston Middle School many years ago. I was not his student but I do remember his dedication and drive to touch every students’ life. He truly made a difference. His ambition and positive attitude made students willing to learn and simply want to show up. I will never forget Mr. Woods or his willingness to teach and help all children grow and succeed.

Willie Atienza Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is an AMAZING Teacher, an AMAZING Man, and an AMAZING Human being. When my older daughter first got to 6th grade we heard from other children and parents how much they liked Mr. Woods. It was like hitting the Lottery when my oldest got Mr. Woods in 7th Grade. She would come home and tell us about how engaged she was in class because Mr. Woods made learning fun. If it wasn't the singing or dancing, it was the debating or discussions that made kids want to participate. There was no being shy or lack of participation in Mr. Woods class. He kept everyone in class engaged and made leaning fun. It was to my family's surprise that a few years we hit the lottery again and my middle daughter had Mr. Woods. Both my girls absolutely enjoyed Mr. Woods teaching style and how he would motivate them in the quest of knowledge. Mr. Woods also went out of his way to attend and cheer on my daughters at school volleyball games, softball games, and even called them and sang them happy birthday. Mr. Woods is very passionate about his students both in and out of the class. He isn't just quenching their thirst for knowledge but mentoring these kids and doing his little part of making them better human beings. My youngest daughter just hit middle school this year and we are hoping to hit the Mr. Woods lotto at least one more time.

Ray Matsumiya Posted 8 months ago

Pren attended a teacher training workshop in Hiroshima, Japan in 2017. He was highly engaged and motivated to both make meaning of the tragedy that happened there over 70 years ago and to transmit the "lessons of Hiroshima" in a way that resonates with his students. On a personal level, Pren's thoughtfulness, dynamic personality and humor was a real pleasure to be with. He was the glue that kept our group of multinational teachers together. Pren is a truly wonderful educator.

Junelle Johnson Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was an amazing teacher who helped develop my appreciation for history leading to me being in college as a history major. I don't know where I would be without as he helped me grow in so many ways.

Adearia Posted 8 months ago

I had the pleasure of having Mr. Woods as my 6th and 7th grade social studies teacher at Alston Middle School. At 23 years old I still tell people I encounter that having him as an educator was definitely an experience that I will never forget! If there was a dull moment in “history” he took the initiative to make it as interesting as possible by using his creativity to get through to our young minds and making it HIS story for us to learn from in a better way than just using books(if we used a book it was his punishment lol) powerpoints and boring notes. Mr. Woods made sure to deliver the lessons in ways that made them easy remember and harder to forget. In college I found myself referring back to things I was taught in middle school all because of him and I definitely appreciated everything he taught me then more than ever. I feel blessed to be able to have had him as an educator 2 years in a row, if I could I would go back in time just to do it all over again.

Marika Richardson Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing teacher and definitely an inspiration to his pupils and parents as well. As an educator he is what you want for your kid: compassionate, energetic, attentive, caring, yet firm and definitely is able to target instruction to involve all learners. He is for sure an example of what extraordinary means and I firmly believe he would be deserving of this award! An amazing person to know!

Dawn Johnson Posted 8 months ago

Mr Woods made such an incredible difference in my son’s life. He was a great history teacher and mentor. I would visit my son’s 7th grade classes and be inspired at how he captivated his students. I would always remind my son as to how and what he was learning from Mr Woods teachings would be instrumental then and later in life. My son was a difficult student during his 7th grade year and we were blessed to have teachers like Mr Woods not give up on him. He treated all of his students the same, with respect and kindness! He made their learning fun and taught them how to think out of the box. Thank you for all that you do and especially for what you did for LB! We both appreciate you so much and will never ever forget you. ~Dawn

Benjamin Grimsley Posted 8 months ago

There are not enough positive word in the English dictionary to describe the kind of teacher Mr. Woods is. At all points of my memory, i recall a man that put 100% effort in the education and excitement of his students. A good teacher knows that you cant just give people information, you have to make them care. The other big thing, compassion. Mr. Woods showed love and support to all students equally regardless of background, he wants to see his students grow. I can honestly say that no other teacher will ever resonate in my memories or remind me of our history more than Mr. Woods has. This man is a unique example of the way we should be educating our youth.

Tammy Pye Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is a dynamic and admired history teacher who strives to provide differentiated instructional activities to support the learning styles of all students. He is known throughout the district for singing his lessons to his own musical compositions that he uses to supplement traditional learning. He has an exceptional ability to effectively communicate course material in an engaging way and a genuine interest in seeing students succeed. Mr. Woods is an inspiration to his students and fellow educators.

Riley Posted 8 months ago

I would probably be a completely different person if I had not met my favorite teacher. Mr. Woods is such a good influence to everyone he teaches, He was so enthusiastic about teaching!! If every teacher was as good as Mr. Woods the world would be such a better place. He has taught me skills that I would have never thought I would learn from a Social Studies teacher. Overall Pren Woods is a wonderful 7th Grade Social Studies Teacher!!!

De’Ajanique Woods Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was the only teacher that could keep me captivated in class when it came to world history. The funniest thing is we share the same last name. He incorporated different talents into his teaching methods in order for all of his students to learn and understand the material that he was teaching us. History has always been a difficult subject for me, but having Mr. Woods as my teacher made me appreciate what I was being taught. One of the many lessons he taught that stuck out to me the most is how to incorporate our talents into what we are learning. He gave me the courage to sing in front of the class as a project and for that I’m forever thankful for him. He encourages his students to strive for the best and he is there to help every step of the way. Thank you Mr. Woods for being an outstanding teacher and having a wonderful impact on not only my life but many others.

Henry Posted 8 months ago

I met Mr. Woods in the 6th grade, he was my history teacher and honestly the only teacher that I can say stood out to me all these years. I'm 23 now and still to this day I can remember how amazing this man was. He was a lot bolder than a lot of teachers. He didnt mind telling you how he felt because it came from a great place. He always wanted the best for his students. But the biggest thing for me was that it wasn't just a class you went to, written down notes and left. It was an experience! Students would talk about how excited they were to go to his class the period before. Mr. Woods would sing, tell jokes, joke on you in a playful manner and also loved to take a joke too (as long as it was good). He was the first teacher in my opinion to bring life into a classroom for Austin middle school. Almost set the standard for that. Even though some of us don't realise it, Mr. Woods had an outstanding impact on us and our future. For that I thank him. I honestly do believe he deserves this award!

Madison Simpson Posted 8 months ago

I had Mr. Woods for 6th grade social studies almost 9 years ago and still to this day his catchy songs are stuck in my head. Mr. Woods was an amazing teacher who left a huge impact in my life not only as a student but as a person. His smile can light up a room and his personality brings joy to your heart. I’m so blessed an honored to have had him as a teacher!

Thomas cannon Posted 8 months ago

He is a great teacher he will help you with anything he helped me learn about history. He is a very fun person he is nice to people.He also wants you to do better in school and out of school.

Chip Posted 8 months ago

A cool teacher is just a small term to describe how great he is. The way he teaches make the information stay with you long after you leave the class. The many songs and little plays were always a blast to do. Overall a great guy thanks Mr.woods

Delray Posted 8 months ago

Mr. woods is a very good teacher he makes it easy to learn with his creativity and his ability to connect with students, till this day I still remember some of the very helpful songs he made.

Corinne Hughes Posted 8 months ago

I am in my second year as the Outreach Coordinator for the Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University. I met Mr. Woods through his participation in a year-long program with Qatar Foundation International. A cohort of about twenty teachers came together to develop culturally-responsive pedagogical approaches to Middle Eastern content. The cohort met for five intensive weekend-long workshops to study history, religion, the arts, food, and politics in the Middle East. The goal was for these new teacher-experts to go back to their communities and do outreach with fellow educators and their communities. Mr. Woods accomplished creating workshops that he has shared with educators from across the country. During the time I worked with Mr. Woods, he was energetic, thoughtful, and showed how much he cared about learning not just for himself but for his students. His questions were always thought-provoking and impacted how everyone in the room thought about the content. He is a courageous speaker, by which I mean that he is never afraid to speak up with a different perspective. What this inspires in the classroom from his students, I can only imagine. We need more people in the world who are not afraid to speak. Mr. Woods is more than deserving of this award. I continue to be inspired by him.

Corbin Hayes Dobbs Posted 8 months ago

This amazing man helped me with standing up in front of my peers and being confident. Now I’m in the army E-2 and I guide solders and help my peers and stay confident in every thing I do because he taught me if you’re loud enough and proud enough the world WILL follow your word.

Chip Posted 8 months ago

A cool teacher

Michelle Leviner Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is a 7th grade social studies teacher responsible for approximately 140 students with a range of academic levels here at Alston Middle School. As a teacher, I find Mr. Woods to be exceedingly professional and personable with his coworkers. He has a love of learning and for his profession. He works tirelessly to develop creative activities and projects to his students to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for history. He does not want his students to simply memorize the material, his goal is for their understanding and ability to utilize higher order thinking to evaluate the many factors that affect how historical events developed. He plans with other social studies teachers, creating lessons, assessments and enrichment activities. He is an asset to Alston Middle School and we are lucky to have him as part of our staff!

Cathy Cabaniss Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is a big supporter of the arts. He attends the students' performances and integrates their performing strengths into the classroom. I hear his students talk about his lessons throughout the day. His influence is definitely leaving a lasting impression with our students.

Joshua Perry Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was my seventh grade social studies teacher. He really impacted my life that year by preparing me for high school and helping me get serious about school. His class that was by far the one I enjoyed the most.

Alyssa Atienza Posted 8 months ago

I had the amazing opportunity have Mr. Woods as my social studies teacher in middle school. I am 21 years old and almost finished with college. I can honestly say that he is the best teacher I have ever had. His teaching style is so unique and sticks with you throughout the years. He takes the time to get to know each student personally and makes everyone feel welcome. He engages everyone in class. I am thankful with how he has impacted my life!

Jeannette Collins Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods should be an inspiration to all teachers, and people, for that matter. Was blessed to have him as a teacher for not one, but both of our boys. He is well deserving of this award and them some.

P Posted 8 months ago

Pren will impact each person he comes into contact with through education, entertainment, encouragement, growth. He challenges students in a positive learning environment. As he pours himself into others sharing his knowledge he is always seeking to learn and increase his understanding of the world around him, near and far. He cares and shows this in many ways which is so needed by the students he has encountered throughout the years.

Joey Morris Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was my sixth grade history teacher. He was a really awesome teacher and probably let us have the most fun in the classroom and be creative. He us a very creative guy that wrote and perfomred several fun musical numbers for the class to participate in. I remember having to memorize Marc Antonys speech for Ceasar’s funeral and I had a blast doing it. Mr. Woods has had such a positive influence on my life and is one of a long list of history teachers that inspires me to become a history major in college.

Rhonda Mcpherson Posted 8 months ago

This amazing man has such a deep passion for teaching. I was honored to meet him at a teacher institute in 2018. His knowledge and passion was evident in everything that he did. His sense of humor helped to put me at ease in a new environment. I cannot thank him enough for helping me to better understand uncomfortable history. What an incredible educator!

Meredith Posted 8 months ago

Mr.Woods was a coworker of my mom’s, and his emails about his travels are inspiring and entertaining! I’ve learned so much through his emails, and I’m positive his classroom is just as thought-provoking!

Marcus Posted 8 months ago

Never had him as a teacher but hands down one of the best people ever! Always had great energy and could sing really well! Man had a heart of gold and always loved doing what he did best!

Byron Posted 8 months ago

So I was one of those unfortunate students to be bullied. And no matter what I could always go to mr. Woods for confiding. He always have everybody's back he was a great teacher and went above and beyond. In fact when I was there his classes had test scores that exceeded all teachers in his subject field. For good reason too! Unique lesson plans, extravagant class settings, and intense student engagement. This is the tip of a very massive iceberg that is the embodiment called Mr Woods. Any of you reading this comments would be proud to have your child in his class

Emily Posted 8 months ago

All my life i’ve had such a hard time focusing and remembering material. It wasn’t until I took mr.woods class in 6th grade that I felt like I finally understood the subject and like I could speak and ask questions in class. He made every student feel involved and gave them a voice when they felt like they didn’t have one. I’m now a sophomore in college and I still think back on some of his teaching techniques and how he cared so much. It’s teachers like him that make students want to come to class and want to learn. He’s a gift to schools and students everywhere, because without him many lives would be so different without his impact.

Hanah Christmas Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is an excellent teacher. He teaches with lots of enthusiasm. I attended the middle school he teaches at. He has such a big heart and a passion for teaching.

Shannon Ruddock Posted 8 months ago

It seems this award was created specifically with Pren in mind! I cannot think of anyone more deserving of such an honor. I have known Pren for many, many years and value his loyal friendship, as so many others do! Although I was not fortunate enough to have been taught by him, I have vicariously experienced his passionate teaching through a Godson and multiple other friend's children. The one constant from all of these kids remains "Mr. Woods is THE BEST teacher EVER!" When asked what makes him such a great teacher, these young scholars never ceased to amaze me with a very quick response of "He makes it FUN!", or "I actually know what he teaches me, because it sticks!" Pren has the most creative approaches to even the most dull of topics, captivating his audience and teaching not only scholastic lessons, but life lessons. One great example of this, is his annual trip to the local Farmer's Market. An outing many of his students have made many times in the past, Pren has transformed into a lesson in business planning and capitalism. Out-of-the-box thinking and creative leadership are Pren's specialties, and it is beyond evident in all those he has influenced. My friend will forever be a LifeChanger, in my eyes!

Caleb V. Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is a very funny, nice, and just a good guy.

Leland Long Posted 8 months ago

When my daughter attended this middle school she described to her father, me, the difficulties she was having in certain classes and with certain teachers. After listening to her complaints and offering some advice, I told her to not be surprised if this strict Mr. Woods became one of her favorite teachers in the long run. To this day she enjoys reminding me of that statement made so long ago, and how disbelieving at the time, has acknowledged its truth! Of all the previous teachers she has known over the years, Mr. Woods continues to be the only one she has interest in visiting time and time again. This proves beyond doubt that he has the qualities of a life changer in our education system.

Tameria James Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was my my social studies teacher throughout middle school . I’m am 23 years old and have had experiences with multiple teachers and styles of teaching and I can honestly say that Mr. Woods was the best one I have ever had. He takes the time out to get to know all of his students. His teaching methods are so unique that I still recall material that he’s taught me years ago. He was one of the first teachers to actually inspire me and push me to go above and beyond.

Karen Lewis Posted 8 months ago

Every year I look forward to read about your adventures traveling around the world learning more hands on history and taking it back to your students. I even save the emails. Keep doing what you do best????????

Alexis Grooms Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was an amazing teacher. I am 23 years old and he still remembers my nickname and all the fun unique projects we did. I never felt so involved in my own education until I took his class. He goes above and beyond for all of his students and makes sure learning is fun. To this day, I still remember the lyrics to a song about trading at the Nile river I did as a project with my peers in his class.

Angela Nelson Posted 8 months ago

I met Mr. Woods about 12 years ago at Alston Middle school. I was the mental health counselor there for 8 years. Mr. Woods classroom was in route to my office. I never liked history much before cause I thought it was boring. Mr. Woods sparked a new interest for me after days of stopping outside his classroom and listening to his lectures which were often given in a fun and engaging manner. The lectures and activities would have me camped outside his door learning things that I never was presented with in such an interesting manner before. All of his kids would seem so engaged. He was always interacting with them. The man even sings opera....what an amazing teacher. He is also very interesting to talk with about his travels and experiences. I have honestly never met another teacher like him who has an intense love for teaching and finding creative ways to make students want to learn more! I wish he had been my history teacher!!

James Sweatt Posted 8 months ago

I have known mr woods since the my 7th grade year. He is a kind man and is loved by everyone. He changed my 7th year of school by always being there, and being a fantastic teacher. All the history he taught me has not left me. Yes even his songs.

Emily Bruce Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was my history teacher at Alston Middle School. History was never my favorite subject, and it still isn't. However, my time in his class was some of the best in my educational career. He made learning fun! We had performances that we did in front of parents that were always super fun and meaningful. This is just one example of the passion and energy that Mr. Woods put in to teaching his students. He was determined to pour his knowledge of different cultures into the minds of his students, and he succeeded. I will never forget the time I spent learning from Mr. Woods, and there is no one that I can think of that has changed more students' lives.

Ashley Posted 8 months ago

Very dedicated to EVERY student he has. Such an influential man and teacher! Much love!

sandra makielski Posted 8 months ago

I have worked alongside Mr. Woods in a teacher leadership program relating to the Middle East. He is quick to make connections and network at every opportunity. He is well traveled and connected to educators around the world. His big personality brightens a room and sparks conversation. Best of Luck!

Cheryl Wegscheid Posted 8 months ago

Several years ago I met Pren as a fellow member of the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber’s Teachers Educating Across Cultures in Harmony (TEACH) Fellowship in Bahrain and Qatar. Pren is passionate, innovative, and always thinking of how to engage young people. He is a life-long learner participating in many learning experiences around the world to bring more accurate and relevant educational opportunities to others. He does not shy away from embracing a wide range of viewpoints, exposing greater cultural understanding and using the arts as a tool to pull others into these experiences. Pren is a rare soul that seems to understand the world better than many and uses that insight to teach and transform lives.

Bria Brown Posted 8 months ago

I have known Mr. Woods since I’ve been in 7th grade at Burke Middle School. Mr. Woods made learning so fun and he also made learning interesting and very understanding. He would recreate music with his history lessons he would sing songs about what the history lesson he was teaching that day. He Instored information that I won’t ever forget. He’s one teacher that I’ll never forget about. In school he always pushed me to my greatest potential. Even when I would be more talkative than normal, even when he would take my recess we would still sing songs about what we was learning that day. He deserves to be recognized for one of the most influential amazing teachers in the world. Thanks for much Mr. Woods for all that you’ve done.

Kimberly de Berzunza Posted 8 months ago

I have met Mr Woods only virtually through groups for teachers in search of professional development opportunities. Although we have not had the fortune to physically cross paths, we have attended many of the same institutes at different times, and Mr Woods has been great with recommendations and advice about approaching the application process, declining one when I was accepted to two that conflicted, and just great ideas about teaching in general. He is a positive and energetic person, and clearly a teacher who strives to support and motivate his students.

Donielle L Posted 8 months ago

Pren Woods was my oldest daughter's History teacher in both 6th & 7th grade. His passion for educating was evident as my daughter came home to engage us in her learning. We often had conversations over dinner that consisted of politics, worldviews, and parody's Pren created in order to help my child retain the information she learned in his class. Pren has a way of keeping life in the past and attempts to bring awareness of truth in History that offers fairness to all people groups.

Donielle L Posted 8 months ago

Pren Woods was my oldest daughter's History teacher in both 6th & 7th grade. His passion for educating was evident as my daughter came home to engage us in her learning. We often had conversations over dinner that consisted of politics, worldviews, and parody's Pren created in order to help my child retain the information she learned in his class. Pren has a way of keeping life in the past and attempts to bring awareness of truth in History that offers fairness to all people groups.

Carlin Nelson Posted 8 months ago

I first met Mr. Woods, in seventh grade at Rivers Middle School teaching History. I must admit that I wasn’t a big fan of history before this moment but Mr.Woods made it relatable to his students while staying true to the history. In his class, he made songs, dances and used different voices to lure the students in to understanding history and why it was so important. Outside of history, Mr. Woods showed us how to be men and how to take pride in the cultural that we may have identified with. Working at Rivers Middle School, the majority of students were in or from a single parent home; that single parent being the mother. Mr. Woods was like a father to us especially in a time, (which is still current issue), where having African-American men as teachers was one in few. Mr. Woods took time out of his day and utilized his own resources to make sure his students had what they needed. Mr. Woods has been a pivotal moment in my academic career, he has been a life changer because he has become part of my voice of reason, and self-efficacy. When I’m frustrated when a competency, some of us quotes will come to mind. Now that I’m a lot older I often ask myself, How did he do it?

Madeus El Posted 8 months ago

I had the luxury of having Mr. Woods as my 7th grade social studies teacher where he made it not only a place to learn but a place to have fun and be creative. Mr. Woods has a unique way of connecting with his students and getting to know each and everyone of them. He creates a environment that makes you feel comfortable to ask questions and get involved to do funny presentations. Mr. Woods is a great teacher that could turn any benign lesson plan into something rememberable and fun.

Erin Davis Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was/is truly an amazing educator that has left an imprint on both mine and my fellow classmates’ lives forever! His enthusiasm and dedication was, (and I’m sure still is) unmatched. My love of history, particularly African American history can be attributed to his teaching in middle school. He always taught us through super animated lessons by singing songs relevant to the lesson. I particularly remember learning about the Cold War because the song was just that catchy. He also treated every single student like an extension of his family which is hard to come by in education. We were more than just a body in a seat to him. We all mattered and were of importance. We were all his nieces and nephews in his words. Each day was something to look forward to. He is truly deserving of this honor and many, many more.

Stacy Campbell Posted 8 months ago

Mr Woods taught my daughter, Peyton, and really made a lasting impression on her! His unconventional teaching methodology and incorporating art with history helped Peyton learn the material and it really stuck for her! I always loved hearing about their next project, making CD covers to include songs about topics in history, performing skits, or singing songs. I have also personally been inspired by Mr Woods in my own career as a Speech Language Pathologist. I have found ways to incorporate his ideas and strategies and they are great for all kids, those who love history and those who do not. I am so appreciative for all that Mr Woods does for his students. In addition to teaching, he was ALWAYS at every function supporting his students and saying hello. He made it a point to let parents and students know that he cared and to me, he is a life changer for many kids he works with! Best of luck Mr Woods, I can’t think of a harder working educator or an educator who does more continuing education to improve himself or teachers to improve other educators!! I believe in his philosophy and support him 100%!!

Shedrick Crawford Posted 8 months ago

It’s not often that I reflect on my past and remember any of it with the vividness of being taught by Mr. Woods in the 9th grade. Admittedly, I wasn’t fond of going to class in general, but perhaps that’s because none the other classes were being taught by an individual with the passion and communicative intellect possessed by Mr. Woods. This gentleman embodies everything you would want from a teacher, role model, and most of all a human being. Fair, intelligent, kind, and thought provoking. Each of those words individually and collectively couldn’t begin to describe Mr. Woods and the impact of that he has had. I recently attended my 20th class reunion and to a man, we all shared our admiration for him. That is what mentors and role models are made of. That is what a teacher should be. I was once told that it really doesn’t matter if you remember what a person has said to you, what does matter is how it made you feel. I can’t point out a particular lesson plan to be honest, but I can still remember being engaged and actually looking forward to going to his man’s class. It was 90 minutes of pure enjoyment. Perhaps no one reading this will fully understand what it means to speak to someone that holds you accountable, yet firmly believes in your ability and potential. That discipline and belief means so much more when when placed in the appropriate context to me and others like me. Without a doubt, I am honored and privileged, to have a experienced class with a true Lifechanger. Mr. Woods, continue to set the standard and continue to mean more to US by being what WE need.

Giancarlo Malchiodi Posted 8 months ago

I fully support Mr. Woods nominator for LifeChanger of the year not ONLY because of his obvious impact on students and families as indicated in other comments, but also his impact on teacher colleagues near and far. As moderator of an FB page that promotes learning, scholarships, and Summer opportunities for teachers, I have personally seen-- and directly benefited by-- the care and attention he gives when not just listing opportunities, but when guiding people through some of the occurring challenges and offering advice on how to proceed when faced with one. This kind of empathy, organizational skill, and knowledge-base is being applied nation-wide to the many teacher colleagues who are members of this group, therefore Mr. Woods impact is not just helping us to develop and expand our professional skills and experiences, but to APPLY those to the collectively TENS of THOUSANDS of students who we serve. A LifeChanger can be so by severely impacting a single one, no doubt, but Mr. Woods is a next-level LifeChanger and is worthy of this recognition.

Dave Pietruszka Posted 8 months ago

Congrats Dunn! Since meeting en route to South Africa in 2012, it’s been a pleasure getting to know you personally and professionally. I am amazed by your passion for education and for your students. Keep it up!

Roger Posted 8 months ago

Since first meeting Dunn six years ago, I have been in awe of his energy and motivation to open his students minds to how the world and humanity works. His thirst for knowledge is second to known. He is in constant motion growing his skills and competences. I cannot think of any other educator who works as hard as he does nor cares as much for his students. For me, if I think "world-class teacher", it is Dunn's photo I see next to an explanation of all he does for his students.

Shawn Blunt Posted 8 months ago

I met Pren Woods at Alston Middle School. I did not teach with him nor did my son have him as a teacher. I so wish my son had been able to be in one of his classes. Some how Pren knew who my son was, looked out for him, and would have been an ear for my son to vent to if needed. Around the same time, Pren began attending the same church we do and I got to know him on a more personal level. He seems to have never met a stranger and is always engaged in those he is encountering. As a friend of his on social media, I know of his numerous travels to all corners of the world to continue his education and learning. This new information is then pasted onto his students in innovative ways to help the children master the content. I wish I could audit a few of his classes, I would learn so much. I believe Pren is more than deserving of this award in which he was nominated. He is without a doubt a Life Changer and the number of lives he has changed is innumerable!

Amoni Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Wood just became my favorite social studies teacher in the 7th grade and just through out all of my 1st-6th grade teachers he showed that social studies is not also about learning but just having fun at the same time.

Natasha Prosser Posted 8 months ago

I have known Mr. Woods for approximately twelve years, during which time I have served as one of his immediate supervisors. Throughout this period, Mr. Woods has consistently demonstrated his conscientiousness and genuine commitment to the education of Alston Middle School’s youth as well as a concern for professional growth and development. Throughout his active participation in education-related organizations, Mr. Woods has shown an earnest desire to improve his skills and increase his knowledge, which has truly benefited the students within his classroom. The energy that Mr. Woods presents and displays in every lesson and activity is phenomenal! I believe that this ability to “transfer” knowledge applies to the prospect of Mr. Woods’ possible opportunity of becoming The Lifechanger of the Year. It would certainly be well-deserved!

j Posted 8 months ago

More than twenty years ago, Mr. Woods was my 9th grade history teacher at Rock Hill High School. His humor and passion for learning were infectious, and in his class, history rose from up from words on pages of standard high school textbooks, became alive, and pulled you back into the past. He would not settle for anything less than a student’s best, and as a result of this, I’ll never forget the effort and work I put into my final project of building a pyramid out of Hershey’s Gold Nuggets. In my mind, Mr. Woods’s greatest strength is a relentless sense of curiosity and imagination, plus an ability to improvise on the fly when teachable moments appear out of the blue, plus the determination to use every material resource at his disposal (from books to hallways to buildings to all classroom supplies to community spaces and special events, among many others) to insist that students learn. There are special people in this world, teachers who are artists, who strive to hone their craft fearlessly amidst the ever-present pressures and "expertise" from administrators, educational businesses and consultants, and Big Tech companies all promising parents and communities the moon and the stars. In their classrooms, there is an unspoken urgency that regardless of what subject they are teaching you, it could change your life. To have Mr. Woods as a kid is to experience that.

Nathan Harlow Posted 8 months ago

I first met my friend when I moved to Toronto on a temporary work visa. I had left New Zealand 10 days after my father passed away and that night in the bar was the first opportunity I had to process everything. This kind gentleman came over and introduced himself and we invited him to join us. The character he was. We got discussing what brought us all together and our backgrounds and I was taken back by how Intrigued a man I just met was in my story. He even went as far as asking what my dad’s favourite drink was and ordering it at the bar without my knowledge. On the tough days I remember people like Pren. Despite maybe not knowing it, he made me realize everything will be ok. This man cares for me like a father and I know despite our short time together in person I can jump on a plane and have a place to stay. You are a great man. Thank you

Beth Posted 8 months ago

Dunn is an amazing human being. I got to know him as a colleague at an NEH summer program, and he possesses boundless energy and enthusiasm for teaching and learning and life. He is all kinds of awesomeness.

Adrienne Davis Posted 8 months ago

Mr Woods is by far a phenomenal, animated, culturally ethnic man that I had the pleasure of watching him teach and engage his students when my daughter was in the 8th grade and my granddaughter in both the 7th and 8th grade! His energy is infectious and I do wish I had just an ounce of it! Lol And as an added bonus, I had the blessing of seeing him in the airport one year on my birthday and he graciously sang Happy Birthday in the most amazing Godly baritone voice that made me feel like the Queen that I am! He's a great man and even greater teacher!?? I hope you win Mr. Woods, you really deserve to be recognized in this way! You just be GREAT either way it goes, you already are!!!! ?????????????? ????????????????

Maisy Christmas Posted 8 months ago

Mr Woods was my 8th grade history teacher and has influenced me in a lot of ways. At the beginning of the year I didn’t really like social studies, but after the first quarter I loved it. Mr woods is dedicated and is willing to do whatever it takes to make every single one of his students succeed. At the end of the year when I took my SC Ready test I excelled exponentially. Mr Woods is a great choice for this award because he has influenced every single one of his students including me.

Ruth Posted 8 months ago

For Pren! He is inspirational, models curiosity and friendship!

Andrea Levinsky Posted 8 months ago

I met Dunn at a professional development workshop. I was very impressed by his creativity and the way he pushes his students to succeed!

Mason Posted 8 months ago

I was never a student of Mr. Woods but I wish I was. As student at Alston Mr. Woods was such a positive person and outgoing with others. From friends/students that had him when I was attending Alston only said great things about him. "He always made the class excited to learn"

nick royal Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 6th grade history teacher. History had always been a subject that I liked but he really went above and beyond in helping channel my interests in a time when middle school can be an awkward transition for most people.

Cliff Williams Posted 8 months ago

Pren Woods puts his heart and soul into teaching his students. He is always helping and uplifting his colleagues and students in song, conversation and kindness. Pren is extremely visible not only in the his school but seen working and attending events in the community. He brings enthusiasm and passion to the class room and community. He is inspirational,innovative, and a informed educator. His travels around the world brings the world to his classroom. Thank you Pren for all your contributions to make this a better world.

Nicholas Carr Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was my history teacher in middle school and made learning very fun. He made the lessons reach down to a personal level and engaged everyone in the classroom. He is the best teacher I met and was glad I could be apart of his classes!

Peter Shelbourne, Judge and Attorney at Law Posted 8 months ago

I have know Pren Woods since my youngest son first landed in his middle school history class. As a history major in college myself, I was interested to see how he approached a subject that for the most part students find dry and uninteresting. What a wonderful surprise to discover his approach. Not only did he bring the subject matter to life for my son and his classmates, he also brought and still brings an enthusiasm and passion to the class room unlike any teacher I have ever seen in any school, college or graduate program. This enthusiasm is contagious and is reflected in the impact that he had on my son who is now graduated from college with honors and pursuing post graduate studies with the goal of becoming a teacher himself. Pren also takes a direct interest in his students that continues on far past middle school. Despite my son being under Pren's tutelage more than ten years ago, Pren still follows my son's successes. I can only assume that that is the case for many if not all of his students. His interest is sincere. I cannot think of another teacher that has had more impact on his students in a positive way than Pren Woods and fully and unconditionally recommend him for this award. It could not go to a more deserving teacher.

Darius Bowen Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods has been a life changer for me literally. When Mr. Woods was my teacher I went from having no interest in history to loving school in general. The way that this man could turn a lesson about the Great Depression into a memorable and fun song was amazing. Thanks to Mr. Woods, I began to make all of my classes more relatable for myself by using his method of storytelling to keep myself engaged in the lessons. In high school I finished third in my class and can honestly say I couldn’t have if I was not able to make history interesting for myself. I just can’t say enough about how great a job he has done for me and hundreds of other kids from the city of Charleston.

Rachel Edwards Posted 8 months ago

I love reading all the comments from former students and parents..as well as people from all over the world. So inspiring to see how many lives Mr. Woods has touched...

Sam H Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was the most memorable teacher I have ever had. He made all of his students feel like a family and did nothing but look out for them. I will never forget how enthusiastic he was everyday to teach and of course all of his songs! His way of teaching and project assignments forced you to come out of your shell and got everybody involved. Mr. Woods class set me up for success in high school and beyond, I will always remember him and his big personality.

Landon Mercado Posted 8 months ago

Mr.Woods was my seventh grade social studies teacher. I remember the first day I met him , I was in the sixth grade, I was a bad child and I was running down the hallway and he stopped me and I sucked my teeth at him and he emailed my mom. I can say is not a great first impression was it, but Nurse Nately told Mr.Woods that I'm energetic, out going, and I love to sing and dance. So I was put in his class and for me I looked forward to that period everyday. In all though Mr.Woods made learning fun and enjoyable for me. Thanks Mr.Woods for making my seventh grade year my best one yet.

Symone Grant Posted 8 months ago

Although I did not have Mr. Woods as a teacher I always wanted to. All of his students adored him and spoke highly of him. When I did get the chance to work with him at Alston Middle School after school program I was able to watch him interact with the students and I could see how he had a positive impact on them. There’s so much I can say about Mr. Woods he’s very caring,passionate about teaching, and can definitely light up a room.

Secil Yazicioglu Posted 8 months ago

I met Mr. Woods in 2011 when he visited Turkey attending the Greece- Turkey Fulbright Summer Abroad Program, during my position at the Fulbright Commission as the American Programs Director. As it is known, the Fulbright Summer Abroad program is designed to provide opportunity to successful and efficient teachers to learn deeply about the history, people, politics, arts, and culture of the region, while also improving their own individual research interests regarding the countries visited. The expected return of this valuable experience is to have the attending teachers help design the related curriculum while also transfering the learnt knowledge and information to their students, schools and districts. Mr. Woods distinguished himself as one of the most eager-to-learn participants in the program with his interest in the issues long debated both in the country and outside. His desire to learn about the topic with all its aspects and with all the related views, created a strong impression on me about his devotedness and research capacity. I also was impressed with his delightful character both as a teacher, a program participant and as a good friend. The young Turkish students, even the people we met at different environments were attracted by his pleasant personality. He was a perfect representative of his country, not only as a teacher but also as a citizen, even as a world citizen. I strongly believe that, Mr. Wood's multi-cultural background experience with his profound knowledge makes him a valuable guide at a platform introducing the young people to different cultures, which definitely requires them to gain additional managing and coping skills. I feel, knowing Mr. Woods is a true gain both for the individuals around, and for the society as he is thoughtful, reflective, and committed to life-long learning and continued development as an educator. The world needs lifechanging educators and I strongly believe, Mr. Woods is a perfect one.

Samante Hicks Posted 8 months ago

Mr Woods was the first and only teacher that actually cared about getting his students involved when I walked across the stage in may I reflected on how his class was the key to bringing me out of my comfort zone and made me the person I am today. Now that I’m a College Freshman I still reflect on his class and use the advice he would always to help me get through.

Zachary Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods brought a certain energy that was perfect for middle schoolers. he made us feel welcomed and listened to what we had to say. he was always so full of energy and happiness that he made it hard for any of us to feel down. Mr. Woods has definitely impacted and changed so many young lives throughout his years

Luke Reed Posted 8 months ago

I met Mr. Woods when I was in 6th grade at Alston Middle school. That was seven years ago (2012). Although I did not have him as a teacher, I thought it was amazing that he still knew me. I thought how he taught his classes were very fun and unique. I’d watch the WAMS video before class when I was in middle school and I thought it was so creative how you are able to motivate your students to learn about history through song. I wish I had him as my teacher when I was in middle school.

Kolbee Shane Smith Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods was and still is the greatest teacher I've ever had. He not only connected with you through his teaching. He also connected with you through his stories of traveling the world and all the amazing things he's seen. He shows you history in a completely different way, by either making music videos explaining the "Cold, cold war!" (That's one of my favorite songs) or by creating awesome projects like news reports and talk shows to perform for the class, etc. Mr. Woods has changed my life and still does to this day.

Jasmyne J Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is a fantastic being!! I haven’t seen him in years, however, I still remember all of the songs we learned when I was in middle school at Alston. You’ve taught me to believe in myself at such a young age, and I’ve carried that with me to this day!

Bill Scott Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of those people who have that rare gift to make a life long impression with just a few moments, a quick wit and a smile that could make the coldest of people feel warm and welcome. I had the pleasure of getting to know Mr. Woods during my time as a student at Rock Hill High School. I never had the privilege of sitting in his class, but he's the only teacher I regularly wish to interact with from my years there. We'd regularly meet and chat in between classes, have lunch together and talk before and after school. After I graduated I kept in touch. I've always been inspired by his love for learning and the deep rooted desire to teach kids and instill in them a desire to learn and grow. After all these years, a nomination like this is long overdue and could not be awarded to a better educator. To sum up, I'd like to paraphrase the author Richard Foster and apply it to Mr. Woods, "I know I was in the presence of a giant soul. I am the better for the encounter. I'm sure you were too." Thank you Mr. Woods for your dedication!

Craig Cangemi Posted 8 months ago

Dunn participated in my organization's Teacher Leadership Program - a two yearlong fellowship designed for educators to learn about the Middle East region and become trainers for his peers on how to effectively teach about the region. Throughout the program, Dunn demonstrated an unparalleled level of enthusiasm, dedication and genuine interest in every workshop and activity, even if it may not have always been particularly relevant to his own coursework. He was always active in his participation, asking thought-provoking questions and his presence regularly lifted the spirits of the group. He developed long-lasting relationships, both personally and professionally, with his fellow participants and I truly believe that he will take these relationships along with experiences, knowledge, and personality to leave a positive impact on his students, colleagues and community. It was truly an honor and pleasure working with Dunn and I cannot speak highly enough of him!

Sam Clark Posted 8 months ago

From the moment I first spoke to Mr. Woods I knew that he would bring a special element to our school, Alston Middle School. Over the phone he radiated an enthusiasm and a genuineness that was unique and uplifting. Our face to face interview convinced me that my initial perception of Mr. Woods was understated. He was “ better than advertised!” Excellence and innovation have become overused in the language of education but I am at a loss for better words to describe what Mr. Woods brings to his classroom and to the Alston campus and community. Mr. Woods’ class is a place where History, Geography and, indeed other subjects, are integrated and elevated to relevance and his students become motivated to dig and delve and challenge themselves to deeper and higher thinking. There is no method that Mr. Woods is afraid to use in his class. Motivating, encouraging and, yes, even driving his students is his ultimate goal in the class. His students sing, they draw, they recreate, they re-fight ancient battles, they walk in the shoes of patriots and tories, they storm the Bastille and they become emotionally and physically engaged to a wonderful, unique level. What his students achieve in his classroom yields knowledge and value far, far beyond the “end of year” testing as his students consistently return to him or communicate with him their own personal education and even career achievements and the deep influence that he has had on their lives. A Life Changer? Come visit his classroom for just one hour and you will not only observe change taking place, you will be changed!

Liz Posted 8 months ago

As I walked into the lobby, I heard a voice that resonated through and electrified the hallway. Calm, confident, and full of excitement, it belonged to Dunn, a fellow participant in an NEH seminar. Over the course of three weeks, I was able to appreciate the spirit of Dunn, his compassion for others, his enthusiasm for life, and his dedication to the craft of teaching. He is a lifelong learner and an educator at his core, traveling throughout the world to raise awareness, to spread hope, and to share the boundless love that is within his heart. Dunn is truly one of a kind, and on a daily basis, changes the lives of those with whom he comes in contact, be it through a serenade for one's birthday, a reassuring bear hug, or a kind word said at just the right moment. If anyone is deserving of this award, it is Dunn, for he has made it his mission in life to not only change the world, but change the lives of us all for the better. We need heroes like Dunn in our world now, and I'm thankful he's taken it upon himself to step into the role of being someone to which EVERYONE can look up. Blessings to Dunn.

Becca Posted 8 months ago

I was never a student of Mr. Woods, but I worked in the front office at Alston Middle School during my senior year of high school. I had met Mr. Woods a few times before but when I started working there, he would come by the front office and he would always say something funny to make us laugh. He always seemed genuinely interested in talking to me and getting to know me and made it feel like less of a work atmosphere, which i appreciated a lot.

Tara Aysen Posted 8 months ago

I have known Dunn online for several years since my mother travelled with him to China as part of a Professional Development tour; however, it wasn’t until about two weeks go that I actually got to meet him in person. I already knew what an amazing person he was from his online interactions with my mother, his colleague; but I was completely wowed and impressed to meet him live. His smile is contagious and he makes people (all people he meets) feel special. I can’t imagine that he’s ever met a stranger. I admire his academia and adore his personality. If I ever met anyone who deserves this award it is this man.

Tamara Koellner Posted 8 months ago

Pren was one of the most influential teachers that ever touched my children's lives. He challenged them to be better students in all of their coursework and instilled a self discipline for learning that is still with them today. His dedication to my children transcends the classroom, as he continues to show interest in their lives. For example, he uses his creative side every year on their birthdays when he sings his version of "Happy Birthday to You". We miss him.

Grace Simpson Posted 8 months ago

I’ve known Mr. Woods for as long as I can remember, through our church and my friends having him as a teacher. Although he never taught me at school, he has been incredibly impactful on my life by showing kindness to everyone and always knowing how to make people smile. He’s truly one of the best :)

Amy Murphy Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is an exceptional teacher! The way he teaches his class in songs, skits, and games is very unique and makes the class fun. When I was taking his class, I was a very quiet, shy girl and did not want to do any of the singing and dancing activities in his class. I just wanted to sit and do my work quietly, but he took me out of my comfort zone, and I cannot express how thankful I am for that. I learned and grew within a short amount of time and was able to become the person I am today. I am now a senior in high school and throughout the years, even though it has been five years since I took his class, I am still able to recall what he taught me. Any time I am learning anything remotely related to something that he taught me I still use his songs (or make up my own) to help me remember. I also had the privilege of watching my sister take his class last year. She would come home and ask me do you remember this do you remember that and I could honestly say yes. If I was asked about almost any other class I’ve ever taken it would have most likely fallen out of my mind by now since it’s been so long, but I got to sing the songs again with her. There were even some times when she wouldn’t remember the words but somehow, I did and was able to remind her. I have more knowledge stuck from Mr. Woods class than I do from the classes I’m taking right now. If it wasn’t for Mr. Woods I wouldn’t have been brave enough to apply for the Early College Program that I was accepted to freshman year, I wouldn’t know how to study in a way that stuck, and I wouldn’t have so much knowledge of social studies (I don’t know if that’s a blessing or a curse haha). I’m not just saying all of this to make him look good; I am truly so grateful to have had him as a teacher and hope that his teaching style spreads to other classrooms although it will forever be unmatched.

Kori Mudge Posted 8 months ago

My husband and I met Dunn at a bar in Iceland. We over heard him talking to some people about South Carolina, so we introduced ourselves because that’s where we’re from, too! We have met up a few times stateside now, and Dunn always has the best stories. What a genuine, unique, exceptional human!

Matthew Spangler Posted 8 months ago

Yes, Dunn Woods is incredible! I would want him on anything I was doing. Especially this. He was the life force at my NEH institute on immigration in California in July 2017. Any activity that has his participation would be better for it.

Pren Woods Posted 8 months ago

I just want to give continued thanks for all of you and how your words have poured into my life. I am compelled to teach in what I call a "supernatural" calling. Thank you for being a "lifechanger" to me.

Lisa Posted 8 months ago

Simply put, Pren is an inspirational, innovative, and informed educator. My experience with him has been as a parent and colleague, and I cannot help but be impressed with his enthusiasm for the profession. He is fully invested in whatever project catches his eye, especially when the goal is to change a life for the better. There’s no one like Mr. Woods, that’s for sure, and he continues to leave quite an impression on everyone he meets. Here’s hoping for the best!

Reilly West Posted 8 months ago

Even though I am now a freshman in college, I can easily recall my time in Mr. Woods’ classroom as a 6th grader. There’s no one quite like Mr. Woods. He is bold and theatrical—and he gets your attention. I learned a lot in his class and I had fun completing certain projects. I’ll never forget the night our class sang at Perfectly Franks!

Campbell Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods is a kind teacher with a good personality. Even though I haven’t been in any of his classes, he has always taken the time to say hi and give me a “High Five” in the hallway. He taught my older brother a few years ago, so Mr. Woods always calls me “LB.” He is always smiling.

GABE craven Posted 8 months ago

Mr woods is an amazing teacher he strives to make his students be better and when he teaches he does it with a passion I haven’t seen from many teachers he genuinely cares about the material he is teaching to the student body he makes learning fun and definitely gets his point across I’m glad I was able to have him

Dee Kennedy Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Woods has always been dedicated to making education fun and attainable for all. Even as a high school student himself, he worked as a guide at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site and made history come alive for children and adults, alike! Then when he got older he performed all over the world with the legendary Up With People whose mission was to inspire young people to make a difference in the world. Mr. Woods has continuously kept with that theme through his professional career: education can be fun and that inspiring young people to be culturally knowledgeable, aware and active can be one of the most enduring legacies one can leave. As a young child, he inspired me to strive to be extraordinary and instilled the belief that being smart can be cool. I’ve now worked in higher education for over 15 years as a professor and an administrator and I try to pass the lessons I learned from Mr. Woods to the young men and women with whom I have contact. I have had the tremendous opportunity to witness Mr. Woods’ passion for education and knowledge for over 30 years and I can truly say he has been a Game Changer in my life and in the lives of countless others.

Lisa Conner Posted 8 months ago

I met Dunn Woods at a restaurant I was the GM at several years ago. He heard it was someone’s birthday and began to sing ‘Happy Birthday.’ I was chatting with him afterwards and found out he was a teacher.He began to tell me about his classes and the students in them. I could tell that he had a great enthusiasm for wanting to have a positive impact on them. Even on his many travels, he makes sure to bring back and share the knowledge/culture he gains with his students. Mr. Woods also seems to have a lasting bond with his students and their families that carry through the years. Clearly he has a drive and determination to be at his best to help encourage and support his students along the way.

Krista Reagan Posted 9 months ago

I remember having Mr.Woods was my social studies teacher in middle school and he is one of the only ones I still remember. He managed to find ways to include everyone and get them out of their comfort zone and involved into the lesson. His way of teaching is different than most but very effective and very memorable. Including popular songs and getting students to create their own made it a fun way to learn new material.

Mikki Posted 9 months ago

Wow, I saw you Friday with your apron and those eggs. Scramble for Africa! I remember how fun it was to throw eggs at you last year. Hope the kids didnt hurt you to bad this year. You always keep things interesting,

Nathan Pipke Posted 9 months ago

I met Dunn through an NEH grant to study Mozart and the Enlightenment in Vienna,Austria. The passion and dedication for his students and his craft was immediately evident. We had many discussions about using the material we covered in Vienna with our own students. Dunn would always refer to his syllabus and the changes he would be making. Dunn has created lasting relationships with peers and students from around the country and the world. Good luck!

Gunnar Mcneish Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods has changed my life in a good way. He was my best social studies teacher I ever had. He cares about all his students and never gives up on them. I was in the Geography Bee twice and he taught me about courage and being proud about being smart. I loved that Mr. Woods would make us get up in front of the class to sing songs. He really got me out of my shell. I am more confident now. He always has the best ways to memorize the stuff we are learning either in a song or in the notes he gives us. I will always remember Mr. Woods for being a funny, caring, and encouraging teacher. Thank you Mr. Woods for everything you have done for me and your students.

Ashley Smith Posted 9 months ago

Going into your first year of middle school is almost terrifying, you do not know many people and do not know what to expect. I was so nervous and shy entering Mr. Woods class on that first day, and right away he broke me out of those feelings. His way of teaching is something you will never forget, I guarantee everyone who was in my class the first day of school could still recite the song we learned “Hunter and Gatherers” and that was eight years ago! He had a song for just about every subject he taught his students and if he didn’t he gave the group’s opportunities to write their own and perform them in front of the class. This was a type of learning many had not experienced before his class and probably never experienced after his class. He was someone who wanted you to learn and wanted to make it fun at the same time, and he still is. He really cares about his students, I made my best friends to this day in his class and I have him to thank. His teaching is something everyone should get to experience.

Jasmine Brooks Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 6th grade teacher at Alston middle school and he left such a lasting impact on my life. The things he said and taught he did in such a way that made the material memorable and make sense. He loved teaching and it made the whole class love learning. Throughout my years I never met anyone else with his passion for what he does. He makes it his job to leave a mark on everyone he comes in contact with. He does it in the classroom, hallways and even if you seen him in a store! He’s the same person all the time and I’m just so happy I can share with everyone the difference he makes!

Wendy Posted 9 months ago

Mr.Woods absolutely raises the bar regarding teaching. He strives to help students achieve their maximum potential in the classroom. He is a passionate teacher and sincerely wants every student to excel not just in school but in life. He wrote my daughter an encouraging note towards the end of the school year to let her know that he believed that she has a very bright future ahead of her. I wish that all teachers were as passionate about their jobs as Mr. Woods. His energy is positive and upbeat. My daughter still remembers some oh his fun songs that were a regular part of his teaching style. Pren Woods is absolutely deserving of this award.

Ken Posted 9 months ago

Mr Woods was always the life of the party. He was fun but also focused. We all knew that if he was your teacher, you would be held accountable and hard work would be required. I truly feel blessed to know him. He definitely has my vote!!

Rachel Edwards Posted 9 months ago

I would love to attend one of these educational settings that you attend ...not only are you present but most of the time you are the "glue" that holds it all together. I used "settings" because they range from classes to conferences to symposiums to lectures to committees ...etc...

Tammie Sorrells Posted 9 months ago

I had the honor of my youngest daughter Lauren to have Mr Woods as her teacher he welcomed our family into his teaching program with open arms he even brought Lauren out of her shell a bit, I only wish that I could have had the kind of teacher that Mr Woods-is while I was in school, however I am beyond ecstatic that she had this incredible opportunity and thankful that we also as parents were invited to be included. He is a blessing to students, parents and everyone that he is involved with, thank you Mr. Woods your are true inspiration to us all.

Melissa Johnson Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my son's 7th grade history teacher and 5 years later he still talks about how great of a teacher he is. He made such an amazing impact on my son, who wasn’t always the most involved student. The lengths Mr. Woods would go to make all his students feel important and truly cared for is unmatched! He wants to see each one of his students succeed in not only his class but in life. He made my son feel important and heard. He sings happy birthday to each student, I still have the video! His on going dedication to learn even more about history all over the work by traveling somewhere new each summer is unbelievable. He is such an amazing impact to our community. Such a joyous & fun person who to the very core cares for our children. Thank you Mr. Woods for loving your students and giving the best of you every single day!

Hope Brown Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 6th grade history teacher and I absolutely loved going to his class everyday! He made parodies to songs so we could memorize that material. To this day, I still remember some songs and I’m a sophomore in college! He always inspired everyone to be their true selves and he will ALWAYS be a teacher I remember! ??

Porter Steele Posted 9 months ago

I never had him but I was his favorite

Trent Grabow Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 7th grade history teacher. The way he taught History kept it entertaining and fascinating and helped to kindle the passion I have for history today.

Damien Castro Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods made a lasting impact on my life and the life of many other young minds. He endeavoured to teach each and every student the value of hard work and importance of notes. Especially the notes! His class put an entertaining spin on history and gave me my love for history that I still have to this day.

Jon'Niqua Eadie-Bennett Posted 9 months ago

Mr.woods was my 7th grade history teacher, and I can honestly say he was the most memorable. He had such a passion for teaching and always found a way to captivate his audience, in this case a room full of 7th graders. By belting out a verse or two about whatever subject we had to learn that week, he made the information stick and the day a little more cheerful. I can honestly say I wish there were more teachers like Mr. Woods! Not only was he entertaining to watch but you can just tell how passionate he was about getting us to enjoy learning. Though there really was No such thing as an easy A in his class. He cares so much about all his students and anyone lucky enough to be placed in his classroom, even for a moment, is truly blessed.

Jon'Niqua Eadie-Bennett Posted 9 months ago

Mr.woods was my 7th grade history teacher, and I can honestly say he was the most memorable. He had such a passion for teaching and always found a way to captivate his audience, in this case a room full of 7th graders. By belting out a verse or two about whatever subject we had to learn that week, he made the information stick and the day a little more cheerful. I can honestly say I wish there were more teachers like Mr. Woods! Not only was he entertaining to watch but you can just tell how passionate he was about getting us to enjoy learning. Though there really was No such thing as an easy A in his class. He cares so much about all his students and anyone lucky enough to be placed in his classroom, even for a moment, is truly blessed.

Sarah Tyler Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was an awesome teacher. He took it to the next level. There was never a boring day in class. He made the material worth learning. He is the teacher that everyone will remember. He really cared about the students and gave us experiences that nobody else can say they have. I created long-time friendships and amazing memories in his classroom. I have confidence when I say I’ll never forget him and I hope many many other kids get to experience his greatness.

Summer McCall Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 6th grade history teacher and he made the information entertaining with songs and dances. He actually was the first teacher to inspire me to become a teacher and why I’m on the education major path in life. He is also the reason why I have such a passion for history and why originally wanted to be a history teacher. He was a huge inspiration to me and my fellow classmates at that point in time.

Jeff Christmas Posted 9 months ago

I met Mr Woods we he was my daughter’s teacher. This is a truly and honest teacher who absolutely loves what he does. He brings energy everyday to the classroom and makes the kids strive for more. His motivation and energy can be seen today in my daughter. I am truly thankful that he has entered my daughters life and was able to make her a better student and person.

Liz Ramos Posted 9 months ago

I met Pren at a Gilder Lehrman Institute over a decade ago. He is one of the most passionate and energetic educators that I have met. Pren is an engaging teacher that seeks to integrate the Arts and History in his lessons, including creating songs to draw his students in. It does not stop there, he models being a lifelong learner and professional educator by attending a variety of professional development programs to bring in more content. Pren teaches the whole child. He provides a safe environment for students to take risks and engage in inquiry. With this, he developes a supportive and empowering rapport throughout the year. One of the many ways Pren achieves this is writing individual notes to his students. Pren truly is a standout educator.

Julie Ward Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods taught my daughter Sarah’s 6th and 7th grade class at Alison Middle School in 2008-2009 respectively. We were in a terrible family court battle during that time, and Sarah was still excelling in school even though her biological father was attempting to continue to hurt her by trying to have her removed from my home. Mr Woods was always supportive and a positive influence on her, I believe her success today can be directly linked to Mr Woods ability to be a wonderful role model and mentor to her. I appreciated his support of Sarah. Thank you Mr Woods for keeping in touch after all these years!

Aaron Miller Posted 9 months ago

I was never a student of Mr. Woods, but that didn’t stop him from stopping me in the hallway and ask me how my day was going and interacting with me on a daily basis. I remember walking past his classroom and the energy that he brought out during his lessons to engage his students in learning is something I’ll never forget. He made school and leavening enjoyable for his students and everybody around him. Thank you Mr.Woods for your endless dedication to teaching and students.

Janella Hardy Posted 9 months ago

I met Mr Woods when he came to work at AMS. He is a phenomenal teacher and his style of teaching keeps the kids engaged in their lesson. The passion he ya for teaching and his students is amazing and he’s one of the teacher that you pray your child gets to learn from.

Roselyn Sciacca Posted 9 months ago

I am very grateful that I had Mr. Woods as my teacher. He makes sure that everyone understands what’s going on in the class and uses teaching methods that would help us remember what we were learning. For example, Mr. woods would create songs about the topics we were learning about so we can have something look back on during tests. He also wrote us thank you letters at the end of the school year. He is a very great teacher and cares about his students and their education.

Dashawn Douglas-major Posted 9 months ago

Mr woods you are a great teacher we all share laughter we all worked hard I’m going to say this You’ve made a positive difference in my life.

Tyler Stello Posted 9 months ago

Me. Woods was hands down the BEST teacher I’ve ever had!!!! A lot of my friends can attest to this. He made learning fun and all the lessons were so engaging. Mr. Woods definitely took being a teacher to a whole new level. If anything to me woods was more than a teacher, he was an inspiration to kids.

Andrea Marshall Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods goes out of his way to respond rapidly to questions and concerns I have about my son. He is engaged and engaging, and it is evident that he is totally invested in his students' success. I am thrilled that my son, Zachary, was lucky enough to get Mr. Woods for 7th grade.

Aiden Stuart Posted 9 months ago

Me. Woods is one of the best teachers I’ve had. He very involved with the classroom and does a wonderful job. I will always be grateful I was a student of his. I have learned so much cause of the way he interacted with the class room. He has a big heart and is there to listen. For that I am happy to have been taught by him.

Gail Burton Posted 9 months ago

Dunn was almost single-handedly responsible for the increase in enrollment and visibility of a Civil Rights Educators Institute sponsored by the Little Rock Central HS National Historic site. Every year he posted the announcement of the offering for educators through FB, we were able to offer free programming for K-12 teachers nationally. His curated FB group for offerings for K-12 educators allowed educators from all over the world to apply.

Ashlynn Johnson Posted 9 months ago

I met Mr. Woods working for Dorchester School District II in 2017. His passion for students and teaching is contagious and stems directly from his own love of learning. He inspires his students to go deeper into thought, think critically from more than one perspective, and explore the unknown. He is an amazing educator that drives his students to want to learn. He is an inspiration.

Cody edgington Posted 9 months ago

I was blessed enough to have Mr. Woods my 6th grade year at Alston middle school. His class was one of the few, us students would look forward to! I have since graduated and still to this day sing some of the songs we used as lessons! Mr. Woods deserves every bit and more of this honorable award.

Regen Allen Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods is an excellent teacher that changed the way I learned during middle school. When I think of middle school, I always remember him singing songs at any point of the day just to bring smiles to the students’ faces. He always had creative ways to learn a subjects in history and also taught us ways to enhance our note taking, that really helped me out during high school and even college. Even after having Mr. Woods 10 years ago, I can still remember the joy he brought to students, from making them feeling special on their birthdays, singing songs to help students remember what was taught in class, which I can still remember to this day, and even being there for students to talk to. I was lucky enough to be taught by him for not only sixth grade but also seventh and learn a lot of things that still stick with me today. I believe Mr. Woods is a great nominee for this award and I know he has impacted many students during his time of teaching, including me.

Marah Grossman Posted 9 months ago

Although I haven’t known Mr. Woods long, I know his character and the kind of person, teacher, and advocated he his. He truly cares for his students and creates a fun and positive learning environment for his students. Mr. Woods is someone you can go to for anything, whether that be advice or just a good laugh. Life changer doesn’t even begin to describe the type of person Mr. Woods is. He has gone above and beyond his job title and created bonds with his students that have lasted for years. Mr. Woods is more than deserving of such a prestigious award and so much more. Love you Uncle, Niece

Nicholas Cannariato Posted 9 months ago

I first met Mr. Woods on an NEH summer seminar in 2014. We immediately struck up conversation and friendship, and I got the sense that he was the kind of teacher who really taught, who really never stopped growing in his pedagogy and his inquiry. Having admired his acumen from the outset, I recommend Mr. Woods without reservation for this award. He's a teacher through and through, and still further. We're all the better for it.

coleman lawton Posted 9 months ago

i was lucky enough to have mr.woods for my 7th grade year in middle school. he made 7th grade a lot easier for me. he is an amazing teacher and i highly recommend anyone who has the chance to have him as a teacher; to take it. he really will change your life for the great or good.

Brenna Lake Posted 9 months ago

Our family was lucky enough to have two children go through his class at Alston Middle. Prenn was an amazing presence in our lives, helping to make school a fun place, and teaching our kids so much more than history. His vivacious spirit helped our eldest son open up and adjust to the transition of moving to a new state and starting middle school all in the same year. He made learning about history tangible, fun, & unforgettable. Prenn is the kind of teacher every child should know, he’s the kind of teacher that leaves a positive impact on children and their families for the rest of their lives!

Arlis Groves Posted 9 months ago

Dunn Woods took time to read over my application for a study grant program. He made thoughtful suggestions about how I could improve it. I reached out after learning that he has a significant resume of global and national fellowships. He's an educator who knows the future of global peace depends on the cross-cultural connections that are made through programs like the one I applied for. Dunn Woods is a life changer!

Julialove H. Johnson Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was our daughter's history teacher for both 6th and 7th grade. Through his guidance I watched her grasp of the world grow, along with a desire to know more. Mr. Woods has the unique ability to teach each student in the manner that most reaches the student. He works to appeal to audio, visual, kinesthetic, and mixed learning styles. He pushes the student and encourages the students to engage their families, friends, neighbors, and their community to continue learning when the school day is over. Our daughter is now a student at Mary Baldwin University and is majoring in History. She readily says that it is Mr. Woods influence that first guided her onto this path. Thank you Mr. Woods for everything that you have done for our daughter and for all of the students past, present, and future who are fortunate enough to share their educational walk with you.

Robert King Posted 9 months ago

Pren Woods is one of the most dynamic teachers I have ever worked with. As a school administrator and former Social Studies teacher, I throughly enjoyed visiting his classes. His use of song as a tool to teach history was unique; his pupils loved it. Pren also did an excellent job incorporating his world travels into his instruction. For example, how many teachers, when conversing about “D Day” can say they actually saw Omaha Beach in Normandy, France? A great indicator of the quality of Pren’s instruction was the fact that his state social studies scores were always at the top! Pren Woods is one of a kind!! He is very deserving of this recognition!

Emma Kay Leftwich Posted 9 months ago

I had the pleasure of being one of Mr.Wood’s students during my first two years at Alston Middle School, and to this day he is one of the most influential teachers I have ever had. His class was not only informative, but also the creativity and energy he brought to the lessons made learning about History fun. Even after nearly 10 years I still remember some of the songs he taught us word for word. The impact he has had and continues to have on his students is amazing, and I wouldn’t be the conscientious person that I am today if it wasn’t for him. Thank you Mr. Woods and congratulations on your nomination!

Lia Johnson Posted 9 months ago

Mr.Woods was my daughter, Ashley Johnson, teacher in the 7th grade at Alston Middle. Once I met Mr. Woods I immediately liked his teaching style and attentiveness to his students. Mr. Woods is very inactive and is an “Out of the box” teacher. Ashley was very engaged in his class and couldn’t wait until she got home daily to tell me about what she learned. I hope Mr. Woods gets selected for being an outstanding teacher!! Thanks, Mrs. Lia Johnson

Jaimy Farmer Posted 9 months ago

I was lucky enough to have Mr. Woods as my history teacher in both 6th and 7th grade. Before having him as a teacher I was never one to love History, although he quickly changed that. He made learning so easy and fun through the creative songs and dances he taught us. I can remember his class always being the highlight of my day as a student. Here I am 11 years later and still able to recall the songs he taught us about history and engraved in our heads. He also still remembers the nickname he gave me 11 years ago, what a special and caring teacher. He has made such a positive impact on my life and I couldn’t think of a more deserving candidate for this award.

Tyler Wolfe Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods wasn't one of my teachers but he was definitely one of the most known and most liked teachers at Alston Middle! He was known to come to students classes on your birthday and would sing to you!

Mychael kindle Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Forest (woods) he has always been there for me and made sure i was ok even if i wasn't in his class or grade but always checked on me and sung me happy birthday every year he was one of the reason i wanted to stay at alston

Jim Maas Posted 9 months ago

I met Mr. Woods as he instructed my oldest son about 10 yrs ago. My middle son also was also a student of Mr. Woods. Mr. Woods has remained a constant member of our close friends and family. I want to say that the impact Mr. Woods has on young people is lively and infectious. His energy leveI, wow...honestly, I am envious. I wish I could keep going, smiling, and maintain the positive attitude that he does. My attitude improves when he is with us. We have started a tradition that Mr. Woods attends a football game with us every year in Columbia, where my boys attend college. Mr. Woods has attended and received degrees from multiple universities, many of which are SEC affiliated, so we get to gather at at least 1 game every year and he celebrates his college and I root on my gamecocks! This year, we went to Vanderbilt together, and what a great time we had! I know my boys are much better for having spent the time with Mr. Woods and when he comes to the game with us, it is definitely one of their favorite weeks with us. Mr. Woods has allowed me to advance my own thinking in many ways as we have discussed many of his travels and different cultures. I think everyone should come to appreciate the lifestyles and cultures of other humanities around the world. Mr. Woods has discussed these topics with me numerous times. He is even teaching the older folks. He never stops teaching and learning! I am grateful that Mr. Woods chose the path he did as you can see the testimonials show the effect he has had on many people, student and parents both included. The sacrifices he makes to follow his true path, which is molding the minds of young people, is commendable! I do not know the other candidates, but I do know Pren Woods. I cannot think it is possible to be a better candidate for the LifeChanger Award than Pren Woods.

Zachary Spargur Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods had a tremendous impact on me thoughout my academic and professional career. He helped me follow a path that I've never thought possible. I could have been a better student back then, and I always wish I could go back and listen more and do a better job with my work. But Mr. Woods helped me pursue a better life outside of Middle School. He helped be the better student now that I always wanted to be in the past. Without Mr. Woods, I don't think I would have made it to the places I am today. I don't think I would have made it to college, and I wouldn't be performing at the level I am today. Mr. Woods will always be the best teacher I have had over every other teacher, professor, and mentor that I have worked with. I say this because the drive that I have now to be the best person I can be was given to me by Mr. Woods. Thank you Mr. Woods for being the man you are. I will always be grateful for the work that you do.

Tracie Bailey Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods chooses to teach the most difficult age group of all, 7th graders. Trying to grow up but not wanting to these kids challenge everything including teachers, parents and each other. Mr. Woods truly was a life changer for our son. Our son struggled with respecting adults during middle school. Mr. Woods believed in him, guided him and also gave us valuable advice. He didn’t allow our son to be disrespectful and called him out when needed. He gave him a chance when other teachers were labeling him as a bad kid because of his unique personality. And when our son let him down, he graciously accepted an apology and continued to give his support. Our son is now a senior in high school. He found his place in high school and has flourished. What would have happened if he hadn’t had this one teacher believe in him during middle school we thankfully will never know.

Kimmel Posted 9 months ago

Mr.woods is an amazing teacher he taught me to look at history in a different way and now history is one of my favorite subjects I'm more then happy that I got a chance to learn from mr.woods he always have his way of making learning more interesting and bringing confidence to his students.

Zoe McKinney Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods has had a significant impact on my children. My sons were not in his class however, he always went out of his way to ensure they felt welcome at Alston Middle School. He was always concerned about their grades and behavior. He was an "Uncle" to them while they were at school. I have often asked him for advice concerning my sons and how to handle things as I was a single mother. Mr. Woods always stepped up to the plate to help. What a great friend! Zoe McKinney RN

Bridgett Biering Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods is most deserving of the LifeChanger of the Year award. As a parent of one of his students I know he is deserving of many more awards! I recall my daughter singing his catchy lyrics of history… I often thought I wish I had a teacher that spent the extra time to motivate as well as making history fun. Mr. Woods not only made learning fun he also made the kids feel special!

Aaliyah Teachey Posted 9 months ago

Me.Woods made 7th grade so much fun for me. He mad learning so much easier for me. He is the best teacher anyone could ask for. He made me look at life different when I was only in 7th grade. I wish I had more time with him honestly. He was the best??

Rachel Edwards Posted 9 months ago

Wow...off again to broaden your knowledge as you participate on a national board to study middle eastern culture...and will be bringing it all back to your students

Ashton Biering Posted 9 months ago

I have had the pleasure of being a student of Mr. Woods years ago. He was always so involved in our learning. He made my learning experience nothing but memorable and enjoyable! He always went above and beyond with songs and dance moves to help learn and remember different events! His syllabus was challenging but rewarding and I am thankful for him as one of the best teachers I’ve ever had!

Jen Posted 9 months ago

I met Dunn in Little Rock, Arkansas during a seminar studying the Little Rock Nine alongside of intensive racial identity/bias training. Dunn was a pivotal part to our group of teachers and offered much insight. We have stayed friends since the experience and I’m so happy that we have met. He is someone I can look up to in the educational field and I love that he shares his travel adventures and education with the rest of us. He’s always teaching—in or outside of the classroom. He most definitely deserves this award. It is too often that the greatest teachers are overlooked. I am glad that Dunn has been acknowledged for his time and energy—but more importantly, his passion of educating us all. I’m so proud of you, Dunn.

Dylan Bass Posted 9 months ago

Oh what can I say about Mr.Woods. He’s the best teacher I have ever had. He had the class that actually made me look forward to school and love class. From the funny jokes, to the nicknames he gave every student, to the songs that are still stuck in my head 9 years later, his class will be one I’ll never forget and I can’t think of a more deserving candidate for this award!

Jared Staszewski Posted 9 months ago

I came into Alston middle school not really knowing anybody. Then I walked into Mr. woods class and that’s were I learned how to express myself and open up more. He had a lot of ways to get the class involved just as educational games and candy for participating. At the end of the day Mr. Woods is more then just a teacher, he gives back to the community, and he always helps wherever he can and that’s someone that goes the extra mile when you don’t have too but he does because that’s just his nature. He just wants the best for everyone and you can see that. Congratulations on getting nominated and I couldn’t see anyone more fitting for this award. Thank you for always being there and making the transition a lot easier!

Hayden Jasso Posted 9 months ago

I had Mr. Woods for sixth grade social studies back in 2012 and to this day he is the most impactful teacher I ever had. His energy in the classroom is something that no other teacher can match and something that I will always remember. His songs and activities he plans for his classes are great memorization tools and create a positive learning environment. He is a great teacher and an excellent candidate for the Lifechanger Award.

John Posted 9 months ago

As a child and especially in my pre-high school years, I never found much mental stimulation in the teaching process of any of my classes. Mr. Woods personally endeavored to make teaching, no matter the topic, engaging and exciting. Everyday in class was a new adventure and everything Mr. Woods did had only one goal in mind - to gift his students with more knowledge. Even today almost 9 years later I can still recite verbatim most, if not all, the lessons, songs, and skits that helped me to learn. Thank you for all your help along the way, Mr. Woods!

Wade Flinner Posted 9 months ago

As an educator of 23 years, I feel I am qualified to judge the quality of a teacher. Pren Woods is one of the best teachers I've worked with in my career. His class is both engaging and instructive. I have known Pren for many years as both a colleague and a good friend and I can guarantee he is just as true a friend as a teacher. He is compassionate, empathetic, and always willing to help. Pren Woods is a very deserving candidate for this honor.

Daniel Morris Posted 9 months ago

I had Mr. Woods as a social studies teacher last year. He made social studies and history very interesting. He used songs and other fun ways to remember facts. I always enjoyed his classes. Mr. Woods is very deserving of the Lifechanger Award!

Henry Williams Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods, what can I say? He’s by far the most entertaining and influential teacher I have had. The style he uses requires you to be fully engaged in the class even if you don’t want to be and that is a very valuable skill to have as a teacher. Whether we were singing about Mohenjo-daro or Muhammad and his prophets we always had songs to help us remember and I still remember almost 9 years later. Mr. Woods deserves this award more than anyone and I hope to see him continue on his journey to becoming the greatest teacher of all time.

Lilly Felton Posted 9 months ago

He is the best person you will ever meet. I had his class and he was strict but he prepared me for the future and made his class fun and never dull. He is very special and got people out of your comfort zone and was always cracking jokes in class. He is the best teacher in the world and the funniest

Linda Cannon Posted 9 months ago

My grandson spent 7 years in another country and had been in the U.S. for only two years when Mr. Woods became his Social Studies teacher. He was over whelmed with customs, language and expectations. Mr. Woods took a special interest in him. He was able to talk to him about the food, customs, and interests from his country. I feel so blessed for my grandson to have had Mr. Wood. His special way of making students comfortable and accepted and special is amazing. I cannot think of anyone else who is more deserving of the LifeChanger of the Year award. He is already a winner to me.

Stephanie Major Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods is an awesome teacher. He loves his students so much and goes out of his way to make an individual connection with each child. He makes learning about history fun and exciting by incorporating many artistic aspects into his instruction. He often greets everyone with a smile and a song. He's an unforgettable person and teacher.

Kierra Chisolm Posted 9 months ago

Mr.Woods I may honestly say has been one of the most influential teachers that I have ever had.He always pushed me to strive better and made it easier to understand and remember the material that he was teaching in fun activities that me and my classmates enjoyed. He has taught me how to be creative with the knowledge that I have learned and how to be a team player when it comes to working in groups. Mr. Woods was very involved when it came to helping his students understand the information and He taught me strategies that I have used long after I left middle school and I can honestly say looking back I am Tremendously grateful for having a teacher that cared about my future and education and keeping me focused when I needed it the most and if any one deserves this award it is him!!

Tristan Beachy Posted 9 months ago

I have had the privilege of knowing Mr. Woods for 5 years. His teaching style is the most effective and unique to any other teacher I’ve ever had. I still know some of the songs that he taught about 5 years ago. He was always enthusiastic about every lessen he taught and made social studies fun. I always looked forward to go to his class and do anything from skits to songs. Mr. Woods’ passion for teaching should get an award on its own. I believe that Mr. Woods has earned the life changer of the year award!

Sheldon Posted 9 months ago

I wish more teachers we like mr.Woods for if they were most students wouldnt be as sad and/or mean as some are today not everyone but the majority of students are im one but mr.Woods lights up my day everyday singing songs, doing fun socializing, and even teaching real world manners and situations

Ashley Johnson Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 7th grade social studies teacher and he really helped me get out of my comfort zone. Not only did he teach me about the Cold War but he taught me how to mature in my school work and in life. He is awesome candidate for this award and I appreciated him so much.

Ryan schwein Posted 9 months ago

I am a former student of Mr. woods and I’d like to congratulatehim on his nomination! Although he taught me roughly 10 years ago I can still remember hearing him sing down the halls ?? I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of the award when I heard he was in the competition! Throughout the years he has kept contact and is even a friend of my family! Mr woods no matter if you win this award or not you are most definitely a life changer! G-O-O-D J-O-B. Good job! (He used to sing this in class)... probably still does lol

Christi Pearson Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my sons 7th grade history teacher, about 5 years ago. I admire and respect Mr. Wood's for all his dedication and passion that he gives to not only his students, but all students. He made an impact on my son, Evan Pearson and without a doubt shows that he truly cares about each student and there life-long progress of learning.

Ethan Eargle Posted 9 months ago

I can honestly say without question that Mr. Woods is the most memorable teacher that I have ever had. He was my sixth grade Social Studies teacher at Alston Middle School, and to say he made class interesting would be an understatement. Every day, he came to teach with such a high level of energy and made class fun by singing songs about the subjects we were on. However, he wasn't just a teacher who sang songs, he really tried to push his students academically and wanted nothing but the best for us. I remember thinking "Man, Mr. Woods' class is kind of hard" all the time, because he was one of my only teachers who was actually passionate about what they did. All in all, Mr. Woods taught a fantastic class which made history fun and also taught kids the importance of work ethics. So from my personal experience, I believe that he is very deserving of the Lifechanger of the year award. Good Luck Mr. Woods!

Taylor Girts Posted 9 months ago

My 7th grade year at Alston I had mr woods as my social studies teacher, back then I had a sassy mouth and an attitude you couldn’t believe! Unlike the rest of the teachers, He was the only one who stayed calmed and humble towards me. He didn’t treat me as though I had no potential or if I was just another bad kid who didn’t want to be in school. He didn’t rub me off like most teachers and pretend like I wasn’t in the class. He uplifted me. He showed me I had potential and doing all the nonsense I was doing was going to get me no where. He put my head in the right direction before I left Alston. He was one of my memorable and FAVORITE teachers.

Taylor Posted 9 months ago

I was a student of Mr. Woods at Alston middle and his teaching truly is unique and effective. His energy and creativity knows no bounds. He’s was constantly coming up with different ways to teach the material or mnemonic devices to help us out. Songs to make sure we remember that material. Over the years he is definitely one of the most memorable teachers I’ve ever had. It really was a privilege to learn from him. He’s an fantastic mentor and a great friend to students.

Michah Quarles Posted 9 months ago

Mr.Woods impacted me starting from 7th grade by talking me through many of my situations. Even up to this very moment, even though I have moved up to high school, he still checks up on me to make sure that I am okay.

Henry Ivan Campbell Posted 9 months ago

My cousin Pren is a phenomenal teacher. His commitment to his students and their learning is unparalleled. The impact that he has in the lives of his students are life changing and make them better humans.

Melissa Wentzel Posted 9 months ago

Mr Woods was the best teacher. He made learning fun!! The best part of his teaching was that he made everything into a song to help the kids remember.

Angie Cartin Posted 9 months ago

I had the privilege of working with Mr. Woods for several years at Alston Middle School. His energy is boundless and his enthusiasm for learning and then passing along the knowledge to his students is extraordinary. Anytime I passed by his classroom it was always fun, energetic and lively, to say the least! In the eyes of middle schoolers, our world is huge and they are only a small part of it. I believe Mr. Woods always brought all of his experiences in to the classroom every day to shrink the world just enough for the students to realize their significance. He not only taught his students using his traveling experiences, but I too learned many things regarding history and world cultures by listening to his summer travel adventures and he was always willingly to answer my questions. Good luck Mr. Woods--you are a Life Changer for sure!

Donald Lauria Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods definitely had an impact on my life he got me to come out of my shell and interact with people although we would but heads sometimes I always looked forward to his class at the end of the day he’s one the reason I came to love history class so much his songs and plays definitely help kids memorize the material Mr. Woods definitely deserves this award.

Ni’yea Yearns Posted 9 months ago

I had the honor of being a student in Mr.Woods class my 6th and 7th grade year at Alston middle school. This man is impeccable at what he does and contains enough knowledge and talent to help any student succeed! He definitely deserves this! I am now concluding my junior year of college and last semester I took my last history course for my core curriculum and I was able to remember information using a lot of what he taught me and creating a song for my final project that withheld a lot of the historical information I had learned from within the course and methods we used in middle school. I’m so grateful to have known him and I’m grateful for all that he had taught me in my two years of being in his class! I could never forget this mans impact on my childhood and adulthood!

Marci Caldwell Posted 9 months ago

My grandson, Matthew Vargas is in Mr. Woods social studies class this year. Matthew said "Mr. Woods is strict but I don't mind because he is my favorite teacher." He comments often how Mr. Woods keeps the class interesting and makes learning fun. I have noticed a change in Matthew's interest and attitude in school this year! Mr. Woods has ignited a spark in Matthew for learning and he really wants to make good grades. He never complains about homework or the reports he must do,and he is always concerned about following the directions and doing his work correctly. Matthew's self esteem has improved from past years and I want to thank you for pushing our boy to be the best he can be. Mr. Woods I am sure Matthew will never forget you and neither will I.you have a gift Mr. Woods and I am thankful Matthew is in your class.

Sarah Ward Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods taught me about a decade ago when I was a student at Alston Middle. To say that he is an extraordinary teacher would be an understatement. He has a unique and creative way of teaching students that leaves a a lasting impression. I took Mr. Woods’ honors history class. There were a couple of times at the beginning of the school year when I thought the class was too hard for me, and that I didn’t have what it took to be in a gifted class. Mr. Woods encouraged me and did not let me give up. He taught me that hard work and determination go a long way. I used that same discipline he taught me throughout the rest of my educational and professional career. He is indeed a life changer and a gifted teacher.

Benjamin Harris Posted 9 months ago

I met Dunn three months ago in Poland as part of a Holocaust studies program sponsored by Echoes and Reflections and Yad Vashem. Dunn is incredibly engaging, creative, and fully committed to the craft of teaching. It's clear that his passion shines through no matter what he does and it was a privilege getting to travel with him (and learn from him).

Ashton Bowman Posted 9 months ago

If anyone deserves this title I believe it is Mr. Woods !!! I am a graduate of 2019 and the only reason I got to where I am today is because of the knowledge I learned from Mr. Woods !!! He is An amazing teacher and his class was something I look forward to. I was bad at memorization but he taught / made songs to help his students learn better. This also made learning enjoyable. Mr woods is all around a great person. I’m blessed to have met such an helpful, determined, and exceptional human being ??

joshua palmer Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods has taught me, my cousin Jacob, Ashley, Bailey. his style of teaching is my favorite because for a student that Learns better with hands on stuff then just getting told write this and this. he is one of the best teachers I know and when you when to Alston on your birthday he would come and sing you happy birthday every birthday I'm always scared hes going to come out of no wear and start singing

Sarah Radwan Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my most impactful teacher of all time. I had him as a world history teacher during 6th grade at Alston Middle School, and now, as a junior that attends Princeton University, I still use the lessons he taught me about both life and academic success on a daily basis. He taught me how to push myself to perform at my best even when that level of effort was not required. He also showed me how academia and the arts were not mutually exclusive. I still remember the majority of the songs he used to teach my history class and I still to this day put words that I need to remember to the tune of music the I cannot erase from my mind. Mr. Woods is a prime example of a teacher that taught me more than just what was required of a syllabus. He believed in me when I couldn’t even believe in myself. Early schooling was difficult for me, as I was a young middle eastern girl that learned English as her second language—I did not know how to believe in myself. Mr. Woods, however, looked past everything and saw a young child that loved to learn and fed the ambition within me through trivia about Greek Mythology and the challenge to memorize Marc Antony’s speech at Caesar’s funeral within one weekend. He taught me how to believe in myself through coming out of my shell and sharing my love for singing and the arts in front of my class at his numerous talents shows. Performing arts have continued to be a large part of my life and I carried on my love of singing through joining an a cappella group at Princeton. I do not know (and wouldn’t like to imagine) how the trajectory of my life would have changed without Mr. Woods. When people ask me about one teacher that changed my life, Mr. Woods is the first to come to mind; even after 2.5 years at Princeton, this has remained unchanged.

Nadia Morris Posted 9 months ago

When I think back to middle school, Mr. Woods is the first teacher that comes to mind. What I remember most is the songs we would sing in his class, and how they made learning fun. Being able to interact with the class and him to understand the concept of what is being taught is really important. What Mr. Woods is doing, and has done for me was real teaching. We didn’t sit in our desks for a whole semester writing notes in quite room. Being in his class gave me a love for history that has stuck with me all the way to my freshman year of college. I believe he is one of the best history teachers a child could ever have. He is the kind of teacher that changes, inspires, and saves the lives of his students as they go through the good and bad of middle school. Not only do I believe he inspires students, but teachers as well. When you see his passion and enthusiasm for teaching it would be hard to not want to be held to the same standard as him. Mr. Woods is the gold standard.

Lauren Wentzel Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 6th social studies teacher. I can honestly say that I have never had a teacher as impactful as him. I remember feeling so excited to go to his class everyday and see what new song he was going to teach us. Still to this day as a 20 year old college student, I still sing his songs to remember content in my history classes or if I hear the original song and it makes me think of the song that Mr. Woods taught me. Mr. Woods is one of the most caring people I have ever met. In 6th grade, my birthday was on a Saturday. Mr. Woods personally called my mom’s cell phone just so that he could sing me “Happy Birthday” like he did for every student on their birthday. I can truly say that Mr. Woods totally changed the way that I approached learning about history and he 100% changed my life. He will forever be my favorite teacher and I will never forget the amazing, caring, dedicated man that I was so lucky to have been taught by!

Diamin Hill Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing teacher not like the others. He’s teaching style is one that is easy to understand. Not only does he tech but he makes sure that his students are doing well! He has impacted my life in a positive way reminding me that it’s okay to be myself! Mr. Woods has changed my life for the good!

Luke Jones Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods, taught me in 6th grade, and inspired my love for history and social issues. I have never, and I can say this with confidence, ever had a teacher so impactful and influential as Mr. Woods. He is never satisfied and always working on new teaching techniques to keep his students engaged in whatever he is teaching. Mr. Woods is the definition of a LifeChanger, and I accredit him very much for who I am today and who I will become in the future! I love and thank you Mr. Woods!!!

Amy Williams Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of the greats. My son and I still sing the songs of his beautifully dynamic classroom. Cenote Mr Woods!

Corey compton Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods is a fun and very talented teacher. He has a lot of fun stuff planned out all of the time for his seventh grade classes. He is great for setting people up for success later on in life. He teaches well and means well to a lot of people.

Ryan Okpych Posted 9 months ago

I had the lucky honor to be a student of Mr. Woods during middle school. His class left an everlasting, positive effect on how I view education and the world. He came up with the most creative activities to help us do well on our tests, whether it be dancing to Vampire Weekend's "Holiday" (but rewritten to be about Egyptian culture), or reciting Julius Caesar's speech in front of the class (which I tragically couldn't). I haven't had a single teacher who has even come close to being as engaging as he was. Mr. Woods deeply cared about each of his students (and still does, judging by other comments). He always checked to see how everyone was doing, and you could tell the students were definitely his number one priority every day. He also taught me to be more open and be more appreciative of other people's cultures/opinions/ideas. That is something I still carry with me to this day. Not only is he active in the school, but he is an active member of the Summerville community, which alone, makes him an incredible mentor and teacher. No matter where I've seen him, whether it be at school or at the farmer's market, he is always teaching someone about something. He is truly the epitome of "knowledge is power." Most importantly though--he always wants to share that knowledge.

Rachel Edwards Posted 9 months ago

I stood outside your classroom listening as you were teaching yesterday about the impact of music specifically opera...and when I knocked the students were so engaged...really wanted to come and sit and listen...

Lori Chapman Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods taught two of my children. He was wonderful with them. His class is very interactive. He really gets his students to think. They don't just sit in a desk and listen to him speak. I think the children learn and retain more with his style of teaching. They have to get use to it but once they do they have fun while learning. Everyone gravitates to him and he is a pleasure to see and a great asset at Alston. He is definately a Life Changer!!

Kaitlyn Chapman Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods taught my brother and I in middle school. His way of teaching has positivity impacted us because not only did it bring both of us out of our shells a little bit, but also we remember the content we learned after all these years. Most history teachers are boring. Mr. Woods’ personality makes you want to learn and makes you want to sing the songs he creates. He is an unforgettable teacher, person and soul who has a strong passion for what he does and love to connect with students. Whether it be giving us nicknames or supporting us at our extracurricular activities, Mr. Woods has always been a person to look up to as a friend and as a mentor. The projects, the songs, the scenes, the scripts, the time we spent, it was all worth it. Being able to be taught by him is a pleasure. Truly an inspiration.

Joe Justis Posted 9 months ago

I have never been taught in school by Mr. Woods, but I’ve met him on multiple occasions through friends who have, and he’s a extraordinary guy. He’s always willing to drum up a conversation with anyone, or crack a joke to make people laugh. For the past 7 years or so I’ve only seen him a handful of times, but every time I do he remembers my name and we pick up our conversations right where we left off. You don’t find a lot of people like that these days. It’s evident in his everyday actions that Mr. Woods puts others before himself, and that he is always willing to make a genuine effort to support the people he meets and brighten their day.

Breanna Taff Posted 9 months ago

Mr.Woods was my absolute favorite teacher. He was not only a teacher to everyone of his students, but he also cared for them in a fatherly, or me a Uncle way since he called me Niecey. He used amazing teaching skills to keep all of the students involved, especially since we were in middle school and that was our most rebellious time period. I absolutely love Mr.Woods and I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to have him as a teacher. I wish and hope other students after me get to experience just how great of a teacher he really is.

Zemirah McEachern Posted 9 months ago

I am a former student of Mr. Woods and I can say he definitely has a long lasting reputation for leaving an impact on students. He taught me 6th grade social studies and now I’m currently in college and when I look back i can honestly say I passed social studies because of his unique techniques to unite the one thing I love the most with learning, music. Since then I’ve carried that technique to get through a couple of classes and it still work and still keep me motivated. Definitely a pleasure to have been taught by such a impacting soul. Thank you.

Debbie Witherspoon Posted 9 months ago

Mr. woods taught my daughter in middle school and he is my favorite! He made sure to stay on top of my kid more than any teacher ever has! He was a chaperone for one of the trips that the 8th graders go on, and my daughter mainly wanted to go because not only because her friends going, but Mr. woods was. She still will talk about the memories she has made in his class YEARS LATER and he still remembers me and her YEARS LATER! Thank you Mr. Woods for being an amazing teacher!!

Makayla Witherspoon Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 8th grade history teacher, and I will never forget him. I absolutely hated history until I got placed in his class, mainly because I always thought it was just so boring. Mr. woods made learning about the wars and the different events in history so interesting by having us do reenactments to preform in front of the class and created songs to help us remember. 5 years later, I can still sing a couple of those jingles off the top of my head. Not to mention, Mr. woods made all his students feel like family by giving everyone a nickname. His class in a way felt like home. I have yet to come across another teacher like Mr. Woods, mainly because of the amount of effort he puts in each individual student. I really wish I could’ve had him every year after that because history class was never the same after that year was over. I absolutely miss him and his class! Mr. Woods was a GEM!

Merill Bell Posted 9 months ago

I met him on a 2015 PD trip to Japan and China. He is absolutely an amazing individual, intelligent and fun to be around - was singing songs he had composed about historical events. Dunn is a born educator. If I could go back to being a seventh grader, I would definitely want him to be my teacher!

Aryonne Johnson Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my seventh grade teacher at Alston Middle. I’m in college and I still sing the songs that he has taught me because they were memorable. Mr. Woods teaching style is a kind that will have you excited to come to class ready to learn; furthermore, it’s a style that every student will enjoy without a doubt. I’ll never forget about one of the best teachers I had, Mr. Woods.

Patiance myles Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods is an outstanding teacher he is kind hearted and also straight forward he taught me so many skills that I took on an used in my life Mr. Woods spectacular songs helped students for many years learn an remember the subject he was teaching because of him i learned to respect others am to appreciate every day of life as so does he

Shekeara Smith Posted 9 months ago

Mr.Woods was my 7th grade teacher at Alston and I truly enjoyed his class. Before I met Mr.Woods ,I hated history but he makes his lessons energetic and memorable. I still remember all the songs he taught us about Fidel Castro. He was also one to tell us how it is to better us and also is very family oriented. Mr.Woods would check on his students when he knew something was wrong, as middle schoolers we had a lot of emotions going on and confused on things that Mr.woods guided us through. To my freshmen year In college I truly am thankful that I was blessed to be taught by such an intelligent spirit.

Brittany Grant Posted 9 months ago

Mr.Woods was a teacher of mine in 7th grade. His teaching skills were very unique quite memorable. Six years later and I still can recall the song about the “Cold War”. Also, because of Mr. Woods, I was able to attend a history field trip as well as visiting a state I’ve never been before . Being that I’m in college now , I’ve realized how blessed I was to be able to have such an upstanding teacher like Mr. Woods , thank you!

Caroline Holland Posted 9 months ago

I met Mr. Woods through a former colleague and was immediately struck by his warm, humorous nature. As I got to know him better and spoke with him about his work, it became clear to me that he is truly passionate about what he does. He constantly seeks out professional development opportunities to ensure that he is the best educator he can be. He does not just want to ensure that his students learn the assigned material (though they do!); he also wants to make sure they are engaged and thoughtful citizens within their communities.

Vicky Pittman Posted 9 months ago

I first met Dunn about 4 years ago at the Metropolitan Opera House Educational Conference. Long story short, I view Dunn as a mentor. His education, insight and experience coupled with his ever open, friendly and non-judgmental approach makes him accessible and easy to ask even some of the most challenging questions around education, race, diversity and language. Words matter. His latest contribution to The Met Conference (where around 85 professional educators meet together each year) was in reference to our social studies around the opera Porgy and Bess. He reminded us that it is important to use the word 'enslaved' when referring to someone who was kidnapped and forced into servitude. They are not 'a slave' but they are 'enslaved'. Dunn is considered a leader at the MET by the Met staff as well as by his colleagues. We all love and respect him. He certainly has influenced so many of his fellow educators from primary to high school. I highly recommend him a The Life Changer of the year.

Haley obrien Posted 9 months ago

Mr woods is the best teacher you could ever have I always struggled in history till 6th grade in middle school he taught me a lot and mad learning fun he tough songs did fun research protects and more and then when I was in 8th grade he was a chaperone in are dc trip and helped understand a lot more then what he had already taught us I was a pleasure getting taught by him !

Davon Smith Posted 9 months ago

Mr.Woods changed my life in many different ways he was the first actual teacher that I understood his joy always made his class fun even on your saddest days he could make you smile or get a laugh in or two thank you Mr.Woods I hope they select you as the Life changer of the year

Landon Culver Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 7th grade history teacher. I was actually transferred into his class a week after school started. He immediately made me feel welcome and brought me up to speed on what was happening in the class. He always had so much energy and was so enthusiastic about teaching. He incorporated all learning styles into his teaching. We would sing and dance and act our way through history. It wasn't always fun and games in his class. He was a serious teacher that expected a lot out of his students. We always had a project or assignment we were working on. He made History fun and interesting to learn, and that is not always easy. Mr. Woods is a difference maker. Congratulations on your nomination Mr. Woods! You deserve it!!....Lil Bro

Will Platt Posted 9 months ago

I first met Mr.Woods when I was in 6th grade and I thought his methods were a little weird but when I had him as a 7th grader he opened up my mind and eyes to a whole new way of seeing things. Through this he taught me life lessons that I cherish to this day as a senior at ARHS. I absolutely loved his method of teaching and really believe it should be implemented by other teachers across the world.

Hannah Waggoner Posted 9 months ago

Mr. woods was my 7 th grade teacher. He is one of the best teachers I have ever had. He made learning fun and wanted every one to accomplish big things. To this day I still remember the songs he taught us. He is one of the nicest and funniest person Ive ever meet. I feel like mr. Woods would be the best teacher for this award.

Jennifer Waggoner Posted 9 months ago

My 3 kids have all had the pleasure of having Mr Woods during their middle school years at Alston Middle School. He is a one of a kind (unforgettable) with a big heart and a passion for teaching and instructing that is not seen often. He creates a learning environment like no other and goes the extra mile to ensure all kids have the best experience. My family is grateful that Mr Woods was always encouraging and has a love for life, experience and knowledge that is reflected in his gift of teaching, everyday!! Thank you, Mr Woods

Jacob Simmons Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was by far the best teacher I have ever had the pleasure of being taught by! He is very involved in his students life! He accepted every invitation to my birthday parties and dinner! He still checks on me and makes sure I’m on the right track! He stays in touch with your parents to make sure you are staying on track! He was my mentor for our trip to D.C. and he made it so much fun for our group! He is by far the best, most inspiring teach I have ever had! He makes learning so fun and takes it to a new level! Thank you for everything Mr. Woods!

Sarah Waggoner Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing teacher. Two years after I have had him I still remember his songs. Those songs help me remember things from history. He is an amazing teacher and he also teaches you things you need as a everyday skill. Thanks for everything you have done Mr.Woods your the best!!

Ardae Hobbs Posted 9 months ago

I recently worked with Mr. Woods in a practicum experience, in which I got to observe his educational practices and interactions with his students. From my first day with him, it was evident that he has a passion for what he does. His ability to connect with his students to promote their educational well-being is tremendous. He sets high expectations for his students and emphasized the fact that all of them are capable of learning and higher-order thinking. He allows his students to be actively engaged in history and his enthusiasm about the content reflects on the students' enthusiasm. It is clear that he has a profound impact not only in teaching his students, but making a difference in their lives. This is just a summary of many aspects that make him deserving of this award.

Hannah Waggoner Posted 9 months ago

Mr. woods was my 7 th grade teacher. He is one of the best teachers I have ever had. He made learning fun and wanted every one to accomplish big things. To this day I still remember the songs he taught us. He is one of the nicest and funniest person Ive ever meet. I feel like mr. Woods would be the best teacher for this award.

Ann Bailey Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods has become a member of my family (an uncle, as we call him), and I could not be more grateful for his presence in our lives. He was a family friend of my parents before going on to teach my two sisters, both of whom loved learning from him and still refer to his class today. I went to another school and did not receive instruction from Mr. Woods, but that hasn't stopped him from leaving a birthday song in my messages every year. His is a kind, intelligent, thoughtful person who deserves recognition for his incredible dedication to his community.

Kelsey Sweat Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods is the best social studies teacher you could ever ask for. He makes his classes really fun to be in.

Kirsten Hart Posted 9 months ago

He's a great teacher. I like his teachings because they bring everything together.

Carlos Sweat Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 7th grade year teacher and he was amazing. Not only did he teach us his assigned curriculum, but he taught us everlasting life skills that I still use today.

Logan Palma Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Wood was my middle school social studies teacher. He was one of the best teachers I have ever had. His class was one of a kind and he had made class so much fun everyday. That was one of the only classes I looked forward to each and everyday. Mr. Woods with out a doubt deserves this award.!!!

Nick Holl Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 6th grade social studies teacher. Coming into the school year and meeting him for the first time was incredibly overwhelming, with his upbeat attitude and warnings of the singing, dancing, and acting to expect in the class. He did something not many teachers are able to do and that was bring me out of my shell to where I was doing all these things and more in front of friends and sometimes family. But on the education side he was no slouch either. He taught me many skills for studying and learning content that I still use now as a sophomore in college. Above all though Mr. Woods was a great friend and continues to be. He even went to the lengths of calling me on my birthday while he was in Turkey, and sang happy birthday to me. He also did the same for my nephew, another student of his. To this day we message back and forth every now and then checking on each other, getting updates on each other’s lives. To say he was a big influence for me is an understatement, he still continues to be to this day and I couldn’t be more thankful to have had him as a teacher.

Eric Dojan Posted 9 months ago

Over the course of the past decade I have been fortunate to be able to meet with Mr Dunn and many of his students on a yearly basis as they embark upon the section of their curriculum which covers free market Capitalism. It is my understanding that the students are invited to come out of their own volition on a Saturday morning to speak with not only me but a sampling of small business owners from our area to hear first hand what led each of us to begin our journey and how to the best of our ability we each make a profit in our various chosen fields. As a former middle school student myself I truly wish I had been fortunate enough to have had a teacher such as Mr Dunn when I was their age Now, because he is so close to it, he may not ever fully be able to see from the same perspective with which I and probably many, many others see as well. What is so obviously uncommon from the get go is the incredible energy and passion that he shares with his students as well as those around him. An energy that is off the scale to the point of immeasurability Trust me I am not blowing smoke... besides my wife being an elementary teacher, I have spent a great deal of my adult life in the company of educators and I mean this when I say it - He is clearly changing those young lives for the better!! - so... as a parent myself and on behalf of all parents I’d like to take this opportunity to say Thank You to Mr Dunn, wish him well and ask him to keep up the outstanding work!!!

Taysia Scott Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my social studies teacher in 6th grade. I graduated from high school school almost two years ago and I STILL remember the songs he taught us in class. They were beyond helpful, and I’ve never seen someone be so committed to teaching their students. In fact, he did more than just teach us, he went the extra mile every single day to make sure we were having fun while learning. The amount of passion he has is unmatched! Mr. woods is hands down one of those teachers that you will never forget; There’s no other that would deserve this award more than him.

Joni Williams Posted 9 months ago

I have to start by saying it has truly been a pleasure knowing Mr. Woods. When my daughter first arrived at Alston Middle School, she was placed in his honor history class. He had such a unique teaching style, that it soon became one of her favorite classes. Soon after, Mr Woods became a household name. We enjoyed fun stories about the latest in his classroom and the many outburst of songs he sang from time to time. As the years went by, he went from calling my daughter student and started calling her niece. That was about 7 years ago. My son has also gone through Alston Middle and had the pleasure of getting to know Mr Woods as well. We really appreciate him and enjoy speaking to him every time we encounter him. He is truly the definition of a Life Changer. Thank you for being you!

Helen Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 7th grade Social Studies teacher last year. He is an amazing teacher and an amazing person. He is a role model to his students because he, himself, is a life long learner. He spends his summer vacation attending different conferences to learn more about history all around the world and brings back new ideas to share with his students. His stories and reflections on what he experienced is far more than any other teacher I've ever had for history. We love being active learners and taking pride in our work because learning is so much fun in his classroom. We are always moving, singing, and acting out different parts of history. It goes beyond note taking and memorizing and we all have become better public speakers. Mr. Woods also cares for you and encourages you even when you are no longer in his class. He is interested in how you are doing, your hobbies and your family. He cares about you and wants the best for you. My older brother who is a senior in college, still keeps up with Mr. Woods. He is a special person, especially to our family-we appreciate him so much.

Hunter Horton Posted 9 months ago

Mr.Woods was actually the only social studies teacher I liked and I remember most of his lessons till this day. Defiently a good reward nominee

Elizabeth Gumbiner Posted 9 months ago

I have the pleasure of receiving many of Mr. Woods former students. I teach a 9th grade upper level course that requires historical background knowledge. I rely on middle school teachers to teach the historical piece as we are focused on Geography. When I need to draw on the historical background, Mr. Wood's students are typically the first to recall and apply their knowledge. Many times they reference the material by using song lyrics. His methods work to help students learn and apply their knowledge. His impact is seen beyond the classroom. As many of his students graduate from high school, he is there to celebrate with them at graduation and their celebrations. It is evident the deep and meaningful relationships Mr. Woods has made with his former students. His impact on their lives goes beyond the classroom and into their future.

Taylor Elliott Posted 9 months ago

Mr.Woods was my social studies teacher in 6th grade. I remember switching into his class because a teacher I originally had left. And this may sound bad but I’m so glad that it happened. He treated all of his students like family literally! Lol he even began calling me his “niece”. I even remember him singing me happy birthday, the Friday before my birthday. And then on the day of my birthday he called my mom to wish me a happy birthday and to enjoy it. It really meant a lot to me that’s something I’d never forget. He also came up with the coolest ways for all his students to remember things! Lol its crazy he used to make up catchy songs for us to sing in class so we could remember the material that we learned. He’s the best teacher ever honestly, no other like him!!!!

MalVerne Inniss Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods is definitely the teacher of the year in my book. He kept my son Roman engaged and excited about school all year long. Rarely have I seen a teacher maintain the energy and excitement in teaching today's young people. Mr Woods is #1. I know my son will never forget a teacher like Mr. Woods and I know I won't either.

Samy Posted 9 months ago

Mr Wood is a lovely human being as well as a very nice teacher. I have been positively impressed by his educational approach and his interest for tranmitting the knowledgde. Mr Wood is a person who will always be there for his students and his friends!

June Sullivan Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods is constantly seeking to update his skills and knowledge in order to give his students his best efforts in preparing them for adulthood. He teaches critical thinking, engagement, and investment along with his subject matter.

Lorraine White Posted 9 months ago

I came to know Mr. Wood back in 2008 when he was hired for the 6th Grade Social Studies position at Alston Middle School. As the choral teacher and my love for the “ARTS”, I was very impress with his teaching style. His lessons were innovative, inspiring and most of all, he incorporated the five components of the “ARTS” into his teaching style. His students were actively engaged in the lessons he presented to them. He taught students how to think outside of the box. Many times when I would walk into the media center or his classroom, I felt like I was attending a theatrical performance or concert. His students presented facts and projects through various art forms. I was in awe of the creativeness of their presentations. Mr. Wood has taught his students how to become life-long learners. For in the past twelve years I knew him, he traveled around the world every summer expanding his knowledge about his subject matter. What he learned from his travels, he imparted into his students. He deserves this award. Mr. Woods is a World of Knowledge, Changing the Lives of Students Educationally, by Teaching Them How to Have a Brighter Day in Impacting the Lives of Others.

Skila Rayn Williams Posted 9 months ago

Mr. woods ! Wow so many words to say how you’ve changed my life. You thought me respect , patients , and how to accept the challenges and how to over come them and to never give up! My first time meet you was 6th grade , and to this day in 2019 almost 2020. Being 23 years of age I still remember the things you have taught me, the perfect teaching within school assignments with your singing lessons and activities you would always creat. The time and energy you would give EVERYDAY! You always gave 100% !! you never gave up. The self confidence I gained within myself from being opened up from my shell. From preforming in front of the class alone and also with other. Gained co-working skills. He’s so awesome with a warm, loving energetic personality.

Proud Mom Posted 9 months ago

I have to say that Mr. Woods was the only teacher in middle school to impact my son on a new level of learning. My son was always a little day dreamer in class. First Mr. Woods was eager to improve how I could interact as a parent and how my son Bodhi could learn on a leave that enticed him. Our family proudly calls Mr. Woods one of the best teachers we have ever had.

Michael Mudge Posted 9 months ago

My wife and I met Dunn in a beer bar in Iceland three years ago and it has been a very rewarding friendship ever since. Just knowing him for a few minutes you just knew he was a special person. Nobody is more deserving.

Bryan Maas Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods made me like history and I never did before. He made all of his students feel special in some way. I’ll never forget the time he came to church with me or my house for dinner. More than a teacher, more than a Lifechanger!

Trae Ray Posted 9 months ago

Mr Woods is the best teacher ever

Annagrace Posted 9 months ago

Mr. woods was my 6th grade history teacher, and remains one of my favorite teachers. Unlike many other educators Mr. Woods came up with teaching strategies that I still use today. He always made learning enjoyable through song and dance, and focused on making sure everyone not only knew but also understood the material. Hands down one of the best teachers I’ve ever had.

Ariel Smith Posted 9 months ago

Mr.Woods was my 6th and 7th grade Social Studies teacher. I’m about to graduate college, and he is still the most engaging teacher I’ve ever had even out of my professors. I still have songs that I do not know the real lyrics to anymore due to his historical remixes. I remember his classes taking me out of my comfort zone, but they were always effective in teaching me in a fun way where I actually learned and didn’t just memorize. I see videos now of teachers finding creative ways to involve their students with dancing and singing, and I remember already doing that years ago with Mr. Woods. His classes, his personality and his teaching methods were undoubtedly the most memorable I’ve ever had.

Clay Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods had such a positive impact on my little brother and so many others. Aside from being a great teacher, he is an even better person. He is certainly deserving of this award!

Shannon Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my son's 7th grade history teacher. My son loves history and Mr. Woods pushed him to excel at every level. I must say that I have never met someone who loves their job and the children that they teach as much as he does. His charismatic personality penetrates all those around him. His personal involvement with my son continued throughout his high school years. Mr Woods not only made an impact on my son but on me as well.

Cody brunner Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods class was one I’ll never forget! His use of songs, poems, etc. really helped to learn the material and made class fun! He pushed us past our comfort zones and arrived to make sure we were the best we could be! Still to this day he checks in to make sure I’m doing well and staying on top of things after i graduated high school!

Grayson Koellner Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was my social studies teacher in 6th grade. He has greatly impacted me as a student and a person. The biggest thing he taught me was confidence, through performing songs and presentations to the class. Many teachers fade throughout the years and go unforgotten, but not Mr. Woods. He still keeps in contact to this day. last year, he showed up at my graduation party and announced that we were going to sing a song that went like this... “Buddha was a man was a Hindu man, was a Hindu man with an awesome plan, he said stick with me, I’ll take you higher, reach Nirvana have no desire.” It’s crazy that I didn’t even have to think about the lyrics to a song I had learned 6 years ago! He definitely cares about his students personal lives as well as their education! He is well deserving of this!

Cara Manger Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing teacher! All of his creative learning techniques really help you remember the material. Not only does he teach students, but he also cares for them greatly! If you’re ever down, he will be the first person or teacher to notice!

Logan curry Posted 9 months ago

Mr. woods taught me and my classmates to stand out! Besides getting good grades, he showed us how to get involved and speak up. He never left anyone out, everyone had a place in his classroom. Definitely a life changer!

Shalick Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was an incredible and impactful teacher. He inspired a passion for history that I didn’t even know was inside of me. Each day I walked into his classroom was filled with laughter, learning, and support. He was a great teacher that taught so much more than just the school curriculum, he also taught how to be an engaged person in the world.

Ellie Fulton Posted 9 months ago

Mr Woods is an amazing teacher! Other than his brilliant teaching, he also cares for each and every student. I remember his content much more than I ever had for any teacher.

Andy Yeoh (Malaysia) Posted 9 months ago

Pren "Dunn" Woods - my buddy! I first met Pren when I left my home country, Malaysia, to study mass communications in the University of Georgia in 1998. I had travelled halfway across the world with just one friend from home and hardly knew anyone. I joined the "Bulldog Christian Fellowship" on campus and was acquainted with Pren, who would eventually become one of my best friends. His warmth, his unique sense of humour, and most importantly his authenticity, vulnerability, and honesty... endeared me to him and made me feel like I've truly found a real friend! Pren and I, and another caucasian friend, Joey, formed a culturally diverse friendship circle (and bond) and we learned so much from each other during my time in the US. We would discuss and debate about everything and anything: culture, faith, food, music, sports and so much more. It was truly a relationship that has enriched my life so much and the impact it left on me lasted to this day. I remember one summer (year 2000), Pren came home with me to Malaysia for a visit. Being the social butterfly that he is, he had no issues submersing himself into the culture and made friends everywhere. The moment he got into Malaysia, he joined me and jumped right in to a youth camp I was involved in, and was in his natural element. He helped out with the activities, in the particular, music... and did whatever was needed and whatever he could to make the experience of the young people in the camp an a memorable one. The youths loved him and kept asking me when Pren would be back again -- testament to the impact he left on them. While in in Malaysia, Pren would often engage in conversations with the locals, sometimes randomly walking up to strangers at restaurants or on the streets to just talk and exchange ideas and learning about each other. He would sometimes burst out in a song, in full performance mode, out of nowhere. At first, some of the locals thought it strange, but later were endeared to him, and became a conversation starter. That's Pren... everywhere he goes, conversations get started... ideas are exchanged... relationships and bridges are built. I remember one time, Pren and I were at a friend's house, who had his toddler son join us on the couch, watching TV. When the son asked who Pren was, my friend, ignorantly and unintentionally, used a derogatory term to describe Pren's African American heritage. It was an awkward moment for me. I knew my friend did not know better as he was not as culturally sensitive having not been in America before. And I thought Pren might just blow up -- and I would totally understand. Instead, Pren patiently and politely explained to both the toddler and his father why it was an inappropriate term, gave a short history lesson and taught from the heart what it all meant. I thought that was a powerful moment. And that speaks so much about my friend, Pren. I have not seen Pren since 2000 and I miss him dearly. Hope to be reunited with him again one day soon!

Huy Tran Posted 9 months ago

Woods is an excellent and very caring teacher. He teaches us critical thinking in high school with each history lesson. I still remember it today because of his unique teaching skills with dogs and dances. We had good debate in his class and everyone participate with each perspective. It's a 10 grade class that is like a master's class setting for creativity and open discussions - so great of a teacher. We learned so much from him. We were actually excited each day to go to his class and learn, I know... imagine that! I am a better person because of him. Now, I am in the military serving my country ...around the world and I still apply his 10 grade world history lessons to this day.

Chip Posted 9 months ago

I first met Dunn in 1991 when we were cast members with the international cross cultural organization Up With People. We traveled the world together for one year with over 150 other students from over 20 countries doing community service and performing in a live musical/dancing show. I'm sure with his vast background and appreciation for many cultures he is a wonderful teacher. As a former teacher I sense he has a lot to offer young people in his classroom. I wish him all the best with his nomination.

Dakota Hill Posted 9 months ago

Dunn has been a great mentor and friend to me. I meet him working at Alston Middle School where he showed his passion and dedication for his career by keeping in contact and counseling students he had not see in over 4 years-still managing to remember what some would think to be trivial details about what students had shared with him about their personal life. This passion and intensive care for others is not isolated to just his previous students. I was never one of his students, yet he has showed the same care for me. A life changer of the year, should be someone who demonstrates their love and care for others even when not in the spot light. For this reason, I believe Dunn should when the life changer of the year.

Jordan Wilder Posted 9 months ago

Mr Woods is one of the most creative teachers i’ve ever had. He always is trying to find ways to make his lessons more interesting.He cares about students in the classroom and outside and that’s what i think makes him stand out then the other nominees. Even when your not in his class anymore he always checks up on you. That’s why Pren Woods deserves to be life changer of the year. jordan wilder (former student and still learning from him)

Paityn Remeika Posted 9 months ago

I had Mr. Woods my 6th grade year, but knew him for years prior, as he taught my older brother, and he was the teacher I was looking most forward to having. In moved into his class a few weeks into the school year, leaving all of my friends I’ve had for years behind in my other classes and straight into his first period. He was ecstatic he was teaching me and I felt welcomed. He set me in a group I instantly became friends with, and some still to this day. While there is homework and projects due in his class, one would find it impossible not to have fun in the class because of his endless antics and songs for practically any subject we learned. Mr. Woods is more deserving of this award than anyone because of his constant dedication to his students in making sure they learn the material, have fun doing it, and become better students and overall young adults. Mr. Woods is a life changer!

Lance bryant Posted 9 months ago

I had the privilege of having Mr.Woods as my history teacher about 6 years ago. He was always out going and it was always a fun time in his class, never was it not filled with fun and a great learning environment. He will teach you a lot.

Kianna Gavin Posted 9 months ago

Mr. Woods was an amazing and outgoing teacher. I was his 6th and 7th grade student and I am now a High school graduate. He always went out of his way to teach and make sure his students understood what we were learning . I would never forget the ways he made me laugh even on my worst days. I will always remember his singing and songwriting techniques that helped me through my eighth grade And high school years. To Mr.Woods Thank You for your dedication and many laughs that we shared. Good luck!

Heather Byington Posted 9 months ago

Dunn is a very dedicated teacher and lifelong learner. He makes a big impact on his students’ lives.

Angel Brown of Angel Blends Organics Posted 9 months ago

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Woods approximately 6 years ago. I recognized from our very first encounter that he loved his students and was very passionate about educating. Each year, he takes his students on a field trip which includes the Summerville Farmers Market. They always come by and speak to me. We have had some awesome conversations about entrepreneurship, economics and needs of the community. We always discuss how to address the needs of the community, designing businesses that will flourish because of the ability to meet current and future needs. We look forward to Mr. Woods and his class every year. Mr. Woods encourages his students to think outside of the box and create new concepts, ideas and products. There will come a day when many students will return to thank him for the immeasurable impact he has had on their lives. He is a breath of fresh air and an inspiration to us all!

Suha Posted 9 months ago

Dunn and I met in Japan, The Orleander Initiative; a peace and tolerance education program. Dunn and I worked together on several projects which showed his genuine passion for teaching humanity, peace and tolerance in order to impact his students’ thinking and understanding of our world today. Dunn is a great teacher and has a fabulous voice which he skillfully integrates into his interactive and fun lessons.

Ashira Williams Posted 9 months ago

Hey, I just want to say how I really appreciated Mr. Woods way of teaching his class. Most classes are not interesting, but he knows how to keep a class wide awake. He sings an dances an gives us loads of projects. I used to complain about the amount of work that was given. But at the end of the day he did that to give us multiple opportunities to succeed in his class.

William Rothemich Posted 9 months ago

Great teacher and an even better man! He taught me in 6th grade social studies. He pushed me to be a better student and showed us how to be great kids. He cares for all his kids until the end. 7 years later he is still in contact with me all through high school and graduation! He has definitely changed my life and all others around him! #Pren2019

Kymeek traylor Posted 10 months ago

Mr woods is one of my favorite social studies teachers when I was in his class in 7th grade he made learning fun the way he implements singing in the way he teaches really helped me understand the content better I still remember the cold war song till this day and I will never forget it

Hannah Willard Posted 10 months ago

I never had the pleasure of Mr. Woods being my teacher, but he has taught me in other ways. He's always the light in the room wit his positivity and excitement. He's become a good friend of my family and I love that I get to be one of his "nieces". He called my mom on my birthday when I was maybe only 8 or 9 to sing Happy birthday to me, and I didn't even know he knew when that was! I love that I never had to be one of his students to be a part of his family. Mr. Woods has been friends with my family for close to 10 years now and I can't name someone more dedicated to his students and their families. I love Mr. Woods and he is easily an amazing candidate for this award!

Xavier Silva Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 7th grade history teacher. I am now a senior who is looking going to college to pursue being a history teacher myself. He was an inspiration then, and especially now. Not only did he make an impact on me, but everyone he has ever met. Looking back I realize that he has been the only teacher who has actually kept in touch with me later in life. He still checks up on me and my family, which proves how great of a person he is. Although I haven’t seen Mr. Woods since my 7th grade year, I still keep everything he ever taught me in mind. Again Congrats to Mr. Woods, it couldn’t have happened to a better teacher, educator, and mentor.

Kassidy Posted 10 months ago

Even though I never had Mr.Woods as a teacher, both of my brothers did and i was able to see the passion in his teaching, even without being in the classroom with him. He always changed my negative attitude to a positive one with just one short interaction. No one is more deserving of this award.

Leah Bowzard Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods taught my daughter in 7th grade. She was never really into Social Studies but after having him for a teacher she learned so much! She always said it was her favorite class because he made it fun! I can’t think of a more deserving teacher to receive this award!

Melissa Slade Posted 10 months ago

The yr my daughter entered his class and she would come hm and tlk to me about her day, I was impressed how a teacher takes the time to want to get his kids motivated. The way he gets his class motivated for learning is unique and all teachers should take the time for their students. That’s what they need!

Tariq shabazz Posted 10 months ago

Mr.woods is an amazing person he knows how to interact with kids very very well.He will teach you a lot and not only will he teach you a lot but your definitely But you’re definitely going to laugh throughout all of his lessons and he will teach you how to go about life because he helps with that as well he can rad kids very well and if something is wrong he will make sure you smile before you keep going about the rest of your day not only this but he works very hard at what he does obviously he is not just a teacher but he’s a entertainer and you will definitely be entertained in his class and you will remember the things he says. Yes he does challenge you because he holds all of his kids at a higher standard and if he didn’t he wouldn’t be doing his job and he changed my ways as well.

Mr. Turoski Posted 10 months ago

I have only been at Alston Middle School teaching for three years. When I was invited to teach at Alston I googled the school and many images showcased Mr. Woods. I told him this as a conversation starter trying to get to know my new staff. Over the few short years I have worked with Woods, I have found him to be most altruistic. Woods is often found serving the students and has been helpful to new to the school teachers as myself. I am not surprised at the outpouring of praise for this outstanding teacher. The school is better off because of him.

Ingrid Condon Posted 10 months ago

I was honored when Mr. Woods had asked me to come and speak about my birthplace, Havana Cuba. It gave me an opportunity to share with his students what life was like in Cuba before Castro came into power, January 1959. I spoke of free education in the college level, hospitalization is also gratis and they were quite taken aback when I informed them that the illiteracy percentage in the country is less than 5 % at that time. The students had many questions and express how thankfulnthey are living in a country that gives them so much freedom. Mr Woods is an excellent choice for this nomination. Sincerely, Ingrid Blum Condon

Kierra Bice Posted 10 months ago

Mr.Woods was my 7th grade world history teacher (6 years ago). He was such an amazing teacher. Woods took the time to create relationships with the students and had an outstanding way of teaching. I still can remember the songs he would write to help us memorize criteria that we would be tested on and I still use them to this day in my college classes! I will never forget Mr.Woods and all that he did to impact my life and others. He deserves the best of the best!

Rileigh Koellner Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods has left the greatest impact on me out of any teacher I have ever had! It’s crazy that I am now a freshman in college and I still can apply songs I learned in 6th grade to what I’m learning! He is so dedicated and well deserving of this. Not only is he a great teacher, but I still get a birthday call every year. He genuinely cares about his students and goes above and beyond in making sure his students are successful!

Ella McNamara Posted 10 months ago

I have never met anybody more dedicated to shaping students into young adults. Mr.Woods tought me to be the student I am today. We had endless plays and projects as well as endless laughs in his class. Mr.Woods doesn’t only care about the education aspect he also wants to build a relationship with you. I never doubted that when I was sad or upset Mr.Woods would be there to check up on me and support me.I am truly thankful to have been able to be one of the students in Mr.Woods class. Nobody deserves to be awarded with the Life Changer of the Year award more than Mr.Woods!!!

Brad Mallett Posted 10 months ago

I have known Mr. Woods for several years and this nomination is so well deserved! His heart, knowledge and commitment to education is heartwarming??

Karen Fuller Posted 10 months ago

I have worked with Mr. Woods since 2008. I have watched many students grow under his guidance, including my own daughter. The relationships that Mr. Woods builds with his students are remarkable. His teaching style keeps all students engaged. He loves what he does! Each summer he attends classes that help him bring such rich lessons, not only about history, but also about life to his students. Students learn about deadlines and treating others with respect, Mr. Woods was able to bring the Metropolitan Opera to our community! Students and families are able to view live Metropolitan Opera performances at our local theater and attend discussion workshops, thanks to Mr. Woods. I personally have enjoyed attending several of these performances. Mr. Woods is definitely deserving of being recognized as a LifeChanger.

Amy Doolin Posted 10 months ago

I was fortunate to work with Dunn as part of the WWII Museum Team Europe teacher cohort. Not only is he a great person and teacher, but a truly genuine human being. He’s a lifelong learner that is constantly seeking ways to improve himself and bring new and exciting materials into his classroom to engage his students.

Anna Fuller Posted 10 months ago

Mr.Woods was my social studies teacher for both sixth and seventh grade. He helped to make learning exciting and engaging for all students. He strived to build a relationship with each of his students. Still to this day he reaches out to see how I am doing. He made a huge impact on my education.

Dylan Kubat Posted 10 months ago

I had Mr. Woods as my social studies teacher for 6th grade, which was my first year at Alston Middle School in Summerville SC. He would always go to great extents that no other teacher was cable of even thinking of in order to make the content he needed to teach fun. For example, at the very beginning of the school year he was trying to explain that when paleontologist find a new artifact, they often have no idea what the use for it is. To explain this in the best way possible, he grabbed a bar of soap and acted like he did not know what it was, then he asked the class what he should do to figure out what it might be in order to show what it would truly be like to be a paleontologist. Of course some one in the class said it may be food or it may react with water (something of that nature, it was over 6 years ago). Without hesitation, he licked the soap multiple times and everyone in the class laughed uncontrollably. He immediately grabbed our attention and made us realize what the class was going to be like right at the start of the school year. He never failed to make his classes laugh hysterically at the very least once everyday and that is not an exaggeration. He also had these little songs that he created that I can still recall and he sang each student happy birthday in class or individually. He was always something students talked about amongst each other because of his unpredictability and because everyone loved him as a teacher. Mr. Woods of course did not always joke around. He was also hard on students at times when they needed it. Mr. Woods was even involved in students lives outside of schools. He would go to sports games (even for his past students that are now in high school) and birthday parties if he was invited to them. He just might be one of the reasons why I have enjoyed every history class since then. It’s safe to say he is the most memorable teacher that I have ever had. Overall a great man and great person that undoubtedly deserves recognition. He has touched countless lives and I wish the best for him always.

Daniel Stone Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of the best teachers i've had. His teaching methods really helped me understand and remember the content. His class also helped prepare me for high school. Easily one of my favorite teachers.

Wyatt Miller Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods helped me gain confidence in my knowledge with the way he presents information in his classroom. Not only is it very informative, but he makes it very retainable by his creative ways of classroom instruction, which highly involves class participation. I will never forget all those songs nor the excitement I always had when entering his classroom.

Elaine Kennedy Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was one of the most impactful person that I met from Alston Middle School. He always would say hey to me in the hallway and help me 6th-8th grade. I will never forget his laughter and his helpfulness! Mr. Woods you are awesome!

Hank Hear Posted 10 months ago

Mr Woods was my 9th grade geography teacher. He was one of the teachers that really made an impact on me. He really cared about his students and i think he remembers every single one of them by first name. Mr woods really pushed us to be the best we could. One of the things I remembered was thinking this class is tough and I hated taking his tests because they were so different from the other teachers I had. Thinking back it really prepared me for college. Thank you Mr Woods!

Alex Stem Posted 10 months ago

Ever since I met Mr. Woods at my church, he has always greeted me with a smile and a hug and a reassuring voice asking me how I am doing and how school is going. I have know Mr. Woods for a few years now and everyone I know who knows Mr. Dunn thinks that he hung the moon in his teaching. He is a genuinely kind person and always puts the well being of others before his own and he is always looking out for his friends, students, and fellow colleagues. He always knows how to light up a room with his humor or his intelligence and he is a man of many talents. Every year since I have known him, he has either sent me a voicemail of him singing happy birthday to me or he will be at church around the time of my birthday and will do it there. Most recently, I saw him at a rewards ceremony at my school since he was picked as a teacher that positively impacted a students life and when he saw me, he gave me a hug and asked me how well my college applications were coming and offered that if I needed a recommendation, he would gladly offer one. Mr. Woods is a fantastic person and by far, the best candidate for this award.

Elizabeth Sears Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods taught my son in middle school. On meet the teacher night, he sang Lady Gaga remixed with social studies terms, and I knew it was going to be a different year. It was in so many amazing ways! He pushed my child to believe in himself, and showed up at so many events. He was at wrestling matches and farmers markets and guitar performances, always encouraging the kids to do their best. When kids know that someone cares so deeply, they learn so much. He uses his extensive expertise to make kids believe in themselves and to believe in a positive future. In addition to being the parent of a former student, I am a teacher who has had the good fortune to be in a training session given by Mr. Woods. He is a caring and compassionate man who wants the best for his students, but also encourages the teachers around him to rise to his level. He is a life changer for sure.

Luke Willard Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was one of my favorite teachers in middle school. He helped my love for history to what it is today. My favorite part of his classes was the acting and singing projects that we performed in the class. He may not be the teacher for everyone with the amount of work but it's often worth it. Thanks for being a great teacher Mr. Woods!

Josie Kline Posted 10 months ago

You are a life changer, a heart toucher, and an inspiration!

Max Posted 10 months ago

I never was lucky enough to have him as a teacher, but my brother had him and we to this day still go out to eat. Mr woods is the most funny amazing person I ever met. He totally deserves life changer of the year

Linda Gunn Posted 10 months ago

I am so excited that Prentiss has been nominated for the Lifechanger of the Year Award. Unfortunately, my two teenagers did not have the advantage of having him as a teacher, yet he has had a lasting impact on their lives outside the classroom, even with very limited interaction. He has a magnetic personality, demonstrating enthusiasm in all that he does and care for all those that he touches. I have benefited greatly from insight into Prentiss through various social media channels. As a history teacher, he has definitely found his calling, dedicating enormous personal time into traveling around the world, immersing himself into various cultures, and bringing those experiences back to his kids. His deep knowledge and passion for world history is unmatched. He is effective in establishing a safe and productive learning environment, not only setting high expectations for his students, but believing that they can and will achieve in the classroom and in life. I amazed at the creativity he brings to the subject matter and the strong relationships he builds with the students, extending well beyond their time in his middle school class. It is without hesitation that I strongly advocate for Prentiss as the Lifechanger of the Year! His understanding of the world and ability to translate that to his students, ultimately inspires all those he touches to take action to make for a better tomorrow. Thanks to Prentiss, we are a better people!

Lori Torlone Posted 10 months ago

I first met Dunn when we travelled together in an international performance and community service organisation more than 25 years ago. His enthusiasm, exuberance, intelligence and humour were a delight during often very long days on the road. I have chosen to write here because In recent years, I’ve been able to keep up with Dunn through social media and it has been a privilege to follow his teaching journey. I’m a mom of 2 kids in the public school system and Dunn seems the kind of teacher very parent hopes will cross the path of their child at least once in their student careers. The passion he has for his profession and the love he has for the kids he teaches shines through. He holds his students to a very high standard with his belief in them as their support. He writes each and every student a personalized letter at the end of each year. He employs unorthodox teaching methods to make every lesson memorable. He attends conferences and embraces every opportunity to learn more so that he can teach better. I live in Vancouver, BC Canada but if I lived anywhere near Dunn, I would do everything in my power to ensure that my girls ended up in his classroom.

Elizabeth Posted 10 months ago

Although I never got the chance to be one of Mr.Woods students,I got to see what it would be like from my other two siblings. Mr. Woods is very active in school and although his class is said to be hard, he always does what is best for his students. Mr.Woods has become a family friend throughout the years by him keeping in touch and making sure his students are on their way to success!

Nick Graham Posted 10 months ago

One of the best, most impactful, and dedicated teachers I’ve ever had!

Denise Goettsch Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods taught two of our three children. He knew all three by name as he seemed to know most of the students that passed through the halls of Alston Middle. He was an awesome teacher who not only taught historical facts, but challenged students to understand the impacts of historical events on their present. He pushed students to think and be independent, while commanding and earning their respect. Students were expected to respect authority through good behavior but encouraged to express their independence with the adage "knowledge is power". His always positive and enthusiastic approach to life was contagious to all. We still enjoy looking back at some of the creative projects our children completed in his classes. It was not unusual to see Mr. Words out at school sporting events cheering on his students. We also fondly remember running into Mr. Woods while out for our son's 15th birthday. Mr. Woods proudly sang Happy Birthday to him, opera style, in the restaurant for all to enjoy and applaud. I have no doubt our children are better people having and knowing a teacher like Mr. Woods.

sam shaw Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of the most genuine and influential educators I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. As many of the other comments describe he is a lively, enthusiastic, and caring man who genuinely wants to connect with his students on a level other than a letter grade. However he is more than just these adjectives in that he is not normal. A normal teacher could never create such a welcoming and engaging environment. No, Mr. Woods is the farthest thing from normal, he is unique. Not afraid to be himself, he forever changed the way I looked at my educators. I only had him for a year because I changed to our local arts magnet middle school but I have never forgotten him or the lessons he taught. Mr. Woods empowered me in ways I only now understand. Challenging me to reach my full potential and encouraging my love for music he was something of an inspiration for me. In a place where I knew no one I felt at home and excited to be in his class each day. I cannot express enough how important this man was. So influential was he on our school district that teachers at the school I switched to modeled their lesson plans after him and described him with admiration and respect. His signature ability to turn any lesson musical not only resonated in the middle school where he tenured but also in the school district. I am proud to have had him as a teacher and consider him a lifelong friend and mentor. I know for a fact I am not alone in this as many of my fellow classmates in that year also feel the same. “Don’t stop believing” -Family

Jack Bruffey Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is the best teacher I’ve ever had, he is devoted to his students and cares for them all as his own. I’m known as “Nephew” to Mr. Woods and he calls my little brother “LB”. I wouldn’t be the student I am today without Mr. Woods

Caroline Goettsch Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods. There are no ways to begin describing the amazing and life-changing impact he has had on my life, my family’s lives, nor my friends lives. He is not only a remarkable teacher that has supported his students while on their journey to become their best selves but, he is also an amazing human being who doesn’t shy away from helping those who need a lending hand. He is the definition of life-changing: having an effect that is strong enough to change someone’s life. I met Mr. Woods before becoming a student at Alston Middle School because he taught my older brother Jackson a few years before me. He made it his responsibility to have a caring relationship with everyone who entered his life. I remember while I was transitioning into middle school, Mr. Woods made it so much easier because he made me feel welcomed by creating a sense of belonging in his class. I can say without a doubt that he has had an enormous effect on my life and many before and after me. Throughout my time of being one of Mr. Woods' students, I grew so much as a young adult and leader. He has continuously been a reminder to push myself to be my smartest, nicest, and most out-going self because that is what he has always been to those around him. I remember Mr. Woods being the teacher that pushed me to take advanced classes because he saw the ambition inside of me. He helped me as I transitioned into the advanced classes by being a constant reminder that I was strong enough for them. He is also as sincere as he is smart; When I suffered from two family losses during my time in his class, I realized how much he truly cared about his students by taking time out of his busy days to have conversations with me about anything going affray in my life. His passion for education and growth in our community has been nothing but successful. He is one of the main reasons I became a successful high-school graduate. My passion for my education is rooted in me because of him. I have him to thank for my excitement towards my education that lead me to graduate with an Associates' Degree of Arts from Trident Technical College at the age of 17. Mr. Woods is a remarkable human being that deserves to be recognized for all the good he has done. To say the least, Mr. Woods is life-changing.

Luke D'Orio Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing teacher with lots of energy. I can remember in 6th grade hearing kids talk about his class and I wished I had him. Finally, in 7th grade, I was lucky to have Mr. Woods for History. I am now in 11th grade and he still checks up on me. 7th grade can be an awkward time for kids, but Mr. Woods made learning fun, and everyone felt important. He made sure all students were involved in some activity that they enjoyed. I still remember so many of our songs and activities that we did to make sure we would remember our class work. Mr. Woods would also take the time to help you no matter what. It could even be something for another class or just something personal going on in your life. Thank you Mr. Woods, for all the memories and making sure I stay on the right track.

Terrence Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is very funny and I knew him from middle school his always in a good mood and treats everyone good

Lisa Tupper Posted 10 months ago

Teachers have such an impact on our children's lives, and this is especially true of Mr. Woods! His energy is endless and always put towards his students. You can tell he LOVES what he does because he is enthusiastic about both the subject matter and his students. He is consistently looking for ways to make his classes interesting and relevant; his school breaks and summers are filled with travel to conferences/historic sites to broaden his knowledge of the topic he teaches. He wants his students to understand about the people and culture of the time, not just the historical date or fact. He is very creative in the ways he brings history to life and expands the experiences of his students. Not only has he brought the Metropolitan Opera to our small town for the students and their families to enjoy, he has a session before the show to explain the story line and "workings" of the opera. Dorchester District Two and Alston Middle School are so very blessed to have him shaping our students' minds!

Marshall jackson Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was my teacher when I started sixth grade, a very nerve racking point in my life where I was still trying to figure out who I was, Mr. Woods helped me learn to express myself how I want and to never be afraid to be myself. I’m now graduated and to this day Mr. Woods still checks in to see how I am doing.

Samuel York Posted 10 months ago

A great teacher I still rember some of the stuff he taught. The way he teaches is really engaging and makes the content really easy to remember. I wish I could have him teach every class.

Don Willard Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is an excellent teacher who had quite an impact on my kids. He has unique and creative teaching style, using things like music, theater, dance, and cross-discipline projects to connect the students with the subject. He remembers every student’s name and birthday and will make a point to sing "Happy Birthday" to them - even if he must hunt them down at lunch because they were trying to escape the attention. ?? Mr. Woods also remembers his students' siblings, even if they did not have him as a teacher, and he connects with families as a whole. Our family has kept in touch with Mr. Woods even long after our kids have left middle school. He works very hard to build bridges across cultures and models, as well as teaches, the value and worth of every person, and he spends his summer months traveling and learning about other cultures so that he can bring those experiences back to the classroom. One of my kids is currently finishing her master’s degree in Education, and her thoughts on how to be a good and effective teacher have been shaped in no small way by having Mr. Woods as her teacher (twice) in middle school. My family is very appreciative of the time and effort he puts in every day to positively impact his students and community.

Katlyn Leeson Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is nothing short of excellence. He takes tremendous pride in educating our future leaders of tomorrow. The teaching styles and methods of incorporating students, their cultures, pop culture, and music, bring such excitement and energy to the students; that they actually enjoy learning about history. He is a great coworker and definitely loved by all who come in contact!

sonya prather Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods has captured my granddaughters attention and she can't wait to get into his class and she is still in 5th grade. I have worked with him for at least 10 years and he is one of the most interesting people I have ever met. He is so excited about everything and he is definitely a life changer. I've seen it.

Jack Guerrero Posted 10 months ago

Mr Woods is hands down the greatest teacher ever. He helped other students and I out academically and helped with the students problems at home, at school, and basically anywhere. Knowing from my 7th grade year he brings energy to social studies by using singing and acting. I love Mr Woods.

Caroline Turner Posted 10 months ago

I had Mr. Woods as my sixth grade teacher eight years ago! He was such a wonderful teacher. His style of teaching was like no other. He is an unforgettable teacher who not only taught great history lessons, but life lessons as well. His lessons and songs I have carried with me all the way to my sophomore year of college. I swear he is part of the reason I passed some of my history prerequisites. He made such an impact on not only me, but my previous classmates as well. We still talk about all of our memories together all those years ago.

Hayden Fulchr Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods class was such an amazing time as a student. We learned by singing and puppets and projects and he was always willing to help every step of the way.I am now in 10th grade and I still know the songs that he taught me. One of the best memories I have is when he was a chaperone on our school trip to D.C. and he came and hung out at the pool with all the students telling jokes and funny things that happens in the past in his class.

Carrie Posted 10 months ago

Both of my sons had Mr. Woods as their GATE SS teacher. He was an awesome teacher! My sons are now 23 & 18. He has kept in touch. He also still sends all of us a birthday message & song on our birthday. He's an amazing person, friend & teacher!

Jennifer Hamilton Posted 10 months ago

Seeing the impact Dunn has made on so many people makes my heart sing. Speaking of singing, I had the opportunity to travel for a year with Dunn performing and being educated by the international group “Up With People.” We were young and wanted to do great things and Dunn always stood out as a kind, talented and fearless member of our group. Having the ability to make learning fun and memorable deserves recognition and I would love to see Dunn be the Life Changer if the Year. He already is however!

Jennifer Hamilton Posted 10 months ago

Seeing the impact Dunn has made on so many people makes my heart sing. Speaking of singing, I had the opportunity to travel for a year with Dunn performing and being educated by the international group “Up With People.” We were young and wanted to do great things and Dunn always stood out as a kind, talented and fearless member of our group. Having the ability to make learning fun and memorable deserves recognition and I would love to see Dunn be the Life Changer if the Year. He already is however!

James Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was my teacher in 7th grade. He was definitely the best teacher I've ever had! To this day I still remember every song and play we did in class. He is such an inspiring individual, and I wish him the best of luck.

Nick Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is the most unique teacher that I've ever had. His love and enthusiasm for teaching reached every student in his classroom. I still remember the songs he would teach us in class and the life lessons he shared. He has made a huge impact on my education. Thank you, Mr. Woods!

Jen Posted 10 months ago

I met Dunn in Little Rock, Arkansas during a seminar studying the Little Rock Nine alongside of intensive racial identity/bias training. Dunn was a pivotal part to our group of teachers and offered much insight. We have stayed friends since the experience and I’m so happy that we have met. He is someone I can look up to in the educational field and I love that he shares his travel adventures and education with the rest of us. He’s always teaching—in or outside of the classroom. He most definitely deserves this award. It is too often that the greatest teachers are overlooked. I am glad that Dunn has been acknowledged for his time and energy—but more importantly, his passion of educating us all. I’m so proud of you, Dunn.

Sheri Fulton Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is a creative teacher that takes a sincere interest in not only his students, but people in general. He is very dedicated to his teaching and growing as a teacher. His enthusiasm to continue to learn and grow are very inspiring.

Brandon Payne Posted 10 months ago

If there’s anyone that’s influenced my educational career to be the best that it can be, it’s Mr. Woods. As many of the other comments say, he is an amazing teacher and incredible influence on young folks attaining an education. His teach style is unlike any other and he engages with students to bring out their best work and best self. He works with kids to develop their traits to become better writers and better learners. Mr. Woods was one of my first public school teachers and he made it wonderful. I still remember him singing many different songs that he’d conpose to educate us on anything from Sumar to American history. One of his most prominent songs isn’t necessarily school related, but I’d say it’s more important. If you’re lucky enough, he’ll sing to you “Give me my flowers,” a song about giving back to those who helped you before it’s too late, I may not have much material worth to give to thank Mr. Woods for his impact on my life, but consider this the first of many deserved flowers, thank you Uncle Woods -Neph

Andrew Bearden Posted 10 months ago

I met Dunn a few years ago at an opera workshop in New York City. As we bonded professionally and personally at the workshop over the next few conferences, I got to know Dunn's passion for education as he expressed his teaching philosophy and his desire for every student to engage completely in History. What I admire most about Dunn is that he is continually sharpening his skills as a Social Studies teacher, traveling far and wide to immerse himself in the culture and the places that are part of his curriculum. This continual self-betterment as an educator is truly inspirational to me, and as evidenced by the testimonies of former students, he has left a positive impact on countless lives.

Megan DiMiceli Posted 10 months ago

Dunn is an excellent teacher and role model. He is truly a positive light in the world.

Regina Posted 10 months ago

One of the best teachers ever truly changed my life and made me prepared for my life ahead of me!

Benjamin Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was by far one of the best teachers I ever had. In school, learning was difficult for me because I had trouble paying attention. In his class I wanted to learn! He made everything so interesting and was so intentional with his students and their lives. He cared about all of his students as if they were his own and wanted them all to succeed. I will always remember the things I learned and good times I had in his class.

Nick Guerrero Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was an amazing teacher. He was a very unique teacher compared to all the teachers I've had. He would always get everyone involved in his class. I still remember the songs he had us memorize to this day. He made a huge impact on my learning! Thank you, Mr. Woods.

Ashton Sobeck Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was my sixth grade social studies teacher, and he was a crucial part to me developing a curiosity and love for learning. I’ve never had a teacher quite like Mr. Woods anywhere else. No one else has busted into song during class that I still remember some part of, some 8 years later. We even had the chance to go to church together. Needless to say, I don’t think without Mr. Woods teaching me, I would not be the student and person I am today.

Susan Blackwell Posted 10 months ago

For several years, Mr. Woods has attended an education conference that I moderate. Yes, he is a wonderful teacher--but he is also a wonderful, life-long student. His participation is extraordinary. His energy and enthusiasm is a joy. He brightens and enlightens every room his is in, and he generously shares gems of wisdom everywhere he goes. He is creative, compassionate, and continually evolving. Nothing but praise for Mr. Woods!

Tinashe Douglas Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods, where do I begin, he is the most inspirational and motivated teacher. His use of singing songs helped me understand social studies like I never did before. He is truly one of the best teachers. I hope he continues to teach and inspire and motivate students.

Tinashe Douglas Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods, where do I begin, he is the most inspirational and motivated teacher. His use of singing songs helped me understand social studies like I never did before. He is truly one of the best teachers. I hope he continues to teach and inspire and motivate students.

Francisco Martinez Posted 10 months ago

All my years of learning I have never met a teacher like Mr Woods. He's a teacher that dedicates 100% of his time and effort for the benefit of his students. His love for teaching has inspired so many students including myself to be the best they can every single day through his drive, care, and enthusiasm inside and out of the classroom. I'm so grateful and lucky for his presence and impact in my life for he has taught me how to truly love learning. Ps: His history songs are the best ever and I still know and use them in my classes now!!

emily farless Posted 10 months ago

he is an amazing teacher and singer. he gets us involved so much in his class so that not only we learn, we also have fun. i love how he can take what he loves to do out of school, singing, and take it into class to share with us! i’m so glad that i am able to be in his class everyday!

Nicole Woods, his niece Posted 10 months ago

I am so proud of my uncle. Even though he is not much older than me, I call him Uncle Pren. I tried to call him Pren one day and he quickly put me in my place. My uncle is a teacher of content and manners. When I was little, he would read to me all the time. He helps me with oral presentations in college now. He also gives me voice tips when I am working on a song. My uncle loves food and always is getting me to try "new" things. lol He loves his jobs and students. I always ask, "Uncle Pren, what's going on in class today?" I have to tell him, "okay, that's enough." I love how my uncle cares about others. He was in dance competition to raise money for Alzheimers. He changes my world every single meeting and changes it for others. I remember when a middle school student of his died. He went to school and the principal released him from his classes just to be in the library to comfort upset students. My uncle loves to tell this story of "John" who died and how his parents said, "Mr. Woods, you are going to give the eulogy." I have had some pretty great teachers in my life, but couldnt imagine one of them doing a eulogy for me. I am the proud niece, for sure. I will graduate with a degree in criminal justice in 2022 and I just hope that I can have his passion and love. Go Uncle Pren

Dontrell Whetsell Posted 10 months ago

An amazing teacher, but more importantly a lifelong friend

Courtney Fogle Posted 10 months ago

Mr.Woods has always been a great teacher and always will be Mr.Woods is like family to I have grown that close to him ever since I started lm class he has always grows close with his students

Maycee Posted 10 months ago

Best teacher I’ve had!!!! I still remember things he taught me from six years ago!

Jacob Smith Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods’s class was the single most exciting class I ever had the pleasure of attending during my schooling career. Even now, as a college student, I tell people about all of the skits and songs he had us perform. Mr. Woods didn’t forget about me either as every once in a while he will contact me to see how I’m doing.

James West Posted 10 months ago

My son had Mr. Woods for his History teacher 8 years ago at Alston. He made History class fun for the kids as I still have the video of his class performing one night at a local restaurant. He used popular songs at the time but incorporated his lesson into the song and had the students sing in front of their parents and customers. Even though my son had a Taylor Swift solo part and was embarrassed he still remembers the words to the songs they sang that night. There isn't a year that has gone by that Mr. Woods doesn't send us an email wishing my son a happy birthday or he will share a picture from several years ago of a group of kids he taught with our son in the picture. He had his class go to the local Farmer's Market one Saturday morning and made it educational and fun for the class. He does a fantastic job integrating his lessons with modern day culture that makes learning fun for his students. He hadn't seen our son for a little while and when he saw him at the end of the last school year, my son's senior year, our son didn't hesitate but to go say hello and thank him for being a great teacher. Mr. Woods made class fun and taught the kids about history but more importantly he made memories for his students that they will always remember the rest of their lives. Job well done Mr. Woods, job well done.

Colleen Ennis Posted 10 months ago

I met Dunn a few years ago at a summer Civil Rights Institute for teachers. I was instantly wanted to be Dunn’s friend because of his incredible knowledge and his overtly apparent zest for life. He has great ideas for activities in the classroom. He approaches activities with a multi-faceted lease that encourages students (and coworkers) to think beyond expected social norms.

Molly Willard Posted 10 months ago

My daughter Maddie had Mr. Woods for two years in middle school at Alston, now a college graduate. The first year by chance the second year by choice. Maddie was always up for a challenge and Mr. Woods delivered. My son Luke also had Mr. Woods and he was the best teacher for him. Luke loves history, but he doesn't necessarily like to do the work that goes along with it. So, it was academically challenging for him when it came to the assignments, but in the long run Mr. Woods class and care for Luke has helped him through his high school days, where he continues to excel in his history classes. Mr. Woods has high standards for all kids. His class is fun but quite rigorous, he gives thought-provoking lessons and elevates critical thinking in the classroom, and quite frankly discussions in the home too. He challenges the kids to look beyond their own classroom walls and see the world differently and not just through news and media, but real life experience and interaction. Mr. Woods has journeyed literally around the world to seek more knowledge of history and culture, which he brings back to his classroom to educate and share with our kids in the community who may never know the joys of travel to other countries. Mr. Woods also received a grant from the Metropolitan Opera where he has given students (and family members of the students) a chance to see world class performances for free in our local movie theater where the Opera is live-streamed. Luke and I took advantage of a few of the performances and they were amazing! Mr Woods is truly a blessing and a gift to the kids of Summerville. He is well deserving of the accolades already shared before mine and then some. Mr Woods already is a life changer -every day, every year.

Jacob Smith Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods’s class was the single most exciting class I ever had the pleasure of attending during my schooling career. Even now, as a college student, I tell people about all of the skits and songs he had us perform. Mr. Woods didn’t forget about me either as every once in a while he will contact me to see how I’m doing.

Zach Pereira Posted 10 months ago

Mr Woods was my Social Studies teacher in 7th grade. Even though it was already my favorite subject, Mr Woods made learning so much fun. He was able to challenges us while learning. I believe that by Mr Woods making the subject fun and interesting it has helped me to continue to love learning history.

Shane Perdue Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods taught my children in middle school. He taught them so much more than just social studies. He was always going that extra mile to reach the kids, in whatever manner necessary to get their attention. He made social studies enjoyable. He has continued to stay in touch with them through the years. I am sure that he will always be remembered as that teacher that went the extra mile for his students, his school, and his community.

Damien Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was by far my most memorable teacher from grade school. He was there enthusiastically everyday, there was never a dull moment. To this day I remember songs and sketches from the classroom. Mr. Woods made the curriculum fun and entertaining; while also making it digestible and easy to understand. He still keeps in touch and wishes me a happy birthday every year. He is truly a great human being and I strive to be like him.

Zachary Troyan Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is the most influential teacher I have ever seen. He takes caring about his students to a whole new level. He really treats everyone who comes into his classrom as part his family. He encourages everyone to be their best self. This man has touched so many lives and I am very proud to be one of his students.

briana meeks Posted 10 months ago

Mr.woods is such an inspiring and caring teacher. He has made a huge impact on my life by pushing me to do my best and be my best. His teaching methods are incredible because he uses songs, activities, and plays to help you memorize the content in class. He cares so much for his students and he makes sure that you know he is always there for you. He has helped me out so much in school because I remembered what he taught me not only educational but also social, to help me in my day to day life. He is such an humorous teacher and you won't go one day without laughing in his class. Mr.woods is an brilliant teacher and also a good person to have I'm your life.

Matthew Coakley Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of the most passionate people I have ever met, and that carries into the classroom. Every time we see each other, he is overflowing with excitement about the latest happenings in his classroom. Mr. Woods also is committed. He is a lifelong learner and is constantly searching out new opportunities to gain knowledge that he can share with his students. I have no doubt that Mr. Woods' positively changes the lives of his students as he does with others in the community.

Rocco Cios Posted 10 months ago

My name is Rocco Cios and I am a student of Mr. Wood's Social Studies class at Alston Middle School. Being in his class is such a fun experience because we sing and dance and do skits. It helps me understand and learn. Mr. Woods is someone I look up to and learn from. He pushes me and makes me think for myself and I forget a lot of things but he doesn't give up. He wants to teach me responsibility for what I do in his class. Mr. Woods travels all over and he always has a story or research that he did and teaches us with it. He's a smart man.

Randhir Makkar Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is an inspiration for young Kids. I have known him now for a Decade. His hard work and compassion to work with Kids are great. His desire to learn new things is commendable. I wish him the best of luck in all his endeavors. Mr. Wood, u r the best.

Jennifer Harkleroad Posted 10 months ago

I have had the absolute pleasure of working with Mr. Woods for ten years here at Alston Middle School. He has always put student education at the forefront of his priorities. His teaching strategy is brilliant, demanding, and cutting edge. He adapts his curriculum to be engaging and exciting. He is always willing to integrate his lessons with the Fine Arts which gives his students a very creative and broadening atmosphere to learn and grow. He is extremely willing to not only make his students feel like a team but the faculty he works with as well. A birthday has not gone by in ten years without Mr. Woods singing to me. He is a unique, one of a kind, and brilliant teacher.

Carol K Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is a great educator. He cares deeply for students and is very creative at increasing student participation by making learning fun. Very motivational and inspirational man!

Noel Hayes Posted 10 months ago

My son Dylan was fortunate enough to have Mr Woods as his history teacher last year. He would always come home humming and singing songs they would learn in class. I still heard him over the summer singing some of these randomly at times. What a unique and great way to engrain history into our children's minds! Talk about making learning fun, he has undoubtedly done that and more. There is no doubt in my mind Dylan will be more apt to retain the material he learned in Mr Woods class last year over any other. What a great way to think outside the box! He's such a great encourager and gets the most out of his children! It would be nice to see him awarded for his efforts in going above and beyond in his profession. Kudos to you Mr Woods

Clare McGowan Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods and I attended the Teacher Institute at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. His ideas and enthusiasm inspired me. We left the Institute committed to remain in touch and share our ideas. Mr. Woods recently shared a project that he did with his class which incorporated the concepts that we developed over the summer and I have since shared it with colleagues at my school. Mr. Woods and I will be attending a conference together in Cleveland, this upcoming March where we will continue to collaborate on curriculum for our students.

Barry katz Posted 10 months ago

We were fortunate enough to have Mr Woods teach our daughter Eve, when she was in 6th and 7th grade at Austin middle school. I first met Mr Woods in the school hallway when we were registering for class, he was friendly , enthusiastic and loved to interact with the students he saw standing around us in the hallway. Eve really enjoyed being in his classroom and often would come home and tell us how Mr Woods made class fun and really challenged his students. Eve learned a lot from Mr Woods and we continue to keep in touch. They share a birthday and every year Mr Woods sends us a text of him singing happy birthday to her. I am sure to Mr Woods , his students are more than just students , and to Eve, Mr Woods was more than just a teacher, he was a difference maker! Barry Katz MD

Raegan yon Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is probably one of the funniest teachers I've ever had. He prepare me in ways that I still cant believe. He deserves this award thank you Mr. Woods.

Brian Hamilton Posted 10 months ago

When I had Mr. Woods, which was about a year ago, I knew he would be a great teacher, especially when he started teaching and doing his cool tricks. Words just can't explain his teaching style. It was so exotic and different from the rest. He gets you up and moving and gets everybody involved. That's why he's one of the best teachers.

Jonathan Perez-Perez Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods, He showed me so much and that growing up was a main factor in my life. He always told me 7th grade was the time I needed to take full responsibility. Let go of depending on my parents for my actions. He was a great inspiration in my middle school years and from that point I have been on top of my responsibilities. If any teacher deserves a award would be him. Well I don't know if they have such a award to be given for his outstanding job and being a great impact on his students. Keep up the great work.

Jonathan Perez-Perez Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods, He showed me so much and that growing up was a main factor in my life. He always told me 7th grade was the time I needed to take full responsibility. Let go of depending on my parents for my actions. He was a great inspiration in my middle school years and from that point I have been on top of my responsibilities. If any teacher deserves a award would be him. Well I don't know if they have such a award to be given for his outstanding job and being a great impact on his students. Keep up the great work.

Aidan Thomas Posted 10 months ago

Mr.Woods is the most fun teacher in the school, he sings Happy Birthday to anybody who wants him to and makes learning in his class really fun. He makes exciting group projects like dancing and singing, his projects are amazing and so creative. I enjoy being in his class and him not only my favorite teacher but the best teacher in the district, or the world. Thank you so much, Mr.Woods for being my teacher.

Nicholas Wrenn Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was, hands down, the greatest teacher I've ever studied under. He made sure that kids were engaged, and that they were actually learning rather than just memorizing. He's kind, and always helps if you're having trouble. It's repetitive, but I can't say it enough. He is the best teacher out there.

Debby Somerville Posted 10 months ago

Pren is a master teacher who is energetic and engaging. He holds his students and himself to high standards. He is well known and respected in the Summerville community. We are blessed to have him in Dorchester District Two.

Erika Richmond Posted 10 months ago

I would first like to start by saying that I have not personally met Mr. Dunn my son Michael Richmond is in his GATE Social studies class and talks about Mr. Dunn everyday so I feel like I know know him. Everyday something new and exciting happens in his class. I want to be a student of his! I want to give him all the votes that are needed to make him win this award he deserves it. He is the teacher that my son will remember for the rest of his life. Thank u Mr. Dunn

Munashe Douglas Posted 10 months ago

Where do I begin with Mr Woods? The Cold Cold War song is still stuck in my head. Mr woods is that 1 teacher that every child needs for inspiration, authenticity and motivation. Thank you Mr Woods for all those words of encouragement, your work was never unnoticed.

Sammy Young Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 6th grade teacher and one of the best educators I’ve ever had the pleasure of being taught by. He went out of his way to make learning an interactive and enjoyable experience for everyone in his class, and showed a genuine care for every student. His use of song in learning stick with me all throughout high school and now into college, and helped me answer a multitude of exam questions. His true love of history sparked one in myself, and I am currently a history major at the College of Charleston. Mr. Woods had an incredible impact on my education and my life, and I am so glad that many others have recognized the greatness in him. His commitment to public education is incredible and if ever there were a teacher deserving of this honor it would be him.

Alice YOUNG Posted 10 months ago

Oh Mr. Woods......who could ask for a better educator. I had a rather strong and opiniated student- which a lot of teachers did not appreciate. However Mr. Woods loved the fact that she was engaged and had an opinion. He is a fabulous educator who uses, comedy, song, poetry, drama, dance and eloquent speech to engage the students. He is "the " teacher that my Sammy will never forget. I hope that Mr. Woods get the public adulation that he deserves. Good luck!!!!!

Ramona Shepard Posted 10 months ago

Mr Woods in one of the most creative teachers my children have come across. He truly cares about all students even the ones he doesn’t teach. Students will remember him and all his teachings and mentoring for the rest of their lives. Truly an inspirational person !!!!

Christian Sliba Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods when I was in 6th grade. Even though I didn't have him as my teacher at the time, Mr. Woods was always super supportive for me and was always curious on how I was doing in my other classes. Turned out the next school year I had him for History. I was hoping to have a different History teacher at that time, because I knew that Mr. Wood’s class was more challenging than others; it turned out to be my favorite classes of grade school. Mr. Woods is a man of his own, he made every single day in his class count and made it fun for his students to learn. There is not a single teacher I have met that has a unique style of teaching like Mr. Woods. He would make the class fun and interactive by creating his own remix of a popular song at the time, and make it relate to the lesson we were learning, I still have the Cold War song memorized six years later. Mr. Woods always had his class participating during activities that helped us learn the material in a more interesting way. It seemed like he had the kids that never participated in classes to be enjoying his activities and learning the course at the same time. Mr. Woods keeps in contact with me and my mom to this day, and sings me one of his happy birthday songs every year. I have never met a teacher or person as great as Mr. Woods that pushes their students everyday and thrives them to be the best person they can be. I am beyond grateful to have had Mr. Woods as my 7th grade History teacher as he has made me become a stronger individual in and outside of my classes.

Haley Honeman Posted 10 months ago

Dunn is an amazing educator. He wants education to be engaging and fun for his students. I love the way he creates songs with them. He is constantly learning and looking for ways to experience more so he can share with his students. I met Dunn at a summer institute funded by the NEH for educators to learn about immigration in California through literature and theatre. He is an unforgettable soul and meeting him is a life changing experience.

Jim Bailey Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods sings to me. Every August, a birthday operatic “Happy Birthday to you” that explores the full range of his classically trained voice. At my age, presents mean little to me. I’ve eaten all the cake I’ll ever need. But I’d know the year ahead was already doomed without my annual “me” concert from Mr. Woods. Of course, I’m not the lone recipient of these song stylings — even though it feels that way in the yearly two minute call. The serenade is something he does for students, parents of students, friends, fellow teachers, passing strangers, PTO presidents. The list goes on. Whole concert halls filled with audiences of one, each enjoying their own personal calls of love, support and respect that is but one of the many gifts he gives to his community. It’s impossible to describe the space he fills or the void he’d leave if he did not move among us, teaching, encouraging, supporting, and loving. Anyone who has met him is lucky to have done so. He is worthy of this award, and if gets it, he’ll most likely track you down and sing for you too.

Blair Bailey Posted 10 months ago

I had Mr.Woods two years ago. I was a mess. It was my first year dealing with the stress of school, and especially in his class. I remember being frustrated that I had to study for the first time, take notes for the first time, and present in front of the class-not occasionally, but at least once a week for the first time. Going into freshman year I’ve noticed my peers weren’t as prepared as I was when it came to studying, presentations, and projects. I knew why immediately: Mr.Woods. He was preparing me for highschool, although it didn’t feel like it then. Not only did he prepare me, he made me feel loved and like an individual in the process. He would allow for my personality to shine through in my work. He did this by giving us projects designed to do so. Song, dance, theatre, art he allowed us dabble in all. He wasn’t only a teacher of history, he was also a teacher of self discovery.

Becca Posted 10 months ago

The most fun and passionate teacher! Will never forget his song lessons and peppy attitude.

Rina Patula Posted 10 months ago

I had the pleasure of having Mr. Woods as my 6th grade world history teacher, and the experiences I’ve had in his classroom were truly one of a kind. He engages students during his lessons and there’s no such thing as a boring day if you have him! There isn’t anyone like him and it’s no surprise that he was nominated for such a fitting title.

Micah Winters Posted 10 months ago

I had Mr. Woods as my seventh grade history teacher. Through that year, he—through an entertaining, creative, and elaborate teaching style—helped me learn everything I needed to know about history. The extent of his teaching has extended on to even my junior year in high school. Mr. Woods prepared me for high school more than any other teacher I’ve ever had. He is absolutely the best teacher that I’ve ever had, and has changed my life for the better.

Keegan Crawford Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is a excellent teacher who is extremely interactive and supportive. Every day he tries to make the lessons personalized and brings concepts from our everyday lives into our lessons. He is exceptionally good at making sure that we all as students are growing up to be well mannered and understand the importance of following directions. In his words, " You're going to have a Mr. Woods at some point, so you might as well try to enjoy it now." Mr. Woods is helping ne to become a student with alot of work ethic. Thank you Mr.Woods for being a LifeChanger

Layton Boyce Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of the only teachers I've ever had that continues to push his students to do more and to do it better after they leave his class. He cares about all of his students and goes to great lengths to help them succeed. His class is one of the few that truly helps all of his students prepare for their next step in life, regardless of what path they take.

David C. Rowell Posted 10 months ago

I have subbed for Mr. Woods many times. I can assure you that no other students are held more accountable or to a higher standard. He also uses songs in his classes that aid tremendously in retention of history. He is one of the best in my opinion.

Gess Murray Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 6th and 7th grade teacher. He was the only teacher who truly prepared me for life and college. He may ask a lot from his students but it’s because he wants the best from them and sees their potential. I even still remember some of the songs he taught us and have great memories of the class! He deserves this award!

Pat Pursley Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing person. I met him while I was working at Alston in the cafeteria. He has such a wonderful personality and is a outstanding teacher. He has such positively in everything that he does and that in turn makes his students and faculty love and admire and appreciate him even more! His students love being in his class as he makes it a learning experience that follows them through their school years.

Brandon clark Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 7th grade teacher and he was my absolute favorite teacher. He had always gone above and beyond to help the students, such as me, remember the needed information to the best of my ability. I remember one of the things he did was put all of our information in song form to help pry the information into our brain. I remember one of the songs: he helped change up the wording for ICE ICE BABY to help talk about Montesquieu, Rousseau, and etc. I genuinely believe that Mr. Woods should get this award. Thank you for all that you did.

Amanda Lepore Posted 10 months ago

I have known Mr. Woods for 2 years now. He is a phenomenal educator who always puts his students first. He spends countless hours outside of his job to attend professional developments and refine himself as an educator. He is full of life and has incredible energy day in and day out. He is not only an amazing teacher to his students, but he has taught me a ton as a colleague! He is patient, kind, and informative. I am a better person and teacher with Mr. Woods by my side.

Alan Carden Posted 10 months ago

I am currently a student in Mr. Woods 7th Grade Social Studies class. His classroom is a good learning environment. Whether it be singing a song, cheer leading, or having an absolutism pageant, he also put a smile on his student's face. All of the activities we do in his classroom get the information stuck in your head. I know most of the songs by heart and constantly find myself singing hem in other classes or on my own time out of school. He also diligently makes sure his students know how to act and use impecaple manners. I can see why Mr. Woods is being nominated for this Life changer of the Year Award and hopes he wins.

Steven Yeomans Posted 10 months ago

You would search long and hard, and not find another educator with the love of teaching and innovative approach that Mr. Woods displays on a daily basis. He truly makes a difference in his students lives by utilizing stories, songs, personal experiences to relay his deep knowledge of history and, in the process, gets his students involved in ways that many other instructors would be jealous of. I have two children who have taken his class at Alston Middle School, and I’ve been impressed with how he has instilled a curiosity in them for the larger world outside of their hometown. Great job - wish we could clone him!

Griffin McNeish Posted 10 months ago

I have know Mr.woods before I can even remember he’s a great person and inspires everyone to be the best person you can be he shows a lot of his different personality in a classroom and he connects with every student in some way . My mom and Mr.woods are best friends and I have never heard something bad about him. On every birthday of mine and my moms he calls my mom and sings to us he puts his own touch on teaching and everyone’s lives and I am glad to be one of his student

Kristy Coakley Posted 10 months ago

Such an amazing teacher dedicated to life long learning! He is full of life, open minded, and always determined to do everything in his power to help students grow and learn.

Leah Waters Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is a very positive force, not only in his classroom, but throughout the entire school. He cares for his students as if they are his own. He actively prepares students for high school and life beyond the classroom. He encourages his students to be lifelong learners and life changers themselves.

Cheryl Posted 10 months ago

I have known Mr. Woods for around 50 years and he has always been a high energy, outgoing person. He carries these traits into his classroom to energize the children he teaches and encourage a love for history. I'm very excited about his nomination for the Life Changer award. He is definitely worthy of the recognition.

Ava Kabealo Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is so positive and supportive! He cares very much about his students and their success!

Rachel Shipton Posted 10 months ago

When I think of Mr. Woods one word comes to mind – Exuberant! His passion for educating students is evident by his innovative methodology; methods that not only prepare a student for high school, but I believe they prepare them for life. I am thankful for the transforming impact he has made on my children, and I cannot conceive a more deserving, life changing educator for this award.

Hannah Brown Posted 10 months ago

I had the pleasure of being in Mr. Woods World History class for both 6th and 7th grade. He always pushed us to do our best and to get out of our comfort zones, which helped us to not only learn the curriculum, but to also prepare for real life situations. Mr. Woods is passionate and inspiring, and I am very blessed to have had him as a teacher.

Terri Daff Posted 10 months ago

Committed, inspiring, and engaging are only a few words to describe Pren Woods. He is a unique educator who has and who still motivates students with an innovative and creative teaching style that keeps his students spellbound as he shares his world of knowledge. My daughter always said that Mr. Woods class was the hardest but the most interesting. She and I both learned so much about maps and history. Pren Woods is worthy of recognition for his indelible imprint on young minds.

Mickayla Arcury Posted 10 months ago

One of the greatest teachers I met, made every day a new adventure instead of just taking notes. I hated Alston middle but Mr.Woods made me excited to come to school everyday in 7th grade wish I could have him again.

Weston Bison Posted 10 months ago

Mr.Woods taught me my sixth grade year at Alston middle school. Everyday was a new adventure in his class, and whether it be singing songs (that he wrote) or performing skits there was never a dull moment. He has the ability to involve all students no matter the setting, while at the same time keeping things fun. Mr. Woods not only made me smarter and a better student, but he also made me a more well rounded person

Tonja Troyan Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods taught both of my boys history at Alston Middle School. He goes above and beyond for his students. In and out of the classroom. His passion for teaching, learning as much as he can about history and his students cannot be matched. I will forever be grateful that he was a part of my boys' school career.

Jessica Odenwood Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is a phenomenal teacher. He helped me improve my test taking skills and writing skills. He kept me on my toes with his tests, which helped me way than I could've imagined.I thought he was crazy when he made us do writing as midterms, but soon I realized that it was kind of fun. I feel that now I can write and test take better because of Mr. Woods. I'm positive that later in my studies I will also have him to thank for preparation for AP classes. Of course I can't forget Mr. Woods projects, that taught me a very important lesson, don't procrastinate ever. Thank you Mr. Woods, I definitely couldn't have asked for a better 7th grade Social Studies teacher.

Katlynn Long Posted 10 months ago

Mr.Woods was my favorite teacher in grade school and has continued to be a dear friend throughout the past 10 years. He believes in all of his students and pushes them to be the best they can be!

Rachel Edwards Posted 10 months ago

This latest trek to NY to particape in this opera workshop is just another way Nr. Woods engages his students in collobrative activies centered around the fine arts but incorporating history. And he is working with other teachers in our District to reach a lot of students.through this endeavor to make history come alive!

Skye Carroll Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 6th and 7th grade history teacher and if anyone deserves this recognition, it would definitely be him. I’m now a senior in college and Mr. Woods still keeps in contact with me and shows how much he cares not only about my education but about my life in general. Not only do I consider him one of the best educators I’ve ever known, but also an amazing friend and just person in general. He pays such good attention to his students and is always there for them whenever they need a hand. I still remember songs I learned from him over 10 years ago because he had that much of an impact! Congratulations on the nomination!

Jay Connelly Posted 10 months ago

In short, Mr.Woods was my nephew's teacher a few years ago. All they talked about was this "Mr.Woods" teacher. He made a impression on my nephew's. Still talk about his teaching style. His approach on teaching is his biggest asset. I think his travels around the world and learning about other countries are great. He brings his new knowledge and shares with his students is a great experience for Mrr.Woods and of course his students. Outside of school, Mr.Dunn supports his school. Going to school functions,games and any other school events His interactions with students is why they love about him. When I finally got to meet Mr.Woods, my impression was" now I know why my nephew's like this guy". His smile, his attitude were what impressedme. He's just what a teacher should be. Mr.Dunn has never met a stranger,that's for sure! He loves his job. His students and the community. Once you meet him, you understand why his students like him so much and former students still talk about him. Mr.Woods is definitely a life changer! I congratulate you Pren on your nomination for life changer of the year. Good Luck. Uncle Jay

Steele Stevenson Posted 10 months ago

Dunn Woods is just simply amazing. He is an inspiring, motivational, energetic role model to our children. He lifts all of his up with his bountiful enthusiasm for life and his never ending desire to teach. He makes learning fun and creates an environment for kids where they actually want to learn and they get excited about going to school. Mr. Woods is upbeat, funny, outgoing, entertaining and he creates an environment that is rich with experiences and memories. I cannot think of a more deserving individual for this award.

Nicole Castillo Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods taught my son Zachary in 7th grade. Zachary is now a senior in high school. Mr. Woods made Zachary's favorite subject even more interesting. Mr. Woods incorporated music into lessons to help the kids remember the important information being taught. Mr. Woods not only is passionate about history, he is passionate about making sure his students are doing good and have the support and skills they need to get through every day life. Zachary still talks about Mr. Woods to this day!

Amy Posted 10 months ago

Congratulations Mr. Woods! Nobody deserves this nomination as Lifechanger of the Year more than you! Keep doing all the positive things in our community! The world could use more of you! You’re already a winner in our eyes!!

Emma Atwood Posted 10 months ago

Congratulations Mr. Woods! Nobody deserves this nomination as Lifechanger of the Year more than you! Keep doing all the positive things in our community! The world could use more of you!

Kerry Parson Posted 10 months ago

He has a positive impact on my nephews when they were in middle school and many years after. He is still part of the family!

Joanna Scism Posted 10 months ago

When a teachers loves what they do it puts a lasting impression on a child. From their childhood through adulthood. This is one of those teachers

Marisha Woody Posted 10 months ago

He is still very much a mentor to my kids! He remembers everyone! Thanks for all you do!

Scarlette Sipple Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods taught my son in 6th and 7th grade. We switched schools for 8th grade and I remember he said, "These kids aren't going to be prepared for high school at all because they haven't had Mr. Woods.". Middle school is notorious for being the "tough years" for kids. Mr. Woods helps the students, all students, to the best of his abilities to excel in those 3 years. I am forever grateful for the time and energy he put forth with my son. He just graduated college with a BA in History!

Ryan Handlon Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of the most passionate teachers I have ever met. Having been lucky enough to spend many of days/nights at conferences with Mr. Dunn I can only imagine how lucky his students, school and community are to have him as a teacher. His passion to both learning more about any and all subjects and trying new “best practices” translates into a classroom that produces amazing results and lifelong learners. As a colleague within the teaching profession he has inspired me to be better teacher myself and on many occasions has picked us all up emotionally when we are down. Amazing man.

Emily Grijalva Posted 10 months ago

I had the honor of meeting Dunn Woods during a fellowship through the National Endowment for the Humanities. The fellowship in San Jose State University focus on CA Immigration Through Literature and Theatre. Right away, I was drawn to Dunn’s outgoing personality, and electric creativity, and deep sense of empathy and solidarity towards the diverse experiences of immigrants throughout history. Being the only Central American in the group, I felt a bit nervous but Dunn immediately reached out and shown genuine interest about my own immigration struggles. We ended up collaborating in the culminating theatrical piece for that fellowship and focused our performance on racial microaggressions and validating our wholeness. Beyond the fellowship, Dunn continues to share meaningful learning opportunities with a wide audience, supports my own school projects, and has become a friend I look up to. His passion for culturally-relevant pedagogy is contagious, his ability to break into song is refreshing and his desire to share resources with educators is commendable. He has changed his students’, colleagues’ and my lives! He deserves this recognition and more!

Jennifer Gorman Posted 10 months ago

It has been such a pleasure getting to know Pren over the last few years at the Met Education Conference. His warmth, insight and energy are such a positive influence to those around him. This nomination is so well deserved!

Ronda D'Orio Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods taught my son Luke’s history class when he was in 7th grade. Luke is now a Junior in High School and Mr. Woods will still check up on him. Having Mr. Woods in middle school was a great experience for us. He took some boring text book material (to most boys) and made it fun and interesting. Mr. Woods was always coming up with creative ways for his students to learn. That year was full of projects but ones that really made sure the kids were learning. Mr. Woods expects a lot out of his students but will go out of his way to help them be successful. Every student felt special and part of the class. No one was ever left out. Every student that has had Mr. Woods, respects him and never wanted to disappoint him. He is an amazing man, mentor and perfect example of using the gifts you were given, to give back to others. Our school district is lucky to have found this gem to teach our future leaders. I can't thank Mr. Woods enough for making my sons 7th grade year exciting and still caring about his future.

Kamala Schelling Posted 10 months ago

I first met Mr. Woods three years ago at the Metropolitan Opera's National Educators Conference, and I was immediately struck by his enthusiasm, his graciousness, and his insight into using opera and the arts to deepen students' engagement with a variety of classroom subjects. I now work full-time at the Met, and I am thrilled to know Dunn as a regular presence at our annual conference. Each and every day, his enthusiasm, graciousness, and insight continue to spark conversations and deepen connections in the opera house and beyond. Congratulations to him for this nomination! Bravo!

Linda Bailey Posted 10 months ago

Congratulations on your nomination! You are clearly a life changer. You create life experiences and lessons for your students. Most of all, everyone who knows you, feels cared for and supported. For some kids, you may be the only adult they feel supports them. You are giving them confidence to accomplish anything they want. Dunn, I wish you all the best. You deserve this award.

Pren Woods Posted 10 months ago

I am so grateful for such loving support from communities near and far. I have wanted to be a teacher ever since I was 9 and consider myself blessed to be living “my best life.” Thanks for all the wonderful comments.

Theresa Blitch Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods has provided many opportunities for his students in the classroom, but he had also brought much to the community. He is one of a few educators that have been invited to participate in the Met Opera initiative. This initiative brings a back stage view of the current Met performances. I had the opportunity to bring my 88 year old mother to a performance last year. She was enthralled with this opportunity to experience an opera without leaving Summerville. I am looking forward to seeing Porgy and Bess with her this spring. She clips every article written about Mr. Woods in the paper. I can always tell there is a new article when she says, "Did you know that Pren...". He has made a friend for life with my mother for many reasons but most importantly because he is bringing the world to his students in a way that is like no other.

Remonia Y Willis Posted 10 months ago

Mr.Woods was my son teacher and he made it very interesting for my son! He was excited about learning different things from him. I honestly wish there were more teachers like him that make learning fun and keep everyone wanting to learn. He is one of the best teachers that that my son has ever had. Very thankful for Mr. Woods.

Elaina Posted 10 months ago

My friend and colleague, Pren, is so passionate about education and people he teaches, and we are many. He’s taught and continues to teach me about history and my place in it. He’s such a powerful force of life! He is So full of what is valuable and important in life. He changes those around him by being change we want in the world. His example of giving more than he takes is a lesson for us all.

Morgan Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods has completely changed my life. He’s the hardest worker and most compassionate person I have ever met. He taught my brother and has always looked out for me as if I were one of his own students. He gets to know his students on a personal level and keeps up with them throughout the years. When my grandmother got sick, he was always there for my family and always made sure we were okay. Mr. Woods is loving, caring, passionate about what he does, intense, devoted, and above all he teaches for comprehension of material and not teaching for the test. Mr. Woods is the complete and utter definition of this award.

Shannon Church Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is a great, caring and wonderful teacher. He taught my son Jacob (JAC The nickname he gave Jacob) in seventh grade. Jacob It’s a senior this year. He still calls each of my sons and myself o our birthday and sings happy birthday. Jacob loves history because of Mr Woods. I love seeing all the places that Mr. Woods goes to in the summer and I love seeing all the pictures especially knowing all the stories and information he brings back to the classroom.

Julie Ritchie Posted 10 months ago

...you KNOW he’s an amazing teacher when your child comes home & says how much fun the lesson was even with a SUB in Mr. Wood’s class, because, well, that’s the way he rolls!! ????

Shauna Cihacek Posted 10 months ago

Dunn is one of those of wonderful people that once he is in your life, he will always be there for you. I met Dunn at a conference a few years ago. That chance meeting has changed my professional life. But what I want to talk about now is how he reached out to me after my nephew went missing. Many people that I talk with on a daily basis have not said anything. Dunn reached out to me and even made a comment about praying for our family. Let me repeat, not many of my coworkers that I am with daily have said anything. Dunn was there for me with those simple words. That is what a Life Changer does. They think of others even after brief meetings. Dunn exemplifies all the characteristics of a Life Changer with his open-minded ways, his open-heart, his caring, and his prayers for you. Thank you, Dunn, for your kind words during the tough weeks.

Ashley Sawyer Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was by far the best teacher I have ever had!! He taught me so many things when he was my 6th grade social studies teacher. One thing he also did was helped me learn that I want to be a teacher. I am now a senior at Columbia College studying to become an early childhood teacher! He was so inspirational and taught me how to be the person I am today! I am so thankful for Mr. Woods and all he does.

Kate Beal Posted 10 months ago

Pren Woods is the type of teacher that you hope will teach your child. He makes learning fun and forms a personal relationship with each child he teaches

J Travis Posted 10 months ago

What a wonderful influence on young people. Taught my boy how to really think!

Carly Park Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is a teacher unlike any other. He models a love of learning for both students and colleagues. He sets high standards for all learners. Many students who rise to meet his expectations are motivated to excel by the relationships created both in and out of the classroom. Mr. Woods’ teaching reaches beyond the classroom into markets, theaters, and most importantly, hearts.

Evan Sobczak Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 7th grade history teacher. His class was the best classroom environment I’ve experienced in all my years of school. His extraordinary teaching skills and activity’s made class fun, interesting, and educational. I want to personally thank Mr. Woods for being such an inspiration to me and helping me learn to enjoy school!

Jenny Zimmerman Posted 10 months ago

I attended a National Endowment for the Humanities workshop with Dunn Woods two years ago. We spent two weeks with other teachers from across the nation, and Dunn was an amazing colleague to learn along side. He brings energy and happiness everywhere he goes. He never misses an opportunity to sing Happy Birthday and make you feel loved. He brings the world to his students and holds high expectations for all. He is very deserving of this honor.

Carla Salley Posted 10 months ago

Pren Woods is both my colleague and friend. He is a phenomenal educator who brings his enthusiasm for life and passion for knowledge into the classroom. He makes lasting connections with students and their families. He invests himself in their success and challenges them to take it to the next level. He respects the diversity that is inherent in the world and actively seeks to share that respect for the same with his students. He willingly has sacrificed some of his free time to assist me in chaperoning students on Spring Break trips to our nations’ capital solely because their parents know and respect him and trust his care of their children. He is constantly looking for ways to share what is good about the world with his students. He impacts the lives of others, particularly his students, in ways that have will leave a lasting impression.

Natalie Posted 10 months ago

I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Woods for over a decade. He is truly a life changer in so many ways. What happens in his classroom isn’t just about social studies...students are learning how to be better students, study skills, time management and to advocate for themselves in the classroom, just to name a few. I love walking by his classroom and hearing the songs and just hearing him teach. The energy and excitement he brings to his classroom is pretty amazing. I believe Mr. Woods is the epitome of a “life changer”.

Emily Willard Posted 10 months ago

I never had the privilege of having Mr. Woods as a teacher, but he taught two of my siblings in middle school. Our family has been connected with him since then, for about 10 years now! He is an excellent teacher and it has always been evident that he has a passion for teaching young minds, going above and beyond to ensure his students retain and understand material in the most creative ways. His love for continuation of his own education to learn about the world and to understand other cultures only enhances his ability to teach his students. Mr. Woods is more than a classroom teacher though, he is a community leader and educator! There has never been an encounter with him in which I didn’t learn something about history or culture. And he educates all the while making his learners laugh! If you are lucky enough to have met Mr. Woods, you will surely remember having a big smile on your face and I guarantee you will take something positive away from the conversation. Many thanks and much respect for Mr. Woods!

Maciek Posted 10 months ago

Dunn Woods, as I know Him, is not my lifetime friend, school- or workmate, he's not even someone I knew at the beginning of this year. We happened to be a part of the same organisation, Up With People, back in the 90's and he was travelling to my country, Poland, to study Holocaust with group of other teachers this July. We connected thru Alumni page, met in Warsaw and I tried to be a guide for him over next few days. And even if we did not have these few days, I would say Mr. Woods is a life changer after a few minutes of our first meet. Friendly, outgoing, polite, charismatic and passionate - words which probably describe him best, but don't even begin to say how he affects people around him. Takes him about 10 seconds to reach out to complete stranger and have a meaningful conversation on most any topic. My guess is there won't be a single person he met in Poland that will forget him, ever. But I also had a chance to see how he proceeds with his work, how much effort he puts into preparing the subject, how much knowledge he absorbs and still wants more, how strong emotions it brings to him. I follow his FB page and read what other people are saying to him or about him and I know that I met truly remarkable individual that affects many - in the best possible way. I'm fortunate and proud to be able to call Him my friend and I look forward to seeing Him again whenever possible. Thank You, Dunn :)

Jessica Wagner Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods shows a true joy for teaching his students as well as for life itself. I really admire how much of a life long learner he is! He is always leading by example and inspiring kids to challenge themselves and set new goals.

Gabreyelle Peterson Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods, the epitome of greatness. I will never forget the songs we learned everyday to understand the content that was taught. This was truly the greatest thing about his classroom, he knew how to engage his students beyond the curriculum. He brought the outside world to us which benefited in ways we never would have thought. Mr. Woods is crazy talented, a vibrant spirit and all around one of THE greatest teachers I have ever had. Whether it be in his classroom or down the halls he is involved with his students to make sure we know are worth as well as our peers. From his teaching methods that inarguably breaks the shyness of middle schoolers to his constant shine; he teaches because he genuinely loves to. I could not imagine a better candidate for this prestigious honor! Thank you, thank you!

Katy Wilson Posted 10 months ago

I've never met anyone like Pren Woods before. Destiny brought us together on a trip to the middle east on my 25th birthday. We were both accepted into the TEACH Fellowship program. I was anxious and nervous, but found immediate comfort in my new friend (who, by the way, serenaded me on my birthday and made me feel so special!). I've told Dunn time and time again that I wish I'd had a teacher like him. I'm so grateful though that life made our paths cross, and I sure hope to see him again. It would be a mistake to not choose Mr. Pren Woods for this achievement award. There is nobody more deserving. Miss you, Dunn!!

Malena Rutecki Posted 10 months ago

Absolutely Love Mr. Woods he has a special gift and making sure each child has his/her on nicknames, the special singing Happy Birthday songs to the students. His teaching through music and song is so unique and educational. If anyone deserves this award it is Pren Woods! Love You Mr. Woods

Harold Brown Jr Posted 10 months ago

Mr Woods is a great teacher,role model for kids to look up to.A fantastic personality,always positive and supports his students and wants them to succeed in life.He taught two of my daughters and everyday they would always have something positive to say about Mr Woods.In these days and times every school across america needs a Mr Woods.

Ashley Patterson Posted 10 months ago

You are an inspiration to all of those who are embraced by your presence. Your positive outlook on life creates a safe, loving and warm environment. You are truly deserving of this award, you’ve changed my life by just being in it and I’m sure every student you’ve come across can say the very same. Xoxo

Melva Grant-Burns Posted 10 months ago

Thank you for being a vital part of our daughter’s 7th grade encounter. You really changed the game in kids wanting to learn. You have earn our respect for a lifetime!

Ashley Lock Posted 10 months ago

Congratulations, Dunn! It was a pleasure traveling with you to Poland for the Echoes and Reflections journey. Having someone to reflect with at the end of the day was comforting as we dealt with the challenge of staring inhumanity in the face. Your abilities to discuss hard history in a way that young people can safely enter those spaces was clear and now that we’re friends on social media, I look forward to seeing the ways in which you share these ideas with your young students. Good luck!

Tracey Culver Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods truly is a dynamic teacher. He taught and reached children through a multitude of teaching styles. The students would acted out skits, sing and rap, and even dance to learn history. My son learned, truly learned more history in that one year than he has any other year he has been in school. Mr. Woods is also a very compassionate teacher. He cares about his students on a personal level. He encourages them and supports them in their outside interest, and continues to support them long after they leave his class. My son is a dancer and he came out to a dance competition to support him 3 years after he graduated from his class. Mr. Woods is an inspiration and roll model for all teachers and students.

Cindy Hough Posted 10 months ago

I truly believe Mr. Woods deserves to be honored as Lifechanger of all - time (or at least a decade or two!) The National Life Group should just go ahead and post Mr. Woods' picture on their web site as an example for all other nominees to follow. Mr. Woods has a gift for teaching and also for connecting with all those he meets on a personal level. I do not know where he gets the energy to give as much as he does, and there are hundreds of students and parents that are appreciative for his passion and skills. Mr. Woods taught both of my sons middle school social studies for two years each. From the first night at "Meet the Teacher" we could tell Mr. Woods' class would be a dynamic learning experience for them and we were not disappointed. Mr. Woods' classes were fun, but don't for a minute think his students had it easy. THE CLASS SYLLABUS -- oh boy. Intimidating at first. His classes are tough. His students work hard to earn their grades. But I don't think they mind as much because they were having fun along the way. Mr. Woods uses many varying teaching methods to keep students engaged and his lessons are relevant and thought-provoking. He not only teaches his students the required curriculum but also injects humanity into all lessons. Students learn about world events and also the human factors associated with those events. He teaches his students so much more than social studies. He demonstrates and teaches his students organizational skills, critical thinking, compassion and justice, and real-life interpersonal skills while tapping into their creativity as well. Mr. Woods never sugar-coated any message for my kids -- if they were slipping in their efforts he let them know and let me know as well. He knows his students' potential on an individual level and fully expects that all his students meet their potential. He communicated with us as parents more than any other teacher my sons have ever had. There were never any end of the quarter surprises. Once my sons left middle school and went to high school Mr. Woods was still there. My son had an awards ceremony and who would there offering congratulations? Mr. Woods. Upon their high school graduations, there was Mr. Woods. My sons are a junior and senior in college now and Mr. Woods still keeps up with what's going on in their lives and their milestones. He is a "once in a lifetime" teacher. In reading the comments posted here, I am in awe but really not surprised. I fully support Mr. Woods' nomination and believe he deserves this award.

Jessica Freeman Posted 10 months ago

I had the absolute pleasure of working with Prenn at Alston Middle School as a fellow history teacher. There was never a day that he wasn't smiling, singing, and just glowing with passion for the students and his content!! He pushed me daily as a colleague and still I was no match for his pure enthusiasm. Even when I left my position as a teacher I still heard his name in the community from those whose lifes he had impacted. I started working for a pediatric chiropractor and there was a family talking about their sons history teacher and as soon as I heard the description and they started singing in the office I said his teacher is Mr. Woods at Alston isnt it? They smiled ear to ear said yes and could not stop talking about all the great things hes done. It just goes to show that his passion runs deep through the school, parents, students, coworkers, and the community in general. Prenn is a phenomenal educator and very much deserves this recognition.

Pam Inabinett Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods left his mark on my daughter and future teacher. She credits him as the one teacher who truly gave her a voice. He pushed her out of her comfort zone and help her grow in knowledge and confidence. His parent communication was crazy! I would get emails/calls from him almost weekly. His style of teaching was immersing his students in the time period they were studying. He 'performed' every day...I don't think he ever had an off day. I will always be grateful for what he did for my daughter. Thanks, Mr. Woods! #YouRock

Amie Spitzer Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods, You were such a great inspiration for my son when he was your student. You challenged him when it was awkward for him to come out of his shell, and you brought thoughtful topics to him at an age where most teachers tamp down middle schoolers' critical thinking skills. You were also SUCH a help when he got sick, helping him to continue with school uninterrupted while we were on homebound. I'm sure you definitely had an effect leading to his future successes and opportunities. Thank you for being who you are!

Kaitlyn Gibson Posted 10 months ago

Mr, Woods was truly a life saver. Coming into his class not being very motivated to do anything in any type of history class because it seemed so complicated. HE made sure EVERY single student knew what going on by writing songs for us to memorize (which i still use being a senior in high school), giving us projects that seemed very long but in the end i was so thankful he made us do these projects! I can definitely say 90% of the history i know is because of this guy! And he knows EVERYONE. Even if they don’t have a class with him. And that shows he is just such a great person all together! I can’t thank him enough for everything’s he’s got me though and thought me!

Todd Carter Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods has a dynamic personality. He has the incredible talent of pulling the best out of everyone (not just students). I meet Pren on a professional development trip to China. During that trip, he shared with the group of teachers his lessons that actively engaged students. I was able to use those lessons in my classroom to engage my students. My students love his songs and enthusiasm. He change my viewpoint on teaching--I'm not teaching a subject, I'm teaching kids how to live. Thanks Dunn.

Quinton Busch Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is a dynamic teacher who has high expectations for his students. He is high-energy and gives his all for the students every day. His classroom activities are always a buzz around campus from pageants, to skits, to multicultural-themed celebrations. I have had the pleasure of observing his class, and it truly is a marvel to watch the students be smiling and actively engaged at 8:00am! Well deserved, Mr. Woods!

Kelly Scialampo Posted 10 months ago

I can not preach enough about how Mr. Woods inspired both my boys and helped them become part of who they are today. He is someone that no matter who you are he will make a difference I tour life for the positive. He def. Deserves the title Life-Changer!!

Angela Williams Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods through a series of teacher workshops on the Middle East. Not only is he a scholar-teacher, but he is a talented artist as well. From the first encounter, he impressed us all with his creativity and sharing of his composition and musical talent. He takes every opportunity to travel and broaden his worldview and this enriches his teaching. He listens and connects to colleagues and I would imagine students as well. This kind of sensitivity is so very needed in the world today.

Robert Adkison Posted 10 months ago

We are pleased to have the opportunity to praise Mr. Woods. He was our son’s teacher for 6th and 7th grade. He is a “Life Changer” We truly believe he have made and continue to make a positive difference in our community. He has demonstrated and extraordinary commitment to Excellence. His preparation skills, organizations skills intellectual skills amply merit our recognition. We can recommend him without reservation for this award. His extra effort made all the difference in our son and others. He inspires our son to learn more and think harder. He helps our son to attain his personal best. He has excellent lesson plans; he goes so far out of his way to inspire his students. Mr. Woods was the first person to call us when my son has a surgery on a Christmas break, that’s the kind of person he is. Our community would be greatly honored that the Awards Committee voted to confer the Life Changer award to Mr. Woods in recognition of his long record of achievement and accomplishment. Congratulations Mr. Woods!

Riley Adkison and Family Posted 10 months ago

We are pleased to have the opportunity to praise Mr. Woods. He was our son’s teacher for 6th and 7th grade. He is a “Life Changer” We truly believe he have made and continue to make a positive difference in our community. He has demonstrated and extraordinary commitment to Excellence. His preparation skills, organizations skills intellectual skills amply merit our recognition. We can recommend him without reservation for this award. His extra effort made all the difference in our son and others. He inspires our son to learn more and think harder. He helps our son to attain his personal best. He has excellent lesson plans; he goes so far out of his way to inspire his students. Mr. Woods was the first person to call us when my son has a surgery on a Christmas break, that’s the kind of person he is. Our community would be greatly honored that the Awards Committee voted to confer the Life Changer award to Mr. Woods in recognition of his long record of achievement and accomplishment. Congratulations Mr. Woods!

Genein Posted 10 months ago

As a nationally recognized teacher, it inspires me to continually be encouraged and pushed to excellence by Pren. He always brings his best to his students but also his best to his colleagues. It has been an honor to learn from him and to celebrate our classroom successes. He makes me want to be a better teacher and a better life long learner!! :) GO PREN!!!

Judy Briggs Posted 10 months ago

Not only is Mr. Woods a caring teacher while teaching your child, he stays in touch with your child throughout their school years. Our son is in his junior year of high school, and he still keeps in touch with him and remembers his birthday! He is passionate about his students' learning and communicates with them well. He travels to bring his experiences back to his kids; he makes the classroom energetic and fun! He is a gift to every student who has the opportunity to be in one of his classes.

Lisa Godfrey Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is a phenomenal teacher. He inspired me and many of my classmates and I brought many of his teaching, aka his songs, from middle school to high school. I couldn’t have asked for a better history teacher!

Quintella Smith Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is an exceptional educator. His dedication to his students is unsurpassed. I am very grateful for the time he took with my son's who had just immigrated to the US. He took the extra time necessary to ensure their success in his class.

Sheila Spargur Posted 10 months ago

I never had Mr. Woods as a teacher, but my brother did and friends I had in middle school. My brother still talks about how much he loved having Mr Woods as a teacher. All the students loved him at the school. He was extremely involved in the school and students so even if you weren't a student of his you still knew him and learned from him. Everyone wanted to be in his class.

Michael Ridge Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods!!! Where to start. Mr. Woods is a very good role model. He always makes time for his students, in and out of school. He let's you know from the start, what is expected of you in his class. We are now on our second child in his class. Our son Greyson AKA ( Grey ) thinks the world of Mr. Woods. Our son, is now a Senior in High School and still enjoys catching up with him. Mr. Woods teaches in a way they is fun and educational. Our daughter Payton, adores him and was praying all summer long that she would end up in his class. He has a heart and a passion for teaching and we are so glad that our two children got the opportunity to learn from him. Mr. Woods always keep up the spirit you have for teaching. Thank you is not enough. Mr and Mrs. Ridge

Michelle Waring Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods deserves this hands down! Neither of my children have had the privilege of having him as a teacher, however over the years he knows me as a parent and my children. You ask how? Mr. Woods is so active in the community and is seen on a weekly basis attending his students extra curricular activities and community events. If he doesn’t have your child as a student he seeks out to get to know you and is genuinely interested and where they go to school and what they do outside of school. I have many friends children that Mr. Woods has taught. Parents and children talk about how he is energetic in the classroom and how he has a unique teaching style that is fun and effective. I have witnessed Mr. Woods attending birthday parties of students, graduations through college and have witness him making phone calls to check in with his former students to ask how they are doing. I’ve even received a call wishing me a happy birthday and have been sung to. Mr. Woods goes above and beyond not only for his students but the community. A true leader!

Jennifer Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is dynamic and energetic. He pays personal attention to all of his students- current and former as well as students who he has never even taught. He sets the bar high and his students strive to reach it. Definitely a life-changer!

Jonathan Pinckney Posted 10 months ago

When I worked for the school district, there were many teachers who were good at their jobs, many who were passionate about their jobs, and many who were able to communicate well with the children. Very rarely did I encounter any single teacher who embodied all three of those virtues and never have I encountered anyone who was quite as good at all three as Pren. As an educator, he has always gone far beyond what is required; his lessons teach children *how* to learn, instead of simply *what* to learn, and he treats every classroom period as an opportunity to show each student a new way to look at the world. He is, point blank, one of the best teachers I have ever met and one of the best educators I've ever had the privilege to work with.

James Schwein Posted 10 months ago

To those who know him, he needs no introduction. Pren Woods is a larger than life character whose wonderful outlook on life and passion towards education has left me, even years later, with a sense of great respect and gratitude for the lessons he has taught me.I am thankful to have had him as an instructor, and to be able to know him. To say that he is a life changer is to state the obvious. Thank you for everything you have done Mr. Woods. Best of luck to you.

Anna Lybrand Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods never even taught either of our boys, but we know him through church and because he is so active in the community. He is all about lifting others, encouraging and mentoring-and because of that our boys know him and just know that’s the role he plays. We all smile when we see him-because you know he’s ping to impact your day in some amazing way.

Thomas mazyck Posted 10 months ago

Mr woods isn’t like every teacher because he’s different , the way he teaches is interactive he is a not a notebook book teacher but he wants us to learn and he gets us excited about the subject he grades of improvement he teaches us that the world isn’t a playground but a place for the future of are nation.

Laura Thomas Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods taught my children in the honors class at Alston Middle School. He is a great teacher, inspiring his students to excel in their academic and personal lives. Both of my children went on to become members of numerous honor societies in high school (including Rho Kappa!) and are continuing their education at 4 year Universities in the state.

Beth Martin Posted 10 months ago

Congratulations Mr Woods! Mr Woods was my daughters’ teacher for 6th and 7th grade. He was her first interaction in middle school on meet the teacher and that was our first taste of his awesomeness! He made her so at ease! She was always telling me of the fun interesting ways of his teaching making the students want to learn. He is so nice and personable every time I still see him now (10 years later). He’s is also very interesting and talented! Who doesn’t love Mr Woods? He is very deserving this award!

Avery Smith Posted 10 months ago

Mr.Woods is an amazing teacher! He will make sure you are on task, Polite, and teach you in many awesome ways! He is one of the most supportive and helpful teachers I have ever had! Mr.Woods is a loving and caring teacher! I definitely believe Mr.Woods deserves this award!! -Avery Smith

Braiden Grignon Posted 10 months ago

Mr words is one of my favorite teachers, his teaching style is not only good but its fun. We do singing, dancing, and other participations. I dont have the best grade in his class but he said himself he is about improvement. Mr.Woods is a really good person in general.

Mike Dunn Posted 10 months ago

Pren is one of the nicest and most dedicated person that I know. He really loves his students, and is always going the extra mile for them, be it in the classroom, or with furthering his own knowledge to pass on to the students. He comes from a long line of great educators, and continues to push that great legacy forward.

Glenda Dunn Posted 10 months ago

Pren is my cousin. I’m so honored and privilege that we are family. I believe that he is the most intellectually brilliant man I know. His brilliancy sometimes can be veiled by his humility and genuine love for people. Honestly Pren can make anyone feel comfortable and brilliant too. He has that way about Him. He never misses an opportunity to learn whether it be in class setting, his environment, or the people around him. Now that i am writing this...Probably what makes Pren an excellent teacher is because he is an excellent student.

Chanda Dunn Posted 10 months ago

I bet you’re looking for a educator who is culturally competent and understands pedagogy from a multi-faceted view... that’s Pren Woods. He understands that students come from various perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds. With that compassion and knowledge, Pren serves as a life- changer and life-engager all young people. An enthusiastic and creative method of teaching is provided in the classroom to all students ensuring that the learning experience is stimulating and memorable. It’s not easy being an educator but Pren has shown his commitment to students and their families by remaining selfless in this line work. I didn’t have Pren as a formal educator but as an informal teacher during my childhood. He taught me through simple conversation, storytelling, and discussion of current events. He did this with ease and competency that I now recognize as an adult. I’m an educator now in higher education and informally...I take my lessons from him and pass them along in the classroom in more ways than I have thought. Family is the best teacher of life and Pren is apart of that family.

Fred Posted 10 months ago

When I think of a phenomenal teacher,I instantly think of Mr.Woods. He fosters an environment for creative learning in an enthusiastic and effective way.

Venea Posted 10 months ago

My cousin truly represents the word life changer in all aspects of his life, but the one I will speak of today is his ability to build and sustain relationships with others. Even though we do not see each other daily and are separated through distance he always finds a way to make me laugh, put a smile on my face, or just have a conversation to let me know I’m being thought of. For example, this past year he took the time to sing to me on my birthday. It really made my day. Not only did he sing to me in his operatic aria, but it also displayed his caring demeanor. As a fellow educator, I admire his commitment to teaching and learning. He truly inspires me daily to be a better teacher and person. Every year he commits to traveling around the world and bringing back what he has learned to share with his students. He inspires me to do the same. Even though I have not made that commitment yet, it showcases his willingness to learn. He continues to change and inspire the lives of everyone he comes across. His passion for teaching allows him to walk in his purpose of encouraging, motivating, and uplifting the students he teaches. His deeds are truly impactive and life changing.

Patreda Dunn Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is a phenomenal educator who loves to inspire, cultivate and motivate his students. I enjoy the stories he tells regarding his lasting impressions on his students, both past and present. Teachers who truly love working with kids, are much harder to find than most people would think. Mr. Woods is definitely one of a kind!!!

Decetra Posted 10 months ago

To witness Mr. Woods teach is to witness compassion and understanding in their finest forms. What’s most impressive is Mr. Woods use of innovative strategies in his teaching style. He demonstrates that learning can be fun.

Dawn Posted 10 months ago

This nominee does not come as a surprise to me. I have know Pren for a little over 26 years. His passion for teaching and the way he displays it never ceases to amaze me! He is inspiring yet so informative. He genuinely cares for the well-being of the students by educating them and letting them know he is always there. His knowledge and experience speaks volume in his classroom to the students, parents, other educators who are blessed to teach by his side or in his district with him and the ones on the outside learning through his knowledge. I would nominate Pren over and over again as what he instills in the students he teaches leaves a lasting lifetime impression on each student .

Mark Morris Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is an enthusiastic teacher. His enthusiasm helps his students appreciate history. He uses creative ways to teach. I have been fortunate to have had two of my kids taught by Mr. Woods. They would often come home and discuss what they learned in Mr. Woods’ class. My oldest son is a junior in college majoring in history. I think Mr. Woods class had a hand in cultivating my son’s interest in history. Mr. Woods is a wonderful asset to Alston Middle School.

Tara L Ferguson Posted 10 months ago

Dunn Woods was a colleague of mine at a 3-week National Endowment for the Humanities program for teachers, which was held in Vienna in 2013. We were studying Mozart and the Enlightenment, and Dunn brought an excitement to the experience that was infectious and inspiring. Dunn's passion for the arts, travel, history, food, music and just LIFE permeated the entire group and enriched all of our lives. The way he spoke about his students and the lessons he would prepare as a result of his professional development experiences that summer, made it clear that he cares deeply about his students and how he does everything in his power to support them to become better human beings while learning history in his class. Every year for over a decade, Dunn has hand-written letters to EVERY ONE of his students at the end of the year, expressing why he appreciates their unique qualities in his classes. Many families of students who have gone on to graduate from high school, then college, stay in contact with Dunn and continue to include him in their family celebrations. Dunn also is incredibly supportive of other educators, volunteering countless hours in support of teachers around the United States (and probably the globe) to help them find relevant professional learning opportunities and to navigate the application processes. Over and over I have witnessed examples of Dunn's genuine care for his fellow human beings. I met a woman during a NEH program in the Mid-west who expressed to me how much she wanted to attend a program in Mississippi. I thought that of anyone I knew, Dunn probably would know the most about how to support her application. I put her in contact with him, and generously, Dunn communicated with her and helped her with an approach that would give her an improved chance at an acceptance into the program. It worked, and now that educator has developed new, meaningful lessons about the Deep South in her social studies classes. I give this example just as one of many ways that Dunn's presence has rippled out and affected so many students and educators in America and the world. He affects everyone he meets with a positive, uplifting force. Truly, I personally can say that my life is enriched because I can count Dunn as one of my friends.

Dominick Manning Posted 10 months ago

As a seventh grade student, I can proudly say that Mr.Woods is the best teacher I have met during my time at AMS. He is a great teacher and has a teaching style that sticks with his students. His engaging activities give a welcoming environment and make you want to learn more. However, his teaching is not limited to the material, as he teaches you about life. Being a "lifechanger" comes naturally to him, and I'm sure the rest of his students will agree. Just listening to the stories of the people he has met inspires every one of us. Each day we leave with stars in our eyes, accompanied by a new story.

Rosalie Norris Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods during a professional development institute and he immediately stood out among the entire cohort as a bold, fearless facilitator with a big, kind heart. He is deeply passionate and hard working but above all fun and engaging. A gem of a human!

Renee Posted 10 months ago

As a dental hygienist, the first thing I notice about someone is their smile. And I have been seeing Pren's smiling face for about six years now. He has to be the one of the most radiant human beings on the planet! I always look forward to our talks about his students and his educational travels as well as his love for supporting our local restaurants. Having followed him on social media over the last couple of years I have really been able to see what an asset he is to our community. The way he communicates and educates his students is one the most unique and effective styles I have ever seen. I look forward to many more conversations with him in the future.

Gavin smith Posted 10 months ago

Mr.woods is a awesome teacher, not only does he teach us responsibility, but he is fun. He makes learning fun for everyone in the class, and those moments will stick with the students for the rest of their lives.

Jennifer Posted 10 months ago

Pren is energetic and sets high expectations. He has good relationships with his students and they look up to him as a positive role model. Definitely a life- changer in the field of education!

Josue Morales Posted 10 months ago

Very positive teacher and knows how to make your day and also is such a hilarious teacher

Josue Posted 10 months ago

Great Teacher !

Jay Karen Posted 10 months ago

Pren and I met in 1993 when I was an undergraduate at Winthrop University, and he was in the graduate school. We worked together in the Residence Life program and quickly formed a friendship. From the very beginning, what drew me to Pren was how intentional he was about engaging the people around him in some of the most interesting ways. Anyone who has met Pren knows his dynamism. That dynamism, mixed with an impressive life filled with worldly experiences and academic pursuits, impacts lives essentially in the first ten minutes of knowing him. For sure, Pren is an unforgettable personality - quick to sing you a song, tell you a joke, give you a hug and inquire about your life. But it has always been Pren’s willingness to engage in the hard conversations that underpins his role as a “lifechanger.” If you’re sitting at a barstool next to him at the local restaurant, or highly engaged with him in a four-day conference in some far-flung city around the world, your life will change for the better. I recall times on campus when we would be in meetings with others in the Resident Assistant program, and Pren would challenge the status quo, encourage people to do and be better. Sometimes being challenged by a person like Pren causes defenders of the status quo or defenders of low standards to be jolted awake. It can be jarring for those people, but in this world, it’s necessary for there to be people like Pren who will not rest contentedly nor participate in mediocrity. Furthermore, if he’s a teacher of your child, you should outright desire someone like Pren to stimulate and challenge your child. Pren lives his life as though he has only one chance to connect with you. He desires to find out what’s important to you, to leave you thinking about what choices you have in life, and about why you do what you do, why you say what you say. In your time with Pren, whether you are a friend, student, parent of a student, colleague or a “theretofore passerby,” you will likely dive into the hard questions of how can you “do life” better, or what more can you do for your fellow man or woman, most especially those who find themselves at the receiving end of injustice. When Pren and I got reconnected after having been out of touch for many years, the first thing I wanted was for my children to know him. I knew their lives would be better for knowing Pren - right away. And I was right. My responsibility as a parent is to do my best and raise two people who will go out into the world prepared to make healthy and good choices for themselves and those around them. Being close to Pren is about the best way to arm them with the mental fortitude to face life’s toughest questions and to calibrate their moral compasses, so they are pointed in the right direction. Pren Woods is the very definition of a lifechanger. Anyone I know, who also knows Pren, knows the kind of experience I’m talking about. You’re never the same, whether it’s after lunch together or 9 months in the classroom. Win this contest or not (even though he certainly fits the bill), Pren should go to sleep each night knowing and feeling the exponential impact he has had on this world through his human connections everywhere. I’m honored to be his friend, and grateful that he is in the lives of my family.

Kanade Kurozumi Posted 10 months ago

It was such a great experience to spend time with Mr. Dunn Woods in Hiroshima, Japan for the Oleander Initiative, Peace education program for educators. During the program, there was a day for Peace Park tour offered by local high school students. Those Japanese students looked nervous at the beginning, but as soon as they exchanged words with Dunn, they became relaxed with a big smile. I could see that Dunn created peaceful atmosphere around him. This program is so intense physically and emotionally, however, he was always positive, always peaceful, and always thoughtful. Also as an hiroshima local educator, I really appreciate that such a powerful educator like him visited Hiroshima and I do believe that he keeps bringing what he learned in Hiroshima back to his classroom and making a huge impact. I also learned a lot from him what the important elements for educators. He definitely is a life changer! I

Alice Posted 10 months ago

Mr.woods swept me off my feet with his incredible sense of humor and his special access to education methods and communication with sudents.

Veronik Rubin Posted 10 months ago

I had the pleasure to meet Mr.Woods when he was visiting in Israel, He came to my high school and we had a kind of a lecture with him, Even in that little time we had together all of the students and teachers saw how great of a teacher and a person he is. I wish there were more teachers like him.

Madelynn Doggett Posted 10 months ago

I never had Mr. Woods as a teacher, but he still made a point to have a relationship with me from teacher to student. He cares about every single student that walks into Alston whether he teaches them or not. He even talked me and my family into attending an opera show at the movie theater with him one time ?? Mr. Woods works so hard for his students to succeed, and deserves all the recognition possible.

Adam Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods’ words and lessons are ones I carry with me to this day. Life changer for sure!

Lasherry Singleton Posted 10 months ago

Hey Mr. Woods I love what your teaching my son...thanks for what your teaching him....#BEST SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER!!!!

Violet Posted 10 months ago

Congrats.dear friend ,I will never forget how u were the most encouraging and cheerful teacher ,wn we met n Japan . Everytime I read ur students' feed back ,on how u treat them and how u changed their life ,I'm so proud of u . I wish u the best of luck and the best of life .

Bettye Smith Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods during the holidays on vacation and has had the pleasure to be around him several more times throughout the years. Mr. Woods will proudly tell you that he is a teacher and it is evident that he loves what he does. He is proud of his students which is evident in his many stories that revolves around them. Mr. Woods is also an accomplished singer and world traveller in which he works into his curriculum--Not only does he teach from the books in the classroom but also through experience. I wish I had such a talent teacher who truly loves his profession when I was coming up.

Lisa Hamilton Posted 10 months ago

Our family has had the pleasure of having Mr. Woods as a teacher for two of our three children. If you notice I said "our family" because if your child if fortunate to have Mr. Woods, he not only cares about your child, but the entire family of that child. My son had Mr. Woods for Social Studies in the 6th grade and then he "looped up" with him in the 7th grade and our youngest daughter had him as her 7th grade Social Studies teacher. Mr. Woods is a phenomenal person and his energy and the love of learning overflows into his classroom. He has the unique ability to connect with your child and the learning that occurs in his classroom stays with them for a lifetime. He instills in every learner they are important to him and capable of achieving academic success. When you earn a high grade from Mr. Woods, the pride felt within that child resonates. It continues to ignite the students to want to learn more and be accountable for their education. Mr. Woods sets his academic bar high and has a very detailed syllabus that is followed throughout the school year. It becomes clear to the student rather quickly, they need to be prepared in his classroom. He unfolds Social Studies through music, acting, writing, class projects and testing. It is a lively room that you never know if you'll find the students in costumes or singing a rap song about a period of history. He makes students step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves. Too often teenagers limit themselves because of their insecurities. It is outstanding to have a classroom to learn in that you become a better public speaker or writer. Students are accountable for their own work and if diligent with a variety of ways to participate in the grading process, a student can be a top student. This is for every student and his process proves itself true every year as his students score well in the SC Ready testing rubric. Beyond grades, Mr. Woods cares about the general well being of his students. He takes the time to understand them as an individual. He is on the guest list of practically anything extracurricular activity a child participates in because he wants to support their interests. Families get to know Mr. Woods because of his incredible active listening skills. He remembers everything you have a conversation about and the relationships within a students family. He becomes your favorite teacher instantly because he relates to the age he teaches. With mental health issues at an alarming rate in our youth, Mr. Woods is a positive light for so many of his students. He is a positive and attentive teacher. Our son met Mr. Woods when he was eleven years old. My son is now twenty-one years old. Mr. Woods has been to everything important to Wade since the 6th grade-swim meets, award ceremonies, birthday parties, graduation parties and now continues to encourage him in college. He will be at his college graduation! Our middle daughter who never had Mr. Woods as a teacher also gets the same encouragement and attention from Mr. Woods. Our youngest daughter benefits from seeing him at school and at all her extracurricular events we invite him to. We care about Mr. Woods like a family member. We are in awe of his academic learning programs he attends every summer. He is selected among the elite educators throughout the nation and immerses himself in different cultures and brings back invaluable information to his classrooms. He makes learning interesting, relevant and thought provoking because it comes from his experiences throughout the world. He is dedicated to his profession. He is a perfect person to be awarded Life Changer of the Year. What more can a student want from a teacher? What more does a parent want from a teacher? What more does a school district want from an employee? Our family knows the answer, it is more educators like Mr. Woods!

Kimberly Waitt Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of a kind teacher. He makes learning fun for his students. He supports and encourages them academically and by supporting the activities/sports they are involved in by attending after school events. Mr. Woods taught my son and always came out to football games. My daughter wasn't lucky enough to have him as a teacher, but he also came out and supported her dance performances. He sings Happy Birthday to his students Opera style. What a thrill my kids got out of that on their special day! Mr. Woods is more than a teacher, we are blessed to call him a family friend.

Shannon Church Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is a great, caring and wonderful teacher. He taught my son Jacob (JAC The nickname he gave Jacob) in seventh grade. Jacob It’s a senior this year. He still calls each of my sons and myself o our birthday and sings happy birthday. Jacob loves history because of Mr Woods. I love seeing all the places that Mr. Woods goes to in the summer and I love seeing all the pictures especially knowing all the stories and information he brings back to the classroom.

Matthew Wynne Posted 10 months ago

Dunn Woods is an educator of excellence. His philosophy of teaching focuses on instructing the whole child. He incorporates interactive lessons using technology, material culture, artifacts, music, song, and dance. I have been fortunate to collaborate with Mr. Woods at Georgetown University's Middle East teacher institute. He has also been a great mentor to me as a beginning teacher. Mr. Woods truly lights a fire and passions to bringing history alive.

Jay Karen Posted 10 months ago

Pren and I met in 1993 when I was an undergraduate at Winthrop University, and he was in the graduate school. We worked together in the Residence Life program and quickly formed a friendship. From the very beginning, what drew me to Pren was how intentional he was about engaging the people around him in some of the most interesting ways. Anyone who has met Pren knows his dynamism. That dynamism, mixed with an impressive life filled with worldly experiences and academic pursuits, impacts lives essentially in the first ten minutes of knowing him. For sure, Pren is an unforgettable personality - quick to sing you a song, tell you a joke, give you a hug and inquire about your life. But it has always been Pren’s willingness to engage in the hard conversations that underpins his role as a “lifechanger.” If you’re sitting at a barstool next to him at the local restaurant, or highly engaged with him in a four-day conference in some far-flung city around the world, your life will change for the better. I recall times on campus when we would be in meetings with others in the Resident Assistant program, and Pren would challenge the status quo, encourage people to do and be better. Sometimes being challenged by a person like Pren causes defenders of the status quo or defenders of low standards to be jolted awake. It can be jarring for those people, but in this world, it’s necessary for there to be people like Pren who will not rest contentedly nor participate in mediocrity. Furthermore, if he’s a teacher of your child, you should outright desire someone like Pren to stimulate and challenge your child. Pren lives his life as though he has only one chance to connect with you. He desires to find out what’s important to you, to leave you thinking about what choices you have in life, and about why you do what you do, why you say what you say. In your time with Pren, whether you are a friend, student, parent of a student, colleague or a “theretofore passerby,” you will likely dive into the hard questions of how can you “do life” better, or what more can you do for your fellow man or woman, most especially those who find themselves at the receiving end of injustice. When Pren and I got reconnected after having been out of touch for many years, the first thing I wanted was for my children to know him. I knew their lives would be better for knowing Pren - right away. And I was right. My responsibility as a parent is to do my best and raise two people who will go out into the world prepared to make healthy and good choices for themselves and those around them. Being close to Pren is about the best way to arm them with the mental fortitude to face life’s toughest questions and to calibrate their moral compasses, so they are pointed in the right direction. Pren Woods is the very definition of a lifechanger. Anyone I know, who also knows Pren, knows the kind of experience I’m talking about. You’re never the same, whether it’s after lunch together or 9 months in the classroom. Win this contest or not (even though he certainly fits the bill), Pren should go to sleep each night knowing and feeling the exponential impact he has had on this world through his human connections everywhere. I’m honored to be his friend, and grateful that he is in the lives of my family.

Sara Zatz Posted 10 months ago

I had the pleasure of meeting Dunn Woods in 2017 at “The Immigrant Experience in California through Literature and History" a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for School Teachers, where I was artist faculty. Dunn was one of 25 teachers nationwide selected to participate in this experience, and we spent two weeks together learning about history through the lens of theater, literature, and historical texts. Dunn's passion for teaching, concern for the well-being of his students, knowledge of his field, and his enthusiasm and "think outside the box" attitude, make him an incredible educator. He so clearly cares about making a difference, and helping to raise generations of students who are critical thinkers and learners. His joy in bringing arts, music, poetry, and other innovative approaches to learning into the classroom is apparent in his curricular choices. It is clear that his students love him and are engaged by his work, remembering him and honoring him years after they have left his classroom. Sometimes it only takes a single teacher to make a difference in a student's life, and it is clear that Dunn Woods has been that teacher, that lifechanger, for many, many students, and will continue to do so for years to come.

Rachel Edwards Posted 10 months ago

It is has been so neat reading the comments that people have written about Mr. Woods, and it just validates what kind of teacher and person that he is to his students.

Julia Westbrook Posted 10 months ago

I wish my kids could have been in Dunn Woods's class. I met him at a high school graduation party. I hear that his former students love to keep in touch like that. I was blown away by his love and enthusiasm for what is really a calling is life, teaching. I began following him on social media because I wanted to see what his educational trip to Japan would be like. Experiencing the world so he can bring it home to his students is just one way that he changes lives. Since that one day he has adopted my daughter as his "niece". He maked people feel good. I can see how he makes connections all over the world, bridging gaps and changing lives. I talk to other parents in the community. I've heard from others that he has high expectations for every student and I have also hear stories that tell me that this is a man who is teaching kids about compassion for others and equality for all people. I respect that.

Caroline Edwards Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods has be wonderful with opera in the schools. I am always impressed how he gets his students to come to the opera. Talking to the students they express how the enjoy the opera experience. Mr. Woods takes his time to engage the students. Mr. Woods also takes a personal interest in his students extracurricular activities. I am amazed when he attends their activities. Mr. Woods is definitely a LifeChanger!

Denise Elliott Posted 10 months ago

I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Woods. He is one of those people you gravitate to because of his zest for life. Unfortunately, my son did not have him as a teacher when he attended Alston middle but that did not stop Mr. Woods from interacting with him on a regular basis just to check on him. What makes him a perfect candidate for this award? He is consistently changing the lives of anyone who has the pleasure of meeting him for the better with his enthusiasm for education and life. He is constantly trying to better himself to benefit his students and those around him. I have the pleasure of calling him friend and being able to live and learn through his adventures. Thanks Dunn aka Pren!

Dori Krupa Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing person and educator. He has dedicated his life to learning as much of this world to share his knowledge with his students. Bravo Mr. Woods. You are truly special.

Michael Arvites Posted 10 months ago

I had the pleasure of meeting Dunn Woods 3 years ago during a WWII seminar in New Orleans and again a year later in Normandy France as a part of the same program. From the get go he displayed a larger than life personality, and as I got to know him better a clear passion to enhance the lives of those around him. He is someone who deeply cares about the suffering and struggles of others and one who uses education to create advocates of compassion and kindness. Over the last three years I have found him to be someone who is fully invested in constantly improving his craft for the betterment of his students. Every journey he takes it seems is so that he can come back to them with a greater understanding of the world. Everyone of us can usually look to a teacher who has inspired you to be better, to think differently, and to make more of yourself. I can say that just in the few weeks we spent together and through the various conversations we've had he's inspired me to be a better educator and advocate for my students, I can only imagine the impact he has had on his students. As the love comes in, I'm sure it will become clear how impactful he truly is. I couldn't post this without highlighting his incorporation of music into education and learning. I think this is truly remarkable because it gives students who otherwise would t have had one a voice. It inspires and reaches students and peers who learn differently and use music as their form of expression. It also gets other students to get out of their comfort zone and expands their world view. So much love for Dunn, good luck, if anyone deserves this it's you!

Hillary Jones Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is the most inspired and inspiring teacher in my child’s educational life. His enthusiasm is contagious and he has a true love of life long learning.

Bob Fenster Posted 10 months ago

Dunn is a relentlessly positive person who is a strong advocate for his fellow teachers, encouraging everyone around him to seek life-long education.

Crystal Rivera Posted 10 months ago

Dunn is an amazing individual with a definitive love and passion not only for history but for teaching the next generation of leaders. In a world where "everyone" is a winner he strives to teach the skills needed to be a real winner - empowering the kids to make a difference in their community as well as discovering their path to help change the world and become responsible members of society. If all teachers cared as much as Mr. Woods I can only imagine the heights these young minds could soar too. Dunn continues to be a life changer with each class he teaches.

Andrew Miller Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is someone that I have come to truly appreciate and care for. It’s really hard to forget this man right here. He always puts others needs before his own. My children still miss him and can’t wait to he him again. His love and passion for children and teaching is unbelievable. To the man that cares for all, I hope that you get this award because you truly deserve it. Thank you for setting the bar for teaching and just communicating with people you coming contact with on a daily basis. Hope to see you again soon and best wishes.

Anthony Lito Rivera Posted 10 months ago

I wish you all the best in this competition. You are the most dedicated teacher I have had the honor of knowing. Your devotion to your students and passion for teaching make you a true educator. Thank you for all you do for the children and their future!

Morrow Cleveland Posted 10 months ago

Congratulations Pren on your nomination as a life changer! I met Pren in an adult capacity so I have not had him as a teacher for my child. But I have been fortunate to observe, and benefit from, his knowledge of the world and social interactions of global citizens. Pren is himself a life long student. In turn, he passes his lessons along to his students. I'm sure that Pren's life experiences provide a broad and "real" perspective to his students. Mr. Woods can speak of what he knows, not just what he read. That is a life changing lesson for students and adults!

Kathey Brennan Posted 10 months ago

Pren not only helps and inspires his students, he also seeks to inspire his peers in education. He does this by sharing ideas, educational training, and seeking diversity in his life. He shares educational resources work pets to enhance student learning for his students and other educator's students. Good luck & well deserved nomination.

Sheila Samaddar Posted 10 months ago

Pren Woods has been in my life for 28 years, since we were “kids”, barely out of college. He has always been thoughtful, engaged, inspired by the world and full of joie de vivre! As a performer in our experiential learning group, Up With People, he radiated an energy that drew people in and made them feel special. It’s no shock that he transposed all his talents into his educational career and is using his gifts to inspire our youth. Who doesn’t have a favorite teacher who we look back on and say- this person was my favorite, or listened when I needed, or believed and encouraged me, or is the reason I pursued a certain career? Pren is that educator, and so much more- and as we all know, very few and far between. I think many people could qualify as life-changer of the year, but few, as Pren, could qualify for life-changer for someone’s LIFE. He undeniably gets my vote.

Lukas Doctor Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is the funniest guy I have ever met. I live in Denmark, and don’t meet a lot of English speaking people so it was nice to meet mr. Woods. Me and my friends talked with him and had an amazing time, I am a little bummed that I couldn’t talk to him more, but I learned a lot from him. So that’s why me and my friends think that he is perfect for the life changer award

Lukas Doctor Posted 10 months ago

Hi, my name is Lukas. I met Dunn in Denmark, and it was at a summer festival. We had a Nice time talking together and a lot of my friends had a very fun time talking with Dunn. He is truly one of the funniest guys i have met. And he also one of the kindest.

Barry Grecu Posted 10 months ago

I have known Pren Woods for over 20 years and have always admired his love for life, learning and, above all, his students. As a former teacher myself, I’m always looking at Pren’s posts to see where he is going in the world to learn so he can share what he learns with his students. I’ve often told Pren that I wish I could return to my middle school years just to get to be in his class! As I am sure others will attest, Dunn’s enthusiasm for engaging with others reaches beyond the classroom. My 93-year-old Mother was serenaded by Pren who took the time to call her on her birthday. And he did that not ever having met her! I know Pren could be doing many other things with his life and would probably be making a lot more money. Nevertheless, Dunn is passionate about his calling as a teacher and as a leader and influencer in the generations coming up behind him. Would to God there were more men like Dunn in our classrooms!

Darcey Brooten Posted 10 months ago

I'm a 3rd-grade teacher in New Jersey, and even though I've only met Dunn virtually, he has mentored and encouraged me in my quest to further develop myself as a global educator. He gives countless hours to others, connects people to others and to opportunities, and he is 100% a lifechanger! I am proud to call him my virtual colleague, and he's the type of educator who's infectious energy makes all those around him strive for greatness. Thank you, Dunn!

Allison Bond Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods has served as a leader, friend and confidant to many of the youth participating in our churches youth ministry program. As the youth director for these youth I have heard many stories of how Mr. Woods has looked out for these youth while at school. Knowing that a teacher in the building has their back and is looking out for their best interest always is something that has truly changed these youths lives. Thank you Mr. Woods for being the life changer & constant encourager for these youth during some of their most difficult years!

Janee campbell Posted 10 months ago

When I first met mr woods around 2009 as a 6th grader I had no idea how he would change my life In so many ways . From taking me out my comfort zone with not only public speaking but writing as well , he made me realize that with success comes trial and error . I used to be so shy and always uncertain on EVERYTHING such as my schoolwork especially; mr woods opened the door for so much creativity that I never knew I had . Thank you mr woods you will never be forgotten ??

Rosa Otero-Creech Posted 10 months ago

His classes include reading, writing, singing, dancing and critical thinking -bringing history to life! Congratulations, Mr. Woods! No one teaches history like you do!!

Jennifer O’Neal McPhail Posted 10 months ago

It has been 20 years since I sat in Mr. Woods’s history class at Rock Hill High School, but I can still clearly recall the passion, energy and extensive breadth of knowledge he brought into his daily lessons. One class on the Holocaust stands out in particular. He led our class around campus with the promise of seeing his (highly anticipated) new car, only if we remained silent and stayed uniform in line. We walked in circles around the buildings, no new car in sight, until we returned to our dark classroom, confused, but still silent. Then he spoke calmly and quietly as he told us to imagine the doors locking, the room filling with gas, people beginning to gasp for air. I still remember the instant and intense emotions of confusion, anger, and sadness as I related on a human level to Holocaust victims as I never had before. He is a masterful educator and unquestionably a life changer. It would not be out of the question for me to relocate to his district so my children could have the same experience. ??

Michael Arvites Posted 10 months ago

I met Pren "Dunn" Woods 3 years ago when we both attended a program in New Orleans centered around WWII. From the very start is energy and passion was on full display. He is a person who cares greatly about his craft but more importantly he cares about improving the lives of those around him. He has a clear passion for dispelling ignorance and creating a sense of global empathy for his students. He not only wants them to have knowledge, he wants wants them to truly change the world with love and compassion. He doesn't like to see injustice and will gladly shed light on it whenever it surfaces. By only spending a few weeks with him over 2 years I found my self examining how I thought and related things to students, I can guarentee he is a life changer for his students amd coworkers alike. People like him make me proud to be an educator.

nicholas cliver Posted 10 months ago

Mr.Woods is a great and amazing teach, he makes songs for us to sing in class and help us with our test,projects,etc. I’m in 8th grade and had him last year and he taught me how to be respectful, responsible, and be good to other people. He’s also a very funny teacher if your having a bad day in that class than he’ll have a joke or something and i bet it would make your day better. That’s why i think mr.woods is a great person to pick for this.

Adam Federer Posted 10 months ago

This man’s ability to inspire is unforgettable.

Datka McCullough Gray Posted 10 months ago

I had Mr. Woods in 9th grade and he was awesome. I believe it was a pre-IB history class. He was firm, but fair and made learning fun. Some of the skills learned by Mr.Woods I took with me for the rest of my life. Because of him, I was extremely prepared for college. I learned how to read and follow a syllabus, be accountable for my work, and how to study. Prior to Mr.Woods, I never really had to study. I enjoyed the stories, lectures, and occasional song. History was never a subject I enjoyed, but he made class enjoyable. Well Deserved Mr. Woods as you’re getting your flowers before you die??. I always loved for you to sing that in class. Datka RHHS C/O 2000

Stephanie Rollins Posted 10 months ago

I’m 20 years out of High School but if there’s one teacher I will never forget, it’s Mr. Woods. He was the most exciting and passionate teacher. I looked forward to his class because he would sing, dance, act, anything to get your attention. You never knew what you were going to get. It was always obvious how much he loved his job and his students. Thanks Mr. Woods for always going above and beyond. Congrats on your nomination. You really deserve this.

Melissa Jackson Posted 10 months ago

Mr Woods taught my son Marshall in middle school. I had never seen Marshall so excited about what he was learning until he was in Mr Woods class. Mr Wood makes learning relevant and exciting. He continues to have a vested interest in Marshall’s life as well. Thank you Mr Woods!

Tammi Posted 10 months ago

My children did not have Mr. Dunn but a few of my nephews did. He has made an impression on me seeing him interact with his present students and past students. My nephew is in college now and still reaches out to him for advice. He came to their graduation parties. All the students gravitate to him.

Angela Posted 10 months ago

I am honored to be able to comment on Mr. Wood's behalf. There is no other teacher that stands out in my mind as well as my children's minds and their friends . His dedication,work in the community,amazing personality and overall selfless work he does is extraordinary!! He is truly one in a million and so deserving of this award!!!

Dylan Alperin Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is the coolest teacher I've ever met. He's helped me out in so many ways school related and in my home life. He's always trying to make everybody's mood brighten. That's why hes so perfect for the life changer award.

Christopher Hamner Posted 10 months ago

I had the pleasure of working with Dunn Woods as part of the American Battle Monuments Commission's "Understanding Sacrifice" program. That program brought together teachers from all across the country and from a variety of disciples to learn more about the personal experiences of Americans during the Second World War. Part of the program involved deep research into a member of the Armed Services who was killed during the conflict. The year-long program culminated with a trip to Europe, where teachers could present their research graveside in the cemetery where their soldier's remains are buried. All of the teachers' work in the program has been memorable and moving, but Dunn's stands out in particular. His soldier was an otherwise nondescript Army private from South Carolina. But the research Dunn completed over the year brought his story to life. And the graveside ceremony was nothing short of masterful: In just a few minutes, Dunn created a profoundly moving discussion on the short life of one unsung private that drew together a dozen threads of American history--one involving race, memory, war, and sacrifice, not always evenly shared. I have spent twenty-five years in the classroom as a student and as a teacher, and I have seen some remarkable presentations. But I cannot recall one that did so much in so little time. It was a tour-de-force, and one that I continue to think about nearly half a decade later. I have used the story of Dunn's research, and the short film of his graveside remarks, in my classes dozens of times. I have seen a roomful of hard-bitten Army colonels reduced to tears watching the footage. I have witnessed firsthand the way his approach to teaching changes lives: My own students' enthusiasm about the bottom-up approach to telling stories about the Second World War is palpable after watching the story of Dunn's research. That enthusiasm, in turn, has helped give voice to people from the past who too often have been voiceless. I've borrowed heavily from Dunn's teaching experience and expertise, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to watch a master teacher up close for so long. I know my students, and my own classroom practice, are incalculably better for it.

Monica Ambalal Posted 10 months ago

This guy. A life all unto his own. He is going to save the world, become president, and find ways to create community through happy hours! He is a great colleague and an educator who teaches by ‘doing’ and gaining experience prior to bringing up matter in the classroom. He lives for travel, and brings those experiences to his students. He’s a great role model for young people that join his classes.

Eric Northard Posted 10 months ago

Dunn has helped me and so many educators all over the USA bring the World into our classrooms by tirelessly offering his time and expertise to share professional development opportunities. He is a real font of k ow ledge in this regard and I value his feedback and input.

Joseph Timmons Posted 10 months ago

I'm in college years later and to this day Mr. Woods is still the most influential and passionate teacher I have ever had. The way he taught us was unlike any other; no other teacher, and very few college professors, would go through the efforts he would just to make his class more engaging for us. The work ethic he instilled in us has had such a lasting impact, that it's how I maintain Dean's List at my school. Any student that goes through his class is not just a face, staring up at you blankly; they are a member of his family that he wants the best for and will do anything to ensure you succeed. In his class, he would tell us about the places he had travelled and it was then that I wanted to see them. So when I got to college, that's exactly what I did, I studied abroad and experienced cultures I thought I'd never see. It taught me more than any classroom could, the only exception is Mr. Woods' class, his will always be where I was inspired. That's why he should receive this award, he inspires while we're young so we can grow up to achieve life-changing things.

Aamilion Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is ay great teacher he works hard and cares for his students as like as if there his child mr. Woods also loves to have fun with his students he does fun projects fun scenes to go over history his just ay awesome teacher to me and my friends especially when I was mad at him he made me laugh so hard I thought my eyes where bout to pop out the socket I'm still laughing at that now I'm in 8th grade I look back on the things he taught and the words he said to me be respectful,responsible and always we treat people like u want to be treated o!! And always be hungry. But mr woods is ay great teacher and I think him for who I am to thus very day Thanks Mr. Woods

Sherry Martschink Posted 10 months ago

What a joy to know him!! As a small business owner, I hear customers singing his praises often. It seems that everyone in our large town knows him and adores him. He cares for his students and he takes extraordinary care of his mother, even when it isn't convenient. I told someone recently that I want him to sing at my funeral, which I hope isn't right away!

JUSTIN C HOUGH Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was one of the most memorable parts of Alston Middle. His lesson were always entertaining and engaging, yet still focused on the topic that was being learned. Most importantly, Mr. Woods always believed in his students and asked about their lives and achievement outside of class, and would encourage us to do our best inside and outside the classroom. Now, in my third year of college, I can look back and that his belief in my ability helped to give me the confidence to be who I am today.

Lisa Schellhorn Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is the type of teacher that I wish I would have had and I wish my kids would have had. His passion for teaching in unlike any teacher that I have met before. He knows how to make learning fun and interesting which keeps the students engaged. Since my kids didn't have Mr. Woods as a teacher, he has adopted them as his "niece and nephew". He is such a positive role model in their lives. I cannot think of another person that is more deserving of this award than Mr. Woods. He truly is a life changer!

Kristen Brown Posted 10 months ago

I had the pleasure of working with Mr.Woods at AMS for two years. I witnessed on a daily basis his passion for teaching and working with his students. He created an environment like no other with his engaging lessons plans and high expectations for his students. Mr. Woods is also a life learner he is always seeking out opportunities to educate himself and pass down his new knowledge to his students and co-workers!

Cate Carroll Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods about 10 years ago when my daughter was in his Social Studies class. In the beginning my daughter did not like the class because she felt it was “too hard”. Several weeks in she started coming home singing songs with a pop music tune but the lyrics from a history message. As the year progressed, there were plays, projects, map studies, and more songs. My daughter became a walking history lesson, bringing everyone in our home into conversations about historical events and people at the dinner table. She and her father would take for hours about how the events going on in the world in the present were molded by things that happened years before. My younger son started singing the songs and has been successful in his social studies classes by my daughter’s living what Mr. Woods taught her. My father was a history teacher and could never understand my lack of appreciation for history and geography. I realized that had my experience with these subjects not been so boring with simply memorizing facts, it would likely have been better. If my teachers had put our lessons to music, drama, or given it a modern context I am sure I would have appreciated it more. My daughter still loves history. She is studying political science at the University of North Texas and will graduate in May and starts law school in the fall. That Mr. Woods has a visible love for what he does and the information he shares with our children is the most effective method of creating a successful atmosphere for learning. His students have the most wonderful benefit of learning from a teacher who not only studied the information but has been to most of the places he teaches about. He has actually immersed himself in the cultures, walked the streets, and talked to the people in these countries. What better way to learn from someone who can honestly say they have been there and seen it! Mr. Woods remains a close friend to our entire family. Though we moved from South Carolina to Texas before my younger son could have Mr. Woods as a teacher, he benefited from what his sister learned and brought home. Mr. Woods remembers the birthdays of my daughter, son, and me, calling every year with a special birthday singing telegram. When visiting South Carolina, we make sure to include a visit with Mr. Woods. He has even visited with us in our home in Texas. Mr. Woods is not simply a Social Studies teacher. He is an absolute Life Changer!

Cheryl Heyres Posted 10 months ago

I used to work with Mr. Woods at Alston Middle School in between the years 2008-2013. He is a very energetic and enthusiastic teacher. He knows all his students and he always makes them feel valued and special. Every birthdays, he will sing his classic birthday rendition and he actually does that to teachers and coworkers too. He we will serenade us during our special day and it’s heartwarming to have someone take their time to present something for you on your special day. Mr. Woods is known to give fun lessons in his class. He will present topics in a song or drama form. His students are always eager to be in his class and they always treat him with respect. Mr. Woods loves to travel and he always do it with a purpose. He travels to learn more about the world and with his experience, he is always filled with great teaching ideas that he uses in class. I can go on and on talking about his accomplishments and impact to the students and people around him. But one thing for sure, he genuinely cares about the well being of all his students.

Paul and Jessica Acosta Posted 10 months ago

It is reassuring to us as parents, that educators like Mr. Woods are a part of my son's daily life at school. In a world full of negativity, lack of manners, and common courtesy, Mr. Woods does his best to not only teach his curriculum but also instill confidence and passion in his students. Alston Middle School employs many talented teachers and staff that put in countless off the clock hours and I'm sure many parents will agree that Mr. Woods voice and presence, above all others, can be felt and heard by students and his colleagues alike. During these very critical formative years of our son's life and other's at Alston Middle School, its a great feeling to know that our son, Paul, has a person like Pren to look up to and model himself after. Keep up the good work Mr. Woods, you are impacting these kids in such an amazing way and creating memories that will stay with them for life. Sincerely, Paul and Jessica Acosta

Carol Moore Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods really cares about teaching. We just met him this year because my child is in his 7th grade social studies class

Joe Lewerk Posted 10 months ago

I met Pren "Dunn" Woods over 3 years ago when we participated with teachers from around the US in a World War 2 workshop that spanned two years. Pren was inspiring from the start, diligently getting to know his colleagues, sharing his varied experiences in education and endeavoring to learn from others. During the international portion of our experience together, Dunn never waivered in his efforts to build bridges of understanding with everyone he encountered despite the intensive and demanding nature of our studies and travels. Thus I was delighted to discover that I would again have the opportunity to work with Dunn learning about the Holocaust in Poland during the summer of 2019. The emotionally and intellectually challenging experience was one made both more meaningful and bearable by virtue of Dunn's insightfulness and compassion. Dunn's commitment to his craft, collegiality, and his genuine care for his students continue to inspire me.

Brion Rutherford Posted 10 months ago

Pren has an unbelievably positive reputation in the community as an educator who pushes students to achievement levels that they could not get to without his support. In addition, our professional interactions have challenged me to revisit my beliefs about educating students and lead to me improving my ability to reach and challenge all students.

Joe Boyle Posted 10 months ago

Congratulations, Dunn - you are indeed a life changer for so many people!

Karen Thompson Posted 10 months ago

I am a former elementary teacher whose students went on to Pren’s middle school. Many had the privilege of having Mr. Woods as their social studies teacher. He makes social studies come alive for his children. Teaching his subject matter using drama, music, and creative writing takes their knowledge to a higher level. He synthesizes the curriculum....not just requiring his students to memorize people and dates. Mr. Woods travels to foreign countries in the summer to learn first-hand the history he teaches.This clearly shows his children he,too, is a life-long learner. Lastly, Pren truly loves and cares for his students. He wants them to succeed. What more could you ask?

Jane Wright Posted 10 months ago

I have known Mr. Woods for 13 years and I must say his passion for teaching and desire to learn new ways to teach his students grows stronger every year. There is always excitement going on in his room, from singing, to plays, parades of royalty in the hallways. The students receive a unique learning experience that goes beyond any of their expectations at the beginning of the school year. His unique way of teaching helps all types of learners, and the students are able the retain the information for years to come. I have often heard students say they can remember songs and information they learned in 6th grade when they were taking SAT's or their exams. Mr Woods spends much of his summers traveling to different parts of the world learning new information hands on so he can take that information back to his students and the classroom to make their learning experience all the more enjoyable, He challenges the students to think outside the area they live, to experience the world from a different perspective, other than what they may hear in the news or see in the books. He brings history and social studies to life.

Sydney Stoever Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was my sixth grade teacher. I am now a sophomore in college and, to this day, he is still my most memorable teacher. I will never forget the amount of passion and vigor he brought into my history class, making parodies of pop songs to help us better understand the material, organizing skits and operas for us to act out in front of the class, playfully memorizing speeches delivered in British accents, and so much more. He went far above and beyond of what was required. He wasn’t, isn’t just a teacher but a friend. He truly cared about each of his students, not to mention his care for history and in educating us middle schoolers. Cannot give him enough praise. We love you Mr Woods!

KENNETH G MANGER Posted 10 months ago

My daughter Cara was a student of Mr Woods last year in 7th grade GATE Social Studies. It was clear to me from the onset that Mr Woods was the type of teacher that my daughter would long remember. Energetic; enthusiastic; with a passion for making a difference in his students education experience, Mr Woods did not disappoint. It became plainly evident that my daughter so enjoyed his teaching methods, incorporating song, role playing and many other initiatives to reach his students while ensuring their participation and motivation towards learning. For those of us fortunate to have had that one teacher that stood out and inspired us; Mr Woods easily meets that standard. Without question, he is most deserving of special recognition for his accomplishments and dedication to his profession.

Emily Saenz Posted 10 months ago

I have had the pleasure of spending a week each year with Dunn at the MET Opera conference. Not only is he kind, affable and wicked smart, he is an excellent educator. Dunn’s character shines through in every conversation. He is full of energy and great ideas. He challenges his colleagues to be better people, and invites freedom into any conversation. It is such a pleasure to know him.

Linda Bailey Posted 10 months ago

I met Pren probably about 7 years or so ago. From the moment we met, I knew he was a special guy. His sense of humor and just pure joy he exudes is so refreshing. As I have gotten to know him, I have watched his commitment to the children he teaches. He brings a wide variety of experiences and topics into his yearly programs that other teachers would not even do. He creates opportunities for his students to go to the opera or to a museum. He challenges them to stretch and grow bringing real life experiences and topics into his teaching. Pren truly cares about his students. He strives to ensure those young folks know they are cared about, are important and that they are smart. From everything I have seen or discussed with Pren, I know he helps his students to grow and have confidence. Pren gets involved on a worldwide level by traveling all around the world every summer and bringing back that knowledge and any project he works to the classroom. Pren is an outstanding example of a teacher who is involved and cares. He even demonstrates that by the individual graduation notes he writes to each student. When I am privileged to spend time with Pren, it is always a joyous experience and I always learn something myself! People in his community know who he is because he is involved. I met a political figure from his town once and when I mentioned him, they knew exactly who he was. Pren Woods is an asset to his community, his school, his students, his family and friends, his colleagues, and the world in general. He is truly creating future leaders and confident young men and women. It is my privilege to receive an annual birthday song, spend time with him occasionally and to be able to call him a friend!

Wanda husser Posted 10 months ago

He keeps me informed of my son’s performance in his class . I’ve only known him A month very concern teacher.

Haylen Phillips Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was my favorite teacher in 7th grade. He would always make up a song for almost everything he taught us. He sings to people on their birthday and The best part about it is the embarrassment on their faces. He checks on me even when I'm not in his class.

Lauren Miller Posted 10 months ago

Although I have only known Mr. Woods for a short time, he has truly shown his love and passion for teaching through everything that he does. A typical day in Mr. Woods' class is definitely no typical day! Our kids rave about the activities and work they get to complete in Mr. Woods' class. Did you catch that? They GET to complete. They are excited for his class daily and truly enjoy the activities to where they don't feel like they're completing regular classwork. I recently asked my kids to write down how they learn best... One student responded "having fun like in Mr. Woods class." I would have killed to have been in a class like his and I am SO thankful our kids get to experience his class. Mr. Woods is the epitome of a life changer!

Kimberly Reece Posted 10 months ago

I was first introduced to Dunn Woods through the Facebook page Scholarships, Grants, and Summer Institutes for Teachers. Since I was an alumna of both of their programs Civil War Washington and Seat of War and Peace, I was asked by Ford's Theatre to be a co-presenter for the National Council of History Education Conference in San Antonio in 2018. I was elated, but also with little funding for my trip outside of the stipend offered by Ford's. I posted my great news on the page, and Dunn, who is an administrator of the Facebook page, offered his advice about how to set up a Donors Choose page to advocate for funds for my trip. He gave me step by step instructions on how to set up my page and offered suggestions for how to get the word out about my page. At this point, I had never even met him. He encouraged my participation in NCHE and even gave me the inside scoop on how to maximize my efforts by applying for the Fritz Fischer Scholarship so that I would be further able to take advantage of my time as a presenter and as a learner during the Conference. I finally got the chance to meet Dunn in San Antonio as he was a presenter for NCHE also. I greatly appreciate his commitment to assist a fellow teacher that he had never even met except online. Through this experience, I was afforded the knowledge of history and the experience of being a first-time presenter and shared this knowledge with my 5th graders. To Mr. Dunn Woods, I am forever grateful.

Bonnie Styer Posted 10 months ago

I meet Dunn when I was in DC. Dunn was attending a workshop at the Native American History Museum. I enjoyed talking with him and hearing his perspective gained from all of his world travels. He has such a joy for learning himself that this transfers to his students and everyone he meets. Dunn has a very giving nature and encourages other teachers to seek professional development for themselves.

Alisha Gagliardi Posted 10 months ago

I met Dunn at a hotel we were both staying at while attending separate teacher workshop/institutes in Washington D.C. It was obvious after speaking with Dunn for 5 minutes that he had such a passion for history education, but even more passion for helping his students succeed. He was one of the founders of a Facebook group dedicated to helping educators find amazing professional development opportunities. He changes the lives of his students daily. Seeing the responses from his students on social media is evidence of this. I’m sure he changes the lives of those educators in his school. However, I think what is so impressive is that in addition to both of these, he is changing the lives of educators who are meeting him for a week in that lifetime. If there was ever an educator deserving of this award, it is Dunn Woods. You only have to meet him once to understand this as a fundamental truth.

Jamara Posted 10 months ago

During my 6th and 7th grade year at Alston middle school i had mr woods as a history teacher. Mr woods was by far the best history teacher and role model that i could have asked for. His teaching skills not only made it exciting to come to class everyday but also helped me during test and quizzes. I loved that he would make up a song about each thing we reviewed so it was easy to remember during test time. MR. woods would always sing to me on my birthday and made me feel special even when i ventured off to high school. I am very proud to have had Mr woods in my corner and in my life. He has made the best impact and i thank him till this day.

Carlos Moreno Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods has always made people’s day, and made everything better when he’s around. I hope his class is having as much fun as I did

Michael Collins Posted 10 months ago

The first time I met Mr. Woods was when my brother had him for 6th grade social studies. Throughout the school year my brother would always come home with many different projects and I of course would always help him. Once I was in 6th grade I knew that I would have Mr. Woods and I was excited based off of how my brother reacted, but I had no idea the different methods Mr. Woods had to make learning actually fun. Later in my middle school years I tried out for the basketball team and unfortunately I didn’t make it and I ran into Mr. Woods and we talked about; later that week he gave me a letter that he wrote that basically said to keep my head and that I’ll get through it. To this day I keep in touch with Mr. Woods and I’m sure that any other student of his can’t tell you this, but there isn’t a birthday that goes by that I don’t receive a voice message from Mr. Woods singing happy birthday. I hope Mr. Woods gets this award because I have never seen a teacher that cares so much about their students.

Marian Wischerath Posted 10 months ago

A passionate educator that enriches the classroom for his students providing them with a learning experience that extends beyond the classroom!

Matt Elms Posted 10 months ago

Dunn was a breath of fresh and thoughtful air on our trip to Europe for the American Battle Monuments Commission. Issues of gender, race, sexuality were often discussed in the context of WWII soldiers that we had studied. His ability to identify subtle nuances in these areas were enlightening and sometimes, hard to hear. But I learned from him and vice versa. We came to trust one another and I believe that is the definition of friendship. We continue to connect digitally because Singapore and South Carolina are far apart in so many ways.

Travis covington Posted 10 months ago

He is a very positive teacher. He comes to school with a passion of teaching me and my classmates.

Bismah Posted 10 months ago

you are dedicated and inspire everyone !

Allison weller Posted 10 months ago

I first met Dunn through a mutual friend. I had already known of and interacted with Dunn as he was one of the administrators of a social media page that promotes learning opportunities for teachers. Over the years, and especially since I have gotten to know Dunn on a personal level, he has been a tremendous source of support for my own professional development and academic pursuits. On numerous occasions he has informed me of opportunities that I might be interested in, has voluntarily given his time and talent to read over applications I was working on, and has always encouraged me and numerous other teachers to better ourselves through learning. But what really makes Dunn shine is the look in his eyes that he gets when he’s sharing some of the amazing things he does in his classes or when he’s talking about his current and former students. A man with endless energy and a generous heart, Dunn is the embodiment of a dedicated, passionate educator. The fact that he graciously and openly shares so much of himself with both students and colleagues demonstrates his love of teaching, learning, and most importantly life. I cannot think of a more deserving candidate for this award.

Kim Mobley Posted 10 months ago

Pren is an amazing educator. He finds platforms of learning for all students.

Theresa Posted 10 months ago

As I was reflecting on what I would say about Mr. Wood, I remembered the first time I met him. I was on a panel interviewing him for a position. All I could say at the end of the interview was, "I wish he had been my teacher". If he can't be my teacher, I need him as a friend. If only we all had the experience of a teacher like Mr. Woods. Teaching content and standards is important but that basic information can be obtained from reading a book. What Mr. Woods does is give students the experiences needed to have a deeper understanding of the people, their culture and beliefs. That my friends, you will not find in any book- unless Mr. Woods writes it!

Søren Vestergaard Pedersen Posted 10 months ago

I met Pren through the international culturel and performance group Up With People. And 25 years later he came to visit me and my family in Denmark. Great, curious and understanding man. His desire to explorer the history, to get involved in the present and take a diskussion amongst people is so much Pren. I wish him All the Best and good luck. From his danish family - the Pedersens.

Donna T. Posted 10 months ago

I met Dunn on an educator trip to Poland. In talking with him and listening to the plans he had for his students this year, I was struck by how Dunn pours his whole self into his teaching. In the classroom, out of the classroom, all year long, Dunn is constantly thinking about how his actions will impact the youth he encounters. After just two days, I found myself wishing I was a student in his classroom! There are not too many teachers who leave me feeling this way. I visited with Dunn after we returned to the U.S. and, again,listened eagerly as he described his plan for the first day back to school. It included a song (which he wrote and performed) as well as activities meant to convey that his students were in the best place possible for learning and growing. Again I was struck by the fact that Dunn's first priority and passion is the wellbeing of and higest level of learning for his students.

Susan L Douglass Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is known to me from his visits to Georgetown University's Education Outreach programs by the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, especially the Summer Institutes. We were able to give him a well-deserved travel grant two years in a row, which was an easy decision because of the keen interest he shows in acquiring new knowledge and sharing it. I also know him from his participation at the Dar al Islam Teacher Institute during the summer, where I served as faculty. The style with which Mr. Woods engaged his students is readily apparent in his engagement with the teachers and faculty at these intensive summer events. He readily shares what he knows with colleagues, and exhibits a keen sense of how to make his subjects come alive in ways that are attractive and relevant to students, but also rigorous from a pedagogical point of view. His questions about the subjects of our lectures were always insightful and penetrating. His concern for all students shines through in his work. I only wish I could be a fly on the wall in his classes.

Edna Mae Boroski-Siehl Posted 10 months ago

This wonderful teacher has sung “Happy Birthday” to me by phone, when I visited his school, and in restaurants. He takes the time to celebrate the people in his life. He has encouraged me to attend Metropolitan Opera viewings at our local cinema. His warm greetings and interest in each of us enrich our lives. I am so thankful he is part of out community!

Matt Franchi Posted 10 months ago

I had Mr. Woods for my 6th grade Word History class, and he was undoubtedly the best history teacher I've ever had. No instructor since has had the same aptitude for teaching, the same creativity, or the same penchant for singing. Mr. Woods still keeps in touch six years later, most recently to congratulate me for graduating high school. Evidenced by the hundreds of comments already posted, Mr. Woods has the ability to truly connect with his students and produce longstanding educational impressions. After all, I still remember some of the songs he taught us, always based off some sort of contemporary pop song or sometimes a hit from the past. He even attended a few of my piano recitals. Overall, Mr. Woods truly deserves the recognition he's received, as he was one of the best instructors I've ever had, even relative to my concurrent professors at Clemson University's Calhoun Honors College.

Andrea Miskewicz Posted 10 months ago

I traveled with Dunn Woods to Poland on an educator trip about the Holocaust. He was clearly very passionate about learning the content and bringing back what he learned to his students in SC. He is energetic, funny and teaching is his true calling! He deserves this award.

Shelby Gillespie Posted 10 months ago

I met Dunn during the course of my internship at the Metropolitan Opera. He was there for a conference, educating teachers on how to bring classical music and opera into the classroom through different subjects and activities. Although I only worked with Dunn for 3 days, I learned a lot about who he was as a person. I had only been at my internship for a few weeks and really didn't feel like I belonged. Working the conference was one of the first times I had to show my face to many people at once and I was very nervous. He was so warm and welcoming. He went out of his way to ask me about my goals and aspirations, not because he felt he should make small talk, but because he was genuinely curious. On a professional level, his enthusiasm for education was evident during all of our lectures and labs, of which he was an avid, vocal participant. The fact that he chooses to participate in conferences like the one at the Met Opera, proves that he is willing to go that extra mile to develope and mold himself into a better educator for his students. He doesn't have to travel up the east coast, but he does for them. I can tell you there is not one person at that conference, whether they be fellow educators or Met staff, that did not have at least one positive moment with Dunn. I am thankful for meeting him and happy to say we have kept in touch since meeting. Please consider him for this award. I cannot think of someone more fitting, more deserving than him!

Michael Sandstrom Posted 10 months ago

I met Dunn at the Monticello Teachers Institute in Charlottesville Virginia. Due to several flight cancellations and other issues, I made it to the University of Virginia campus a few hours late. As a roommate, Dunn is a larger than life character and truly makes an impact on all those he meets. Even in the summer, he busied himself with finalizing his class content and lesson planning. As I went to bed each night, he stayed up hours into the night and awoke early the next morning. Throughout our conversations, I felt a great sense of how much he cared about his craft and all of his former students. In addition, he makes an impact on the wider teacher community through Facebook and his network of colleagues. I know that he has reached out to me at the birth of my son and several professional awards in the last year. I deeply appreciate Dunn's energy and his love of bettering those around him. He is truly a "Lifechanger" in every sense of the word.

Janelle Quick Posted 10 months ago

Mr Woods taught my son in 7th grade History. I’m a mother of 5 but Christian is my oldest... everything was new and so was having a teacher like Mr. Woods was unfamiliar territory. I can recall initially hearing of Mr Woods and his “high expectations” as a teacher, but nothing could’ve prepared me for what would happen when my son got him as a teacher. For me or my son. The amount of work he was given, the writing, the expectations! A few weeks into school I’d had it. I sat down and wrote an email to his teacher and I can recall specifically starting off with “To my understanding, you used to be the Gate teacher” this guy was out of his mind! I asked him if he was trying to create a class made for GATE students, which my son clearly was not. The letter went on... and his response, which I wish I would have held onto in hindsight, was simple. He knows these kids are all able to do the work and he truly believes in all of them and although it was not a GATE class, he knew they were perfectly capable and indeed they were! That year, Christian learned each of the famous rap songs that Mr. Woods created. Putting world history to a song that these children could relate with was absolutely genius. Mr woods made learning fun. He sent home emails every time Christian got an A. He was a cheerleader. He went to after school activities, he made sure he went to the 8th dance that this momma could not get him to go to. When Christian move onto High-school Mr. Woods continued to check in and stay in touch. He brought Christian a fun pair of socks upon returning from Amsterdam one year and even stopped to bid farewell when Christian was heading to Peru for his 1st mission trip. Not to mention the airport pocket money which he told him to be careful spending. We’ve stayed friends all these years and I watch in awe of all the lives he touches. I look forward to tracking his journeys every summer and to pulling up my FB account to see “where is Pren today?” He is a role model to so many people, a hard worker, a kind man with a truly genuine soul. I honestly don’t know how he continues to go and go and never run out of fuel each and every day. He has wisdom on everything! He sings Happy Birthday like you wouldn’t believe! And you best believe he doesn’t forget to call and leave you a voicemail no matter where he is in the world on your special day. Pren is the most deserving man I know for this award and I am so glad and proud to be able to show my support for a most truly deserving man. Thank you for loving & truly caring about my son and for pushing him to know no boundaries. The world needs so many more Mr Woods. ??

Anna Lange Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was my son's history teacher in middle school. The first week he gave a project. It was to meet at the farmers market and find him. He was waiting for his students with his lesson for the day and realized it was my daughter birthday. He of course belted out loudly as he sang happy birthday to her. He continued to sing to her every years since and to my son. My son learned early on you don't pass the class if you don't do the work. There was no turning things in late or half done. He learned so much about history but also about working hard! Mr. Woods always encouraged the kids to think outside the box. Evan would come home and love to tell us about his class. What has always made me respect and admire Dunn is that all the kids keep in touch with him because he cares enough to keep in touch with them first. He makes a point to check on them after his class and well after graduation. He is the only teacher Evan has had that has done this. He is the best!

GINA BRITT Posted 10 months ago

I am honored to share my support for Mr. Woods due to the fact that I have witnessed him be in the presence of his former students and the reunion that takes place is very impressive. His memories of his connection with students is inspiring. I have seen him greet these students with a hug and then follow up with sincere questions concerning their current education or their life in general. I have seen the smiles brought to past and current students faces when he enters a room which leads to anticipation of what he is going to do or say next! It is clear that he is respected and loved by students, parents and his co-workers. I hope Mr. Woods is chosen for this prestigious award because he is top notch!

Kennedy Rohde Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is a awesome, funny teacher. He makes learning fun and makes me love social studies.

Kathy Davenport Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is truly an amazing person. I was fortunate enough to meet him over five years ago while I was a parent volunteer at Alston Middle School. Sadly, my children never had the privilege of being in Mr. Woods' classroom but that did not stop him from getting to know them, and me, and impacting their lives. My daughter frequently had stories about a way Mr. Woods taught a lesson, or about songs that he taught his students to help them learn/remember important facts...and she was not even in his classroom! That is an absolutely amazing impact! Three years ago I was able to go on a school trip to Washington DC with Mr. Woods and a few other teachers from AMS. It was a great trip and it gave me a chance to really see Mr. Woods "in action" for a few days. His energy is boundless, his enthusiasm is contagious, his humor is often a wonderful diffuser, and his love and respect for ALL students are just a few of the qualities that he possesses which make him an amazing teacher. I have had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Woods outside of school settings and it touches my heart when I see him greet students who he hasn't seen for YEARS but he still remembers not only their names but also some tidbit of information about them that makes them feel special...he really remembers everyone and makes them feel loved. These are a few reasons why Mr. Woods needs to be awarded LifeChanger of the Year; he deserves this honor and so many more. There just are not enough words to express my admiration for him!

Megan Posted 10 months ago

My son had Mr. Woods last year and he is an absolutely amazing teacher! My son loved his class. He gave them so many out opportunities to learn in unconventional ways. One that I know my son loved was tasting foods other students made that represented other countries. He made such an impact on my son that my son wanted to stop by and see him this year at the beginning of school. Mr. Woods still checks on him even though he is no longer his teacher. Keep it up Mr. Woods, everyone loves you! You have such a positive impact in our school, community and beyond! You get an A+ in my book!

Ramona Jasso Posted 10 months ago

I met Dunn when my youngest son had him in sixth grade. I had seen him several times before, however, because he used to attend my church when his students went through confirmation and became members. Dunn would come for this special occasion in support of his students. I loved his style of teaching as he brought music into all of his lessons. He challenged his students all the while making them believe in themselves. He was a positive influence in my son’s educational career, and continues to better himself every year traveling around the world to learn about other countries and cultures. I can guarantee he has been a life changer for many students and will continue to do so as he loves what he does! He is truly one of a kind! Ramona Jasso

Susan Cox Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods always has a positive attitude and will adapt his teaching strategies to the needs of the students. Mr. woods always uses his hands on activities to engage his students in the classroom. He was a fantastic teacher to both of my kids who attended Alston middle school. Mr Woods helps kids to be successful in the classroom as well as in life which means a lot to me as a parent. Even after a student has had him the following year he still saw my son and called him out by name. He even went one step further and gave my son a positive referral the following year. He has truly impacted both of my kids.

Kelly Lock Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods at the Monticello Teacher Institute a couple of summers ago. I loved his passion for students, for learning, and for history. I've continued to reach out to him, on several occasions, because I know that he will be honest, plus he is always straight to the point, funny, energetic--all those adjectives that make for a phenomenal human and teacher. He is most deserving of every award he receives, and I know is deserving of this one.

Erynn knesek Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. woods in middle school as my history teacher. He had a very unique of teaching his students. We always had a chance to actually interact with the content we were learning and he always manage to put a smile on peoples faces when they were having a bad day. I appreciated him a lot in middle school and I hope that other students now have the opportunity to do the things I did some time ago! I miss seeing him sing happy birthday to all his students as well. :)

Rachel Posted 10 months ago

I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Woods at a summer teacher training a year ago. He is dedicated to his craft and is a lifelong learner! He was so excited about each part of what we learned and how to relate it to his students learning. I wish I could be a student in his history classes.

Jessica Guerrero Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods through a mutual friend over 5 years ago. I had hoped that at least one of my sons would have him as a teacher at AMS. I'm lucky to say that he taught both of them. I call Mr. Woods, a "forever" teacher, instead of former teacher. Why? Mr. Woods goes above and beyond the role of a teacher. He sends my boys birthday messages each summer, checks up on them throughout the school year, and continues to be a mentor for my youngest son. Mr. Woods is a life changer and my boys are forever blessed to have had the chance to step inside his classroom.

Carrie Lyndrup Posted 10 months ago

Pren is a dear friend that never ceases to amaze me. His passion for learning and teaching is unmatched. He constantly seeks out opportunities to discover more about our world then shares new information, perspectives, and ideas, encouraging all of us to learn, grow, and become better. Pren makes an impact on everyone he meets. He is engaging, warm, and fantastically unique. I can't imagine the number of people around the world whose lives he has changed, he has certainly changed mine.

Noela Sharo Posted 10 months ago

I can’t say enough good things about Mr Woods. We met 9 years ago when my daughter was in his 6th grade social studies class. (She’s now a junior in college.) She would come home everyday telling me all the fun they had in class. For a social studies class usually considered boring by many, I was intrigued with this. I soon found out that Mr Woods would make songs out of the subject matter to the tune of pop songs, have fashion shows related to their current topic and was simply creative with his method of teaching. Since my daughter loves to sing, I would often hear her sing these tunes around the house. And when she took state tests, she would answer the questions while silently singing the songs in her head. He taught his students to love opera, history, responsibility, and even good manners. He truly made sure that his students not only learn worldly knowledge but life skills as well. They surely got a well-rounded education from him. After that school year ended, we instantly became friends. He would come and have dinner at our house and we would have so much fun singing karaoke. He eventually considered my kids as his god-niece and god-nephews and I know he has hundreds of them. He got to know the rest of my big family. On many occasions, he would call some of my family members on their birthdays and deliver a singing telegram with his operatic voice that never fail to make their days. I must say that Mr Woods is one of the most thoughtful people I know. He has a ton of friends but it’s obvious that every person is special to him. Mr Woods truly deserves this Life Changer award because he lives up to that in every possible way. Not only is he passionate about teaching but most importantly, he’s made an indelible impact on his students, their families, and literally everyone he meets.

Graham Hyder Posted 10 months ago

My husband and I were on our honeymoon in Iceland when we met Dunn. He was in our food tour group and we just navigated towards him as did another couple that we met. At one meal, he stood up and sang and his operatic voice Happy Birthday to one of the group. And we just fell in love :) We hung out all that day and into the night and have been fast friends ever since. Dunn is a wonderful man and does not know a stranger. He has come to visit us in North Carolina and he calls all of our family members, even though he has not met them, and wishes them a Happy Birthday in that gorgeous voice of his on their birthdays. We are so thrilled to have met him and have him enrich our lives and we know that he enriches the lives of his students. Everyone who meets him is a better person and can not help but be touched by his warmth, passion, and love. He definitely is a life changer.

Avery Posted 10 months ago

I am a 7th grade student and out of all my teachers, this one up there if not the best. I'm not a big fan of sitting and doing classwork, he does projects, skits, songs, and he relates history to things I can relate to. He uses comedy in his teaching and is no doubt the funniest teacher I've ever had. Even though we do have a lot of fun, we Learn, no doubt, we learn. He is fun and all, but he doesn't play around with teaching us not only history, but manners and the correct ways to write papers and tests, along with behavioral manners. I even just sent an email to him using what he said in class last week on how to set up emails and I still probably did something wrong that he can help me correct. Overall, Mr. Woods is a great teacher, one of the best I have personally ever had.

Diane Fleury Posted 10 months ago

Thank you Mr.Woods for who you are. You have been such an influence for many students especially my son Thomas. Keep being energetic and the positive roll model that you are to the students.

Staci Pendry Posted 10 months ago

I met Dunn at a conference we attend in New York for classroom teachers highlighting the arts at the Met. My husband had met him at a previous conference and had told me all about him. If you don’t know him, you need to! His energy, enthusiasm and honesty are so rare and beautiful!! He taught me so much about life and about not only being a great teacher, but an amazing human. When I was looking to come up with a neat idea for my mom for her birthday, he said to have everyone tell her how wonderful she is and that their lives were changed because she was in it. She said she has NEVER received such a beautiful gift. He has even “adopted” our sons as his own nephews and they ADORE him. If that doesn’t speak wonders for being a life changer, I don’t know what does. There is a song from a musical called “Wicked” entitles For Good. In it says that one person made a handprint on the others heart and that, because they knew them, they had been changed for good. Dunn has truly made an imprint on my heart and I am a better person, and continue to learn from him, because I am lucky enough to know him. Sincerely, Staci Pendry

Elaina Smith Posted 10 months ago

Pren or Dunn and I met as young excited world travelers. We had the great opportunity to experience so many things and share our perspectives, to share our life events. I appreciated his interest in my thoughts and feelings on the big and small of life. My eyes were made larger by our friendship. I’m so honored we’ve stayed in touch over the last 30 years. He’s such a positive force of nature! I’m blessed to call him friend.

Jordan C Martinez Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods at a professional development in Virginia. He had an amazing personality and was willing to share anything he could with all who were present at the professional development. He is an incredibly dedicated individual who spends much of his free time trying to learn and better himself for his students. His passion and commitment to his students really stood out as he spoke about his classroom and what activities he had planned for his class. I could tell that he goes above and beyond to make meaningful impacts on the lives of his students beyond what he has teach in his curriculum. Mr. Woods is very deserving of the title Life Changer of the Year.

Kachina Leigh Posted 10 months ago

What impressed me most about Pren was his effort to get to know everyone, not only the group we were traveling through Bahrain and Qatar with, but everyone we met from taxi drivers to Diplomats. He is a highly engaging and charismatic person who is well read and enjoys sharing his knowledge with others.

Emily Wagley Posted 10 months ago

I’ve known Mr Woods since 6th grade at Alston Middle School, he is a very intelligent guy, he helps his students learn by creating rap songs and gets them moving to remember what they learned in his class. And if you had him as a teacher and currently know someone that has him now I’m not sure if he still does this or not but when it’s one of his students birthdays he will literally sing happy birthday and give you a lollipop. I haven’t been there in like 4 years and I’m not sure if he still does that or not.

Toni Webber Posted 10 months ago

I met Pren in 2017 at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site's Civil Rights Educators Institute. We have been in constant contact ever since. I have never met an educator so devoted to continuing learning than him. He puts his entire self into the experience. I live in Little Rock, AR and I work for the National Park Service. I work with thousands of people every year. I still consult Pren of political and social issues because I trust his judgment. I tell educators about the different workshops he attends all over the world. He is an inspiration to me and I am thankful he shares his experiences online to his friends and colleagues. He teaches us that we are all students and learning never ends.

Ashton Goretzke Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods through one of his many educational travel experiences. On this particular trip we were learning more about southeast Asian history in Japan and China. Mr. Woods was by far the most out-going and entertaining teachers on our tour. He would share some of his teaching strategies of the power of song, by serenading the group as we traveled from city to city. Mr. Woods gave me so many ideas to make my social studies content more relevant and entertaining for my students. Even after the tour Mr. Woods has kept up with me and has even inspired me to change up my typical lessons for more hands on lessons (with Absolutism pageants, and mercantilism farmer’s market activities). Mr. Woods is great about sharing the awesome things he is doing for his students with others through social media. He is leaving a digital footprint that goes far beyond his classroom but to mine and I am sure others as well! I am so thankful to have met Mr. Woods. He made my educational travel tour an experience that I am still learning from years later.

Gina King Posted 10 months ago

I am a parent of a former student and the President of our Alsron Middle School PTSA. Mr. Woods is very dear to my heart. Once we were both enjoying lunch (chaperoning a field trip to Washington D.C.) when someone asked him what subject he taught. He said he taught Social Studies. I had to politely object as I explained to them both, on the grounds that Mr. Woods may instruct his students in Social Studies but he actually teaches them Life! I've never known another person who is so completely dedicated to his students; past, present and future. He is truly inspirational and cares very much for all of those lives he touches every day.

Angel Repsher Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods genuinely cares about his students and wants them to be successful not only in his class but in life. As a parent, I really appreciate this.

Alyssa Garred Posted 10 months ago

If anyone deserves this award it’s Mr. Woods. I had him for two years of my middle school experience and it was life changing—for now I, myself am pursuing my history and education degree. But one instance that illuminates how much he cares about his students is whenever I was in sixth grade. I had helped with a school function in downtown summerville that had finished early so I decided to walk a couple blocks to my church in order to call my mom and have her pick me up, but it was closed. Mr. Woods spotted me as one of his students, that was all alone in the middle of downtown summerville, and decided to stop and see if I was okay. I told him what was going on and he helped me call my mom and waited with me until she arrived. This is how far Mr. Woods goes for his students—most would’ve gone on but not him. If he wasn’t there and didn’t have his exceptional personality and character, who knows how I would’ve gotten home. I’m grateful to him for all he has inspired in me and so much more.

Rebecca Wnek Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods in the district when I first started about a decade ago. He has always been a colleague that puts his students, their needs, and their families first. Mr. Woods doesn't just give his students a life experience in Social Studies, but life experiences to help them grow into thoughtful, empathetic, and responsible adults. Mr. Woods works tirelessly to ensure that his students have the ultimate learning experience within his class and works to connect other areas of core academics in his classroom implementing the arts, ELA, and higher level thinking strategies. Traveling the world he brings his experiences to the students of his classroom and encourages them to learn about the world around them by being active participants. His expectations of students are high and achievable, holding them accountable for their actions and being active participants in their learning, whether it's getting them out of their seats to embody a historical figure, taking them to the local farmer's market to learn about commercialism by interviewing community members, or using their class pet from ELA class as a sidekick to document their adventures at historical events and places. Mr. Woods is a deserving professional for this award. He sets the example and the expectations high for his colleagues to follow and is the epitome of what good pedagogy looks like. Teachers both new to the field of education and those with years of experience should look to him as an example of what educational professionalism is, but also how passion and love for his students and content promotes success for his students both in the classroom and importantly, life.

Desirae’ Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing person with an amazing personality, and open heart. Mr.Woods has always been there for me when I needed a shoulder to cry on, and when I just needed to talk my frustrations out. Mr. Woods has changed my life, because he has always encouraged me to follow through which my goals, to never allow negatively to interfere with my school work, and life in general, and he has always pushed me to do better than my best.

Felisa Sanders Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr Woods 2 years ago at Alston Middle School. He taught my kids. Mr Woods is amazing with his students. To know him is to love him. He has the biggest heart for the children who cross his path. He offers education, life lessons, and most of all a listening ear. I am honored to have met and become friends with Mr Woods. The difference he makes in peoples lives is awesome.

Jennifer Simons Posted 10 months ago

Little did I know when I was assigned to Alston Middle School as an assistant principal that I was on course to meet one of the most dynamic teachers I ever have or most likely ever will encounter - Mr. Woods. To say that Mr. Woods brings history to life for his students is an understatement. Mr. Woods brings it to life and then makes it relevant and personal to the students enabling them to make the connections that are so critical. I vividly recall the first time I encountered Mr. Woods "in action" - I was passing through the main hallway and heard a commotion coming from down the adjoining hall. Thinking there was a disturbance in a class, I quickly moved in that direction. As I approached the classroom, I knew that it was Mr. Woods, and as I entered to investigate, I quickly saw that it was learning occurring at a fevered pitch. I have NEVER observed students so totally engaged and living the content. They were completely engulfed in the lesson of the day. This type of learning happens routinely and is not confined to his classroom. He takes the students out into the community and teaches lessons at the Farmers' Market on Saturdays. He facilitates a season of Opera exposures for students and their families. He arrives every morning early to greet students dropped off prior to school to cultivate and reinforce social graces and courtesies and teach them appropriate interactions with others. Then when summer arrives, he packs his bags and heads somewhere around the world on a new learning opportunity to further expand his horizons and then in turn come back to pass those experiences on to his students and colleagues. Mr. Woods lives the educational mantra of "lifelong learner" and he instills a hunger in those who pass through his door to accept that challenge/mission as well. He is the epitome of a Lifechanger!

coby Posted 10 months ago

Mr woods was a very active and funny teacher and because of that we laerned good and faster

Roma Patel Posted 10 months ago

I had Mr. Woods as my history teacher about 10 years ago. His teaching style was something I had never experienced before but it has made such a great impact on my learning throughout the years. He taught me how to push myself to do things I would normally not do (like singing in front of the class). The two history classes I took with him were challenging, but I have learned so much from him. To this day, I still use the skills that he has instilled in me and I will forever be grateful for that. Mr. Woods is one of the best teachers I have ever had, and he plays an important role in shaping the minds of students and helping them grow.

Marlee Griffith Posted 10 months ago

We’ve only known Mr. Woods for a few months now this year, but he has been such an amazing teacher. He connects with the kids on another level and he’s super communicative with parents. He works the kids hard, but makes learning SO FUN!

Caitlyn Yeomans Posted 10 months ago

I had Mr. Woods as my history teacher my sixth grade year. I am now a freshman at Winthrop University and I still remember what an impact he had on me and all of the rest of his students. I still vaguely remember the songs he would come up with to help us remember our course work. Mr. Woods shows that he cares about all of his students both in the class and outside of it. He is a good person and an even better teacher.

Jayden Posted 10 months ago

He is a great teacher. He is funny, gets his point through, and is so kind to all of his students. He is very aware of national and international problems around the world and brings them to our attention, and helps us think out solutions. I would recommend Mr. Woods to anyone who needs a great social studies teacher.

Judy Dalgo Posted 10 months ago

A few years ago, Dunn Woods and I were among a group of fortunate teachers to be selected for an amazing trip to China and Japan with the National Consortium of Teaching about Asia with Karen Kane as our mentor/leader. Dunn is outstanding and he stands out, especially in Japan! He was always willing to take photos with and be interviewed by Japanese school children who were interested in practicing their English and learning about in his presence in Japan. Dunn is a connector. He connects with people himself wherever he goes in the world and is always looking to connect the people he has met with others who might help them or share common interests. I'll never forget strolling near the philosopher's walk in Japan and having Dunn come up to me and say, " I just met some folks from Biloxi, Mississippi, maybe you know them. Come over here and let me introduce you." We were on the other side of the world and Dunn is finding someone who lives a few miles from my hometown for me to talk with! He has connected me to fellow teachers, reached out when he traveled to New Orleans, and almost reconnected with me in Washington, D.C. last year. Dunn has boundless energy, spirit, and unbridled joy for life and for teaching. Anyone who can get students excited about opera is a life change. Dunn Woods is a Life Changer!

Jessica schaefer Posted 10 months ago

mr woods not only prepares my child for responsibilities of the future but also makes him get out of his comfort zones! My son has talked about dance offs, singing, acting, and all kinds of stuff I would of never guessed my son would do! Picturing my son infront of the class actually doing hands on activities in learning is amazing!! He definitly makes learning fun!

Rosa Otero-Creech Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods several years ago while I was an English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) assistant at Alston Middle School. Mr. Woods impressed me by always having high expectations for his students. Because his classes involved music, art, role-playing and games, his students understood history not as just a series of dates, but as real-life events! So whether you were an auditory, visual or kinesthetic learner, his lessons made an impact. His students, then and now, are the beneficiaries of Mr. Woods' extensive travel, research and ability to explain events from many different perspectives. I wish all history teachers had the ability to bring the past to life like Mr. Woods!!

Laura McKown Posted 10 months ago

My daughter's favorite teacher was Mr. Woods. Well, not at first. At first she complained, A LOT, that Mr. Woods was just too hard. The truth is, he just had higher standards. And once she adjusted to those standards, he quickly became all I heard about after school. All his funny stories, breaking out in song, and all the places he's been became our daily after school conversation. Fast forward 5 years and he was invited to her senior awards night as the teacher who inspired her the most. I heard through the grapevine that he had actually received several of these invitations that night. But each student thought he was there only for them, of course. Because that's how he always made his students feel. The thing about Mr. Woods is, teaching isn't what he does, it's what he embodies. It's not his job... it's his calling. He stays involved in our community; he forms relationships with all his parents (even the ones that butted heads with him at first *wink wink*); he travels abroad almost every summer, looking for new ways to enrich his classroom, and then applies those experiences in his lessons each fall. And I don't know how he does it, but I swear that man remembers the name of every student he's ever taught. Witchcraft, maybe? :D Today, my daughter is a senior at USC Columbia and a history major. And I credit Mr. Woods with a good part of her interest in history. He somehow manages to make social studies fun and exciting! Not an easy task, for sure! Lol. He wasn't just her teacher. he was/is also her mentor. In short, if the measure of a teacher was based not on test scores, but on how much they inspire their students to learn, Mr. Woods would be heads above the rest. And we will forever be grateful for all of his lessons — both in and out of the classroom.

Teri Kliebert Posted 10 months ago

I met Dunn about four years ago when we were part of a group of educators who toured Japan and China through a program of National Council of Teachers of Asia. He demonstrated an eagerness to learn about the cultures of the countries we visited and to appreciate the experiences we were fortunate to have. He also consistently demonstrated respect for the cultures and traditions we were learning about. In collaborative conversations about carrying our experiences back to the classroom, I was amazed by his energy and creativity. He is committed to enriching his students’ education and devising methods to heighten their engagement. Since our time together, I have seen ample evidence that Dunn puts all these goals and strategies together to create quality learning experiences in his classroom on a regular basis. As a fellow educator, I have no doubt that with his combination of passion for his craft and commitment to his students, Dunn is indeed a life changer.

Mandy Guyton Pyrc Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of the most dynamic teachers out there! His love and passion for teaching and students inspired me to become a teacher. His ability to connect with every student and push them toward success is unparalleled! He is truly a life changer!

David King Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is amazing! Prior to having him in high school, I always made A’s and B’s without studying. When I entered high school, I found myself lost because I didn’t know how to study. That year, Mr. Woods set the bar high, and I knew I was destined to fail. He did not believe in failure and taught me how to study through the use of songs and dramatic play. I am happy to say that due his belief in me, I am a 12th year elementary school teacher holding a National Board’s Certificate and Master’s Degree. As i reflect and continue my career, I hope that I have built and will build relationships like Mr. Woods did with Rock High School’s Class of 2001.

Shakayla Flott Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was the first teacher who got me out of my shell , thanks to him for believing in me now I believe in myself . He not only taught me many things , but he taught many ways of teaching which helped a lot . I couldn’t thank him enough . I graduate this year from college and high school , and his impact on my life helped a lot . He definitely deserves this recognition!

Laura Aysen Posted 10 months ago

From the moment I met Prenn, I knew immediately that this was a special force to be reckoned with! A brilliant mind, a life-long learner, a true advocate for children and education, and an faithful colleague....Prenn is all of this and more. We learned so much during our travels together in Asia, and I’ve enjoyed sharing his pedagogy since our return.

Cayden Tuttle Posted 10 months ago

I was new to the school and I was getting registered with my parents, when my dad wanted to know if I could take a tour of the school. Mr.Woods agreed and let me in to his classroom and showed me around the school.I instantly knew I wanted this guy as my teacher so we recommended him on my schedule for the year and I was so glad we did it. Mr woods is the best teacher I have ever had and that says a lot because I have been to lots of schools and I had lots of teachers. I feel this way about him because he has a unique way of teaching, he isn't you're boring average social studies teacher he is a energetic and entertaining teacher that likes to sing and dance to what we are learning. The songs are so catchy that they will not get out of you're head so that way you will remember the song on a test or a quiz and boom you know the question easily. Mr woods teaches kids to be more responsible and encourage them to take school more seriously and they listen and kids have changed from him. Grades have been going up in other classes for kids because of him because of encouragement. Mr woods 100% deserves this reward no doubt about it

Andrew Sturm Posted 10 months ago

When I was in Mr.Wood’s history class he was an extraordinary, motivating, and effective teacher. He always made the class fun and always made the material easy to learn with his songs, projects, and in class activities. He’s taught myself and both of my older brothers.Hopefully he will teach my younger sister in the future.

Patrick Morris Posted 10 months ago

My Daughter, Sarah, had Mr. Woods for 6th and 7th grade history. Sarah, who has ADHD, struggled through school. Mr. Woods was very strict with his students and always preached accountability. On some occasions I'm sure his students felt he was even a little harsh. I and my daughter now know that Mr. Woods taught academic success. Sarah is now a freshman at the University of South Carolina majoring in Biology. Her success and future successes are in no small part due to what she learned from Mr. Woods.

Malaki Scott Posted 10 months ago

I am now a senior in high school and I can say, from 7th grade experience, Mr. Woods is by far been one of the best (if not the best) teachers I have ever had in my entire school life. His crazy, fun ways of teaching always brought joy to students faces and helped us learn in the best ways possible. I wont ever forget the "cold war" song and how much it helped me. He is the most enthusiastic teacher I have ever met and has always showed his love for teaching inside and outside of the classroom. You can tell how much he genuinely loves educating others.

Maddie Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was my teacher flr two years in a row. He wasn't supposed to be but my mom loved him so much that she switched my schedule around just so I'd be in his class. It was definitely for the best because I loved his class and was pushed to be a better student because of him. Since then he has stayed a close family friend and has supported me and my siblings thought our educational careers. I appreciate all he has done to impact me and my family.

Karen Crow Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr Woods when my son had him for Social Studies at Alston Middle School. My first meeting was at meet the teacher where he sang Happy Birthday to me and I must say he has a wonderful voice. He was very influential in my sons academic performance and impacted him greatly. He would always say he passed high school history only because of what he learned in Mr Woods class in middle school. My son always recognized him at every academic awards ceremony as his most influential teacher and he regards him highly that he is even invited to my sons wedding next year. He will always be remembered and regarded as a wonderful teacher that truly loves and cares for his students and makes history come alive.

Nadine Fletcher Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods about 7 years ago when signing my oldest son up for 6th grade. I had never actually seen him before, but had heard so many amazing stories about him from my niece and nephew that were at that time, in high school. I saw this, louder than life, person, walking up to the school as I was, and instantly knew, this had to be “the Mr. Woods” I had heard so much about. We instantly became buddies. While my sons did not have Mr. Woods, he always took the time to check in on them and always asked if they were doing ok in middle school. On many occasions I witnessed his students just flock to him with a comfortable respect but also a trust that he had their back, even if they were misbehaving and he had to call them down. I loved how he would bring his world travels back to the classroom and in his unique way, share with his students his experiences as if they had been there with him. He loved to watch them get excited about learning. He loved to challenge them to be better students and in turn, better people. He always prefaced, his classroom would not be easy, but you will have fun while you learn! His students, his co workers and his friends and family are influenced everyday by his lust for life and teaching. We are lucky to have him in our community and on the side of our kids!!

Karen Kane, Columbia University Posted 10 months ago

I organize and lead study tours to Asia for the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia. We offer these opportunities to a select group of world history, art and literature teachers who have show themselves committed to teaching and learning while taking our national courses. Mr. Woods was selected for a NCTA tour and we traveled together. During the trip, each teacher was required to discuss with their peers how they would use what they learned in their classroom. During our tour, Mr. Woods, showed his passion for learning about other cultures, learning from his peers, sharing his rich knowledge, enthusiasm and creativity with others. He left an indelible mark on the group and myself with his good humor, wit and kindness. He is a model teacher and I highly recommend him. He is a "life-changer" teacher. Karen Kane, Associate Director, Asia for Educators, Columbia University

Keith Timmons Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods about 9 years ago when my son, Joe and I transferred into the area mid-way through the school year. Joe had come into the district as having tested by what they considered above-average in FL schools but just middle of the road by SC standards. I expected he'd stay on par with where he was. It took a meeting with Mr. Woods for him to explain to me that although my son's scores were not high enough to get him into his' class, that he'd take Joe in his class and give him a chance but he was completely transparent about the rigor and workload that he expected of his students. Taking Mr. Woods' class is not for the faint of heart; you gotta want to learn; to strive to hone your critical thinking skills and look beyond the surface on what may be accepted norms or social media-defined interpretations of the human experience. Mr. Woods cuts to the heart of the human story, not just the 2-dimensional view of what history is written but the other angles of what the narrative could have been or in some cases should have been. He challenges his students to think about what events may have influenced that narrative and is not just spewing the rhetoric or words that are written in the textbook. That's not to say he doesn't use the textbook but rather it provides the springboard of jumping into a lesson that is more informative and enriching to their young lives than anything they may get from just having a textbook fed to them and then tested. And that is because Dunn is a student of history himself!!! He takes the time, throughout his summer break, every year, to enrich his own learning, keeping an open mind, doing the hard work and going the extra 100 miles to stay relevant. History is not static; history is evolutionary and Dunn Woods is at the top of his game to make sure his students learn that. They become students, nee' citizens of the world, with skin in the game of the human experience and will forever remember the days they spent in Dunn Woods classrooms as some of the most memorable and rewarding of their lives. My son, Joe, still speaks with great fondness and reverence for his Mr. Woods and I sincerely hope and pray many more students will have the good fortune to experience "Life-Sessions 101" with Mr. Dunn Woods.

Teresa Odenwood Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods taught both my son and daughter. He is an excellent teacher. He gets the kids to come out of their shell. He had my son and all his 6th grade classmates singing songs about history. He introduced my daughter to Socratic Seminars, she is now asking her other teachers if they will do Socratic Seminars as well. Thru his numerous projects the children get a chance to stand up in front of the class and present projects, public speaking is a necessary skill that children need to learn. He is also very in-tune with how the kids treat each other, he helped our family with bullying issues. He knows which children need to be watched and re-directed to appropriate behavior. With his numerous talents, Mr Woods could pursue many different careers, it is fortunate for us that he has chosen to invest in our students and community.

Ellen Carney Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods did not teach any of my children in school, but he got to know them through church, and he taught many of their friends. He came to their church league basketball games and I got to know him a bit there. He reached out to me with kind words after the death of my son and supported many of my son's friends as they grieved his loss. Our school district recognizes high school students every year with academic awards and students each invite one teacher who has impacted their education to be included in the award ceremony. Mr. Woods is always named by several students to be their invited teacher.

Curtis Chu Posted 10 months ago

Dunn Woods is one of the few highly energetic and motivated educators and one will meet in a lifetime. We met in Hiroshima a few years ago, and we attended a peace education seminar together. The interesting was that I was in Japan to present at an academic conference, and was later invited to join a seminar on peace education. Dunn really showed how enthusiastic he was in history and peace education during the seminar, particularly when the seminar had a focus on the historical bombings in Hiroshima. We talked a lot during those two days and became friends since then. I often read his posts on social media websites on how his students always reacted in the most interesting way towards how he taught meaningful lessons. He was also frequently posting videos on his participation in local events. Among all of his posts, I admired the most how students he taught in the past met him in the present. All of them showed their appreciation to him, but not only for how he designed and delivered meaningful lessons to them, more importantly for how he helped and cared about those students even though they already graduated. How many of us educators would have the pleasure to be remembered and appreciated by students who we have taught? Dunn certainly did have that pleasure, and this would be because of how he was truly a life-changer and inspired his students to reach for more in life. As a doctorate in education and a teacher in higher ed, my goal is to teach students to become someone that would become an inspirational life-changer, and I always think of Dunn whenever I mention the term life-changer.

Coby Daniels Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is awesome! He is always pushing us to be our best. He makes learning fun while still educating us better than any other teacher I have had.

Kirsten Abrahamson Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of a kind in the very best way. His brilliance and creative gifts shine and ignite the joy of learning in all who know him. Sometimes quirky, often surprising but always steady and present, Mr. Woods prioritizes knowing his students and how they learn individually. He knows “his kids” whether he taught them or not and he shows up - at recitals, at graduation parties, at fundraisers, at church events. He can challenge them in the classroom, honor/embarrass them with an operatic Happy Birthday song on their special day, talk latest winner of “The Voice” or hot topic streaming show, push them beyond their perceived abilities, expand their horizons by taking them on a virtual magic carpet ride during his summer studies and travels abroad but through it all, Mr. Woods is the very best kind of friend to “his kids.” Mr. Woods is a special one. He brings out the specialness in others. A true gift to our community.

Kelley Edwards Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods taught me over 20 years ago. It took me a few years to understand the impact he actually had on my education. He taught me to truly think outside of the box.....that concept was something I finally started to understand in his class. I will be forever grateful for his positive impact on my education.

Caleb VICK Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods has been a great teacher he makes me laugh? He is a also around nice guy. He deserves this award

Rene Jackson Ray Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was my sons (Jackson) teacher at Alston Middle School for 6th and 7th grade. They did 'looping' for those two years and the students kept the same teachers. Jackson was a very quiet student, he rarely, if ever, spoke up in class. He was an excellent student, but had pretty much learned to memorize things and was able to excel with that skill. That all changed in Mr. Woods' class! Jackson had to LEARN in a way he had never learned before. He worked so hard in class and actually ENJOYED learning. I finally got a real answer to the age old question all parents ask when I asked, 'how was your day'! I would hear about every little detail of what he learned that day. I was shocked to see Mr. Woods in the hall one day and he was too excited to show me a video of my son- my very introverted son- standing up in the front of the class belting out a song he learned about history. (He was so proud of himself when he got home) He still knows most of those songs to this very day - (He is now a junior at Florida State University). Mr. Woods taught him in a way that he was almost living the history. Jackson said he never had to study history again because he remembered it all from 6th and 7th grade with Mr. Woods. Not only did he teach my son history, he showed a real interest in his life, his goals, his sport and showed real care and concern for him and his endeavors. Even now he follows Jackson's swimming at FSU and sends messages of encouragement to him. Mr. Woods was an extraordinary teacher. He didn't stand in front of the class and lecture, then have the kids regurgitate what they had memorized. It was a much more complicated, yet simplistic approach- make learning fun. It was not an easy transition for these kids, but all of the kids figured out that they wanted to do well and they found their best way to learn the material and to succeed. I believe they all finished his class better for it. Somehow he found a way to reach each student to find their best way to learn and helped them learn not only history, but social skills as well. Mr. Woods was fair. He gave these students every opportunity to learn, improve and to make the grade they wanted to earn. I can say with certainty that he left a significant impact on my son. My son adored him and still does. Mr. Woods was even great with difficult parents... :) I 100% agree he is a life changer for these kids.

Javorius Richardson Posted 10 months ago

He’s a wonderful teacher and not only does he teach social studies but teaches real world problems

Kellsey Posted 10 months ago

I think Mr.Woods is an amazing teacher. He helps you understand social studies more on his assignments.

Zayne Mohieldin Posted 10 months ago

I love Mr.Woods because I enjoy every second of his class I love the way he teaches and he might get on your head a little bit but he only does that cause he cares for you and wants you to accomplish you goals/dreams and you will never forget his songs to help you learn

Jeanne Phillips Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is one of those teacher who makes a difference in a students life. This is my second year at Alston Middle School as a cafeteria worker. I get to see Mr. Woods interact with his students everyday,you can tell he loves what he does and teaching to him is much more than just a job. I have attended many other functions in our school district and I always see Mr. Woods there with a smile on his face supporting his students. Mr. Woods is an inspiring person and teacher!

Eli Mercer Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods has a great way of teaching he makes me wanna learn and sing and dance he is a outstanding person and teacher he has great manners and attitude he is one of the best teachers I've had

Dylan Chapman Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods taught me that creativity is a way to success. To this day I remember some of the songs we sang in class to remember what we were learning about. Rather then going through the same routine everyday, we always had different projects to help us become better students. I cannot say the same for any other teacher. I also learned that you should enjoy your carreer and always be happy no matter what. No person who has ever taught me anything or that I have worked with has brought the same energy everyday to inspire those around them. I am truely greatful to have been his student.

Kenny Likis Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods and I were among the participants in the week-long Civil Rights Teachers Institute in Little Rock, AR, in July 2017. It was apparent from working with Mr. Woods there that he was a passionate, deeply dedicated educator. His dialogue and frank discussions helped set the tone for and elevate our workshops. His conversation consistently conveyed the rigor of his classroom teaching, his devotion to his students, and his determination to hold his teaching and school to high standards. He modeled an inspiring level of commitment, professionalism, and personal principles and ethics. Mr. Woods is the kind of teacher and person who asks a lot of himself and urges us all to do better. I am grateful I got to work with him and learn from him, and to see him nominated for this award.

Emily Evatt Posted 10 months ago

I had the opportunity to teach with Mr. Woods for the first few years of my teaching career. Some of my very first impressions of teaching and of the school came from watching him and seeing how he builds relationships with his students. His love of teaching, learning, and loving students shines through everything he does. Every day, he shows up and pours his knowledge and energy into each and every one of his students. He challenges them and pushes them to be their best and does not accept anything less. He truly has had an impact on the entire Summerville community, beyond just his 4 classroom walls.

Charlene Cummings Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Pren Woods taught both my daughter and son at Alston Elementary. He is a very sweet person who is so dedicated to not only his work but the children as well. Since my children entered his classroom, they have broaden their expectation as a student. Mr. Woods is a very great teacher and Impacted many lives at this school. I can tell that he enjoys teaching and is compassionate about everything that he teaches. My children enjoyed him as a teacher especially the songs that they sing to help them study on test days. I also like the fact that he takes out time to sing happy birthday to the students and send photos of events that has taken in classroom. Mr. Pre Wood, You rock, To you, from me and my two children.

Starla Davis Posted 10 months ago

My daughter was taught by Mr. Woods in middle school, she is now 22 and he still keeps up with her and our family. He always recognizes us when out in our community, which is amazing considering the sheer number of students he has taught. Mr. Woods truly gets to know his students and cares about each individually, my children have never had another teacher as passionate and driven to make a difference in students lives and in our community. Mr. Woods is a leader by example, continuously striving for higher education and knowledge. Pren Woods is most deserving of this award and more.

Gage McNeish Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is not only an outstanding teacher but he’s an outstanding person too! He is a very inspiring person through the way he teaches, and involves all students in class. Nobody forgets about Mr. Woods class. He is the best at what he does because he cares about students education and loves his job! He is definitely the best at what he does.

Jamie Mohieldin Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods has definitely been a game changer in My Sons life. He thoroughly enjoyed class with Mr Woods and would always tell me “he makes learning exciting.” There were times he would tell me “Mr Woods is sometimes very hard on the students but I think that’s what us students need.” Mr. Woods is hands down the absolute best teacher any of my children have ever had. I’m thankful for the impact he has had in my Son’s life!

Joan Lamoureux Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods three years ago when I started in the cafeteria at Alston Middle School. I noticed right away how the students seemed to really appreciate him. If it is your birthday you know you will be greeted by Mr. Woods singing happy birthday to you. He is an amazing teacher and very well liked by everyone. He is truly deserving of this award.

Judah Williams Posted 10 months ago

First and foremost I would like to say that Mr Woods is an exemplary teacher. His teaching methods are beyond that of any other teacher. He makes learning a fun activity for everyone and you can tell that he loves doing what he does. Mr Woods understands that not all kids learn best by writing notes or staring at a board, he makes sure that we understand everything by letting us engage ourselves and be creative. Creativity opens the mind and helps attain and remember information better, and Mr Woods makes us use every bit of creativity so we can be the best students. I would really like to thank him for having a large impact on my personality and on the way I present towards people. He has taught me that being timid in a world full of people is something people just can’t do. He has taught me that expressing myself in whatever way towards people can be the greatest thing I can do. He has helped me boost my confidence and he has helped me learn really groovy history songs while in his class. Overall, Mr Woods really is the best teacher I have known. He is a great person and deserves this award very much, thank you Mr Woods and congratulations!

Robert pratt Posted 10 months ago

Pren has taught my grandson Wade and granddaughter Elizabeth history. It is obvious he has had a very positive effect on their lives by their exuberant expression when he drops by social events, graduations, and sports events. He is always welcome at our home and is a positive role model in our school district for kids AND parents alike.

Ed McCreary Posted 10 months ago

I worked as a school resource officer along side of Mr. Woods for 5 years. I observed first hand his caring, dedication and personal involvement with his students and saw lives changed through his hard work and compassion. He is a wonderful educator and I was honored to work along side of him.

Z. Thomas Posted 10 months ago

Mr Woods taught my daughter Zaria when she was in Alston middle School. He had the class create songs about the assignments they were learning and performed the songs at various restaurants. My daughter is now in college and still remembers the songs, Mr Woods, and the fun she experienced learning in his class.

Tiffany Green Posted 10 months ago

There are so many things that I can say about Mr. Woods. I will start with the support he has provided me. Teaching is a career change for me and Mr. Woods has always encouraged me to push forward, whether seeking professional development or in my educational pursuits. When he saw me struggling in a program he was there and provided emotional support. Over the years Mr. Woods has become a friend and confidant. I honestly wish my daughter had a teacher like h ik m when she was young!

Sekari Feely Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods, I must say was one of the teachers that was very open and active with his students when he was at Rock Hill High School. And he taught on a level were his students would understand everything he was teaching. He was always "Live" everyday with a smile on his face. I respect him to the fullest, and proud to say that I had Mr. Woods as a teacher while in High School. I can truly say Mr. Woods deserve this award.

Niya McClurkin Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was the first African American male teacher I had in a school and by this time I was high school. He made learning history fun and exciting. Being in a single parent home growing up it was good to have him as a teacher and father-like figure in school.

colleen martin Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods was my middle school social studies teacher for 6th and 7th grade. His teaching style made a long lasting impact on my academic career and how I approach learning new things. He brought together music and history in ways I never thought possible. His fun, catchy numbers not only were a joy to sing in class but also amazing pneumonic devices that helped me throughout the course. He truly made me see learning in a new light and expanded the way I look at material. Mr. Woods definitely is one of those teachers you never forget as he makes learning fun and something you want to be a part of. To this day I could sing back the songs we learned so many years ago. He always inspired to be our best selves and strive for excellence. He pushed us in ways that made us grow not only as students but as individuals. He cares about each and everyone of his students and only wants them to succeed. I would truly classify Mr. Woods as one of the most influential teachers I ever had growing up.

Chase Perdue Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods has been an important figure in my life as well as in my education. He has been a role model for me in both my education in middle school, as well as high school and further in college and in life. Mr. Woods helped me to get out of my comfort zone and to be more active in the classroom from an early age, while still maintaining an educational and fun classroom that helped me to learn and remember the history of cultures around the world.

Megan Moore Posted 10 months ago

I had the pleasure of teaching with Mr. Woods for seven years. His energy, drive, and love for teaching is infectious. He challenges me to be a better teacher each and every school year. He sets the bar higher than any teacher I have ever met and he goes above and beyond it every day! He pushes his students out of their comfort zones and makes every child realize their inner strengths. He develops relationships for life and he never forgets his students. He goes to school events, birthday parties, sporting events, graduation parties,etc. He attends any event a current or former student is celebrating or taking part of. Mr. Woods is always there as their biggest supporter. I honestly do not think Mr. Woods sleeps because he is always planning, creating, or giving to others. I cannot think of a better candidate for this award. Mr. Woods changes lives every day and all his students are lucky to have him as a teacher and support system for life.

Kaylie Tonzola Posted 10 months ago

I have Mr. Woods this year for the seventh grade, and I absolutely adore going to his class! We are always pushed to our limits, but have fun at the same time. He is respected among my peers in class, and he respects us in return. I feel respected, at least! We can always have a deep conversation, or we can be light hearted and funny. Especially when he teaches us “the truf!” We can be ridiculous and embarrassing, but at the end of the day, we get taught that we are all the same on the inside. Mr. Woods deserves any and all recognition for what he does in the classroom, and for the community. Thank you for all that you do!

Lucy McGuire Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods at the National Council for History Education who introduced me to an organization for teachers dedicated to professional growth. Since then, we have have remained colleagues on social media and continue to network ideas on how to inspire students to their full potential. I don’t need to look far when I need a boost of inspiration to make a difference in a child. Mr. Woods is an example of a true educator who is invested in the sole purpose of making a student feel confident and successful in life. He is a game changer and positive influence on students as well as teachers. It’s rare to find a gem of a teacher who inspires and motivates both students and educators to reach beyond the stars and make a positive change in life. I consider myself very lucky having Mr. Woods as a mentor and colleague and I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of this award.

Gage McNeish Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is not only an outstanding teacher but he’s an outstanding person too! He is a very inspiring person through the way he teaches, and involves all students in class. Nobody forgets about Mr. Woods class. He is the best at what he does because he cares about students education and loves his job! He is definitely the best at what he does.

Deb Masker Posted 10 months ago

Well . I think Mr. Woods is an amazing human being and teacher that gives back to your students all the time. We need more people like you in the profession. And of course everything that students need to be successful in your classroom is an egaging and inspirational teacher and "the syllabus".

Katherine Lorio Posted 10 months ago

Pren is a kind, giving, high-standards kind of guy and educator. When he's not making me laugh, I'm learning from him, and always appreciate the manner he goes out of his way to have an emotional connection with young and old alike. I've never met another educator like him and if I lived closer, I'd make a special request to have my children in his class. He richly deserves all the compliments, love, and genuine admiration he receives.

Julie Batten Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is a well respected, dedicated educator in Dorchester School District Two and has a love for teaching, connects with all of his students, and strives to maintain a great relationship with them even after they have moved to higher grade levels. He is an excellent role model to our students with strong ties to the Summerville Community. Mr. Woods is very deserving of this award.

Anita Griffin Collier Posted 10 months ago

I get the privilege to work with Mr. Woods (Dunn) who is a teacher at Alston Middle School and works within my gifted program. His teaching style is most unique and includes strategies that engage all of his students. He makes such an impression on his students and it one that become lifelong. His travels offer him diverse perspectives and these open up the world to his students. He is most passionate about teaching and learning and this continues to impact not only students but his colleagues as well.

Kayli Axtell Posted 10 months ago

I had Mr. Woods in the 6th grade, and I still remember on the first day he handed me my first syllabus. I remember being frustrated about the fact that he had high expectations for us. I now realize why he expected so much from us, and I appreciate it. He pushed us out of comfort zones. From America's Next Top Model: History Edition to making our own songs about the material we learning, he taught us all a little more than just history. He taught us how to to be confident when looking absolutely ridiculous which is a very important lesson to learn in middle school. I still remember some of the material he taught us and the songs he used to help us remember. His passion for teaching is very clear through the effort he puts in every day in class. He cares for his students long after they leave his classroom. I am truly saddened my sister missed out on the Mr. Woods learning experience because it truly is something special.

Shauna Cihacek Posted 10 months ago

I met Dunn at a conference and he inspired me to do more. His simple suggestion has spurred me on a journey of professional development of my choosing. Mr. Woods is an amazing individual who inspires students and adults to be the best and do more. He is a true life changer.

Carey Ball Hodge Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is a teacher for life... My son had the opportunity to have Mr. Woods when he was in the 6th grade at AMS. This is an experience that my family will never forget... Mr. Woods became ALL THE RAGE in our house that year. If we weren't discussing the Social Studies Rap songs then we were talking about the friends that Julius Caesar would have on social media. That's right, social media! Mr. Woods makes learning relevant and engages his students in a productive struggle. He sets high expectations and his students rise to the occasion. Mr. Woods not only engages his students in the classroom, but he is a caring and compassionate teacher outside the classroom as well. Mr. Woods attended several baseball games that year, and the following, and the following... And when baseball season was over... Mr. Woods would appear at piano recitals and graduation celebrations. We still look forward to birthday ballads from this man! Mr. Woods knows how to capture his students' hearts and minds. He will forever be our TEACHER of the YEAR! Love, A Proud Parent and Very Grateful Principal!

Kristin Gutierrez Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods during the summer after he had attended a social studies conference. Immediately after meeting him, I was so impressed and intrigued by his passion for education. He has such a creative and innovate approach to education that students cannot help but be enamored with the subject and teacher. I cannot emphasize how important it is for our students to love learning. He not only provides an amazing learning experience for the content of the day, but creates a life long learner in the process. He is an inspiration to me as I watch him interact with his teacher staff and students.

Jeanne Posted 10 months ago

He taught both our boys and was nothing less than wonderful. He's the teacher that wants to teach not just get paid. It's amazing how he remembers all the students just as much as they remember him. It goes without saying, he is a fabulous teacher.

Brandi Diffy Posted 10 months ago

He’s been just amazing. I wish I would have had a teacher like him when I went to school! He makes everything fun to learn! He’s even taught them out at local farmers markets on Saturdays! He doesn’t limit his teaching to just history either! Bravo, Mr. Woods!

Dan Marshall Posted 10 months ago

Mr. Woods is his district's coordinator for the Metropolitan Opera's HD Live in Schools program which annually brings several hundred student in Summerville to their first opera at their local cinema. As an educator he is a creative and relaible key player in this elite national network of teachers and administrators.

Trisha Van Wagner Posted 10 months ago

I met Mr. Woods (Dunn) at a teacher leadership program for Middle East studies. Over the year-long professional development experience, Dunn brought insight, humor, talent, and perspective to the sessions and enriched the program beyond what the scholars presented to the group. Countless times, he made me laugh, but he also made me think and grow as a teacher. His passion for education is evident and inspirational, both in the classroom and regarding his own growth in content knowledge and skill. He travels the world, learning and growing, but he brings the knowledge he gains right back to his students. When I think of a Life Changer, I think of Dunn Woods because his influence on students and teachers, including on me and my own teaching, will have an impact for generations to come.

Jenna Deckard Posted 11 months ago

Wow! What an amazing teacher! I have seen Mr. Woods truly engage with his students and make a lasting impact on their lives. Through non-traditional teaching methods, Mr. Woods makes learning fun and attention grabbing. Much of what is taught in his classroom is never forgotten by his students. The “Cold War” tune can still be recited by my son, who was in his class some time ago. His no-nonsense approach to classroom etiquette and behavior provides an atmosphere conducive to learning and allows students to set their bar high and reach it. Expectations are high, but Mr. Woods pushes his students to meet them and they are better for it. Mr. Woods is a consummate professional in his classroom and he is not only a worthy candidate for this award, but should be the front runner. He truly is the epitome of a life-changer!

Bryan Moseley Posted 11 months ago

Mr.Woods Not sure how to start this, but so many memories come to my mind when I see your name. I think how, you use to like to pick on me, and felt like you where calling me out in class all the time. Never really understood what you where trying to do, or what you where trying to prove. After going through 2 or 3 years ( and it Had been so long now, 21,22 years) of you as my teacher it all started coming together, as I moved onto college. Looking back now, I know what you where trying to do, and of course you where trying to get the best out of me and make me push myself to be a better person and student. I learn once I move into college, it was all part of you plan to prepare your kids, and push themselves to be better all around people. You made me enjoy, going to class bc you never knew where we would end up? Out in the courtyard, singing a song, or re-enacting a war scene. But many of my favorite memories from high school, came from being in your class. I just want to thank you for all your passion and commitment as a teacher. I know you have made many direct and indirect impacts on so many people. Thank you for being you and making me better as a persons and a better student! I wish you well and hope that you get the chance to impact many more lives through your career!! God bless Bryan Moseley

Myranda Foether Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods was my son's 6th grade history teacher. He made my son LOVE history and made him feel at home at Alston.

Shelley Crocker Hough Posted 11 months ago

I was a student of Mr. Woods 20+ years ago at Rock Hill High School . He was an amazing teacher then and so glad to read the comments below that confirm that he has not changed in all this time. He had a way of making kids feel important and that the contributions were counted for. My love for history developed under his guidance and continued through college. He took the time to reach out to parents and kids and make sure that knew he was there and noticed their work and progress. I actually just found a couple of letters he sent my parents when i was his student about my classwork, etc. A student couldn't ask for a better teacher to have in their corner!

Kelli Passmore Posted 11 months ago

At the time, I despised his class. He pushed me out of my comfort zone and into a world of roundtable discussion, essays, and arts integrated learning. Today, I’m a high school art teacher with a background in arts integration and 16 years’ teaching experience. Whereas in 1998 I earned a “B,” next year I will earn the title “Doctor.” Thank you, Mr. Woods, a.k.a. Jorgé, for every roundtable discussion in which I hesitantly participated, for every essay that I thoughtfully worded, and for every re-worded song you proudly stood and sang so that I could learn. You truly made a difference in me and my family for that matter.

Sarah Nobles Posted 11 months ago

Dunn Woods is not only a great teacher, but he is also a great colleague that is always happy to share his experiences. His passion for travel and cultural exchange is both admirable and inspiring. He brightens up any room that he walks in. His ability to connect with his students and colleagues alike, make him a life changer that one can never forget!

Iris Silk Posted 11 months ago

It would do my heart good to see Dunn(Pren) Woods get some well-deserved recognition for his hard work and dedication to the education of his fortunate students. I've never known a more dedicated or creative educator. He makes sure that he has more to bring his students every year through his pursuit of continual updating of his own education.

Julie Krutsch Posted 11 months ago

From his deep community ties to his classroom, where students are provided hands on learning daily, Pren Woods shines. I have had the pleasure of knowing Pren for over ten years as a teaching colleague and member of our community and can honestly say that his commitment and the energy that he puts forth in teaching, learning and community never waiver. From student economic lessons at the community market on Saturday mornings to parents and students being provided the opportunity to see opera performances at our local movie theater thru a grant Pren received, to name just two of many, Pren brings opportunity to grow, share and marvel! He is a life changer!

Amanda Connell Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is my child’s 7th grade Social Studies teacher! My son knew Mr. Woods since 6th grade. Mr. Woods has always been very friendly, energetic, and all around fun man! He really knows how to make you feel like welcome family! My son has never had a bad word to say about Mr. Woods! As far as his teaching is concerned, he is AMAZING! He goes above and beyond what is expected of him! He ABSOLUTELY LOVES HIS JOB AND HIS KIDS! He had his students who wanted to come, meet him at the Summerville Farmers Market in downtown Summerville. He made social studies relevant in a way that no teacher has ever made it before. The kids really enjoyed themselves! I learned some new things as well that day and I had fun! Mr. Woods is an all-around GREAT PERSON AND TEACHER!

Amanda Connell Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is my child’s 7th grade Social Studies teacher! My son knew Mr. Woods since 6th grade. Mr. Woods has always been very friendly, energetic, and all around fun man! He really knows how to make you feel like welcome family! My son has never had a bad word to say about Mr. Woods! As far as his teaching is concerned, he is AMAZING! He goes above and beyond what is expected of him! He ABSOLUTELY LOVES HIS JOB AND HIS KIDS! He had his students who wanted to come, meet him at the Summerville Farmers Market in downtown Summerville. He made social studies relevant in a way that no teacher has ever made it before. The kids really enjoyed themselves! I learned some new things as well that day and I had fun! Mr. Woods is an all-around GREAT PERSON AND TEACHER!

Mady Swygert Posted 11 months ago

Me. Woods is so kind to everyone and anyone and is always there if you need to talk to someone no matter what. He treats everyone with respect and doesn’t talk to anyone like they’re less.

Marisha Woody Posted 11 months ago

He is still very much a mentor to my kids! He remembers everyone! Thanks for all you do!

Bruce woody Posted 11 months ago

What a great teacher and leader. He has molded many of our youth in the community, so much that you can’t turn a corner in our town without everyone knowing and loving him!

Robert Paonita Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods...where do I start? I had him as my 6th Grade history teacher at Alston Middle School. He made us all get out of our comfort zone and and just have fun! There was never a dull moment in that class and it made me want to get out of bed and then onto that bus just to be in his class every morning. We would sing countless songs and do so many different activities that helped us remember all the information being taught. Mr. Woods has a love for teaching, connects with all of his students, and strives to maintain a great relationship with them even after they have left him. When I was in high school, around five to six years after being his student, Mr. Woods attended an awards night in which myself and many former students of his were being recognized for various accomplishments. If I were asked which teachers were my favorite or that I liked from all my years as a student, Mr. Woods would be the first on my list. He really is a life changer!

Betty Machado Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is just that incredible teacher that all kids should have but it is really hard to find. He is an amazing human being with endless love for what he does but most importantly for the kids. You don't have to be his student for him to love you and help you and I say this from experience. If he can help you, guide you or teach you he will. He not only teaches kids History but he also try to introduce the kids to music, theater, and opera. His charismatic personality, and his friendly way to approach his students allows him to brake the wall that middle schoolers always try to build. He is one of those men that lives a happy life and enjoy every minute of it. Mr. Woods thank you for all you do for my kids, they all love you to the moon and back

Michelle Vecchio-Weinmester Posted 11 months ago

Pren made a huge impact on our students during the time he was at Clarke Middle. He was always raising students up with a spontaneous song, a unique lesson, or personal praise for their individuality. Pren was always an inspiration to colleagues demonstrating what it means to be completely mindful and present while on the job. He is a beautiful human full of love, passion, and a zest for building up humanity. Congratulations on this LifeChanger nomination. Very well deserved.

Heaven Sanders Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is an AMAZING teacher. He takes learning to a different level; it helps to keep me and my classmates engaged in learning. Mr. Woods, "YOU ROCK!!!!" I'm glad I have you as my teacher.

Tucker Mullinax Posted 11 months ago

I never had Mr.Woods as a teacher but he was always nice to me. Towards the end of the 8th grade my house caught on fire and burned down. He was one of the few people who would consistently check up on me and ask how I was doing, he was there for me during a dark part of my life and I will always appreciate that. He helped me get through it and I knew that he was always there if I needed someone to talk to!

James Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods has been the greatest teacher I’ve ever had. He was able to make learning interesting and challenged me to be better every day. He even came to my birthday party one year, unexpectedly, and made it even better. Because of his class I still remember history 8 years later. He is a life changer

Ryleigh Rousseau Posted 11 months ago

You are a great teacher. You make class fun while learning. You deserve this award.

Kellee Kabealo Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods sets high standards for all of his students. He expects them to be responsible for not only their academic growth, but also their personal growth. He inspires the students to participate in activities outside of the classroom that support community and being an active citizen. His dynamic teaching style is known to bring out the confidence in even the most shy student, and his greeting of each student every class period, by their name, makes all students feel respected and valued. Mr. Woods teaches the importance of connecting his academic subject area to the greater world and he makes his students look at history from all perspectives.

Heather Leiterman Posted 11 months ago

I met Prenn many years ago when we were on the board of Sculpture in the South. I found him to have an extraordinary commitment to our mission and over time I learned he also had the same commitment to his students and teaching. He can converse on well on many subjects. I enjoy following his travels as his photos and comments have also broaden my life.

Kevin Wellbaum Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods taught with more passion and flare than any teacher I have ever had. History was never my favorite subject, but he made the topics relevant and memorable. He sometimes even gave entire lectures in song. He is very deserving of this award.

Julie Hebert Posted 11 months ago

I met Mr. Woods in the summer of 2014 when we were both a part of a summer institute exploring Mozart’s operas in Vienna, Austria. I liked him immediately. He exhibited such joy for learning and life. His enthusiasm was contagious. But he was also willing to gently nudge our colleagues and professors into uncomfortable conversations around classism and racism. I think he helped some in our group realize some of their own biases and move the needle on acceptance and embracing our differences. We have remained friends over the years. He has traveled to Florida a few times and met my family. He has appointed himself as the “bluncle” (black uncle) to my children. He often writes positive comments or notes of encouragement to them if I post about them on social media. As silly as this may sound, it shows that he is always teaching. He is taking the opportunity to share other cultures and points of view with my children, who are not on his class roster, but he considers them his students anyway. He does this out of a passion for bridging cultural divides and showing future generations that we are different and that is okay. My kids think he is funny. They remember him. He has made a small, but positive, impact on their lives. I can only imagine how much the students benefit who are blessed to be in his classroom every day.

Doris M. Treat Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is amazing. I have to say that even I learn from his teachings. His support for my child continues past 7th grade. Oh how I wish there were more like him.

Traci Greer Posted 11 months ago

I met Mr. Woods while he was conducting a hands-on learning session for his students. Mr. Woods was using the Farmers Market as a case study in entrepreneurship. While, the students toured the market, Mr. Woods demonstrated basic businesses principals and the application with the individual vendors. I was impressed with Mr. Woods' passion and energy for the businesses and the students.

Gina Britt Posted 11 months ago

I support Mr. Dunn Woods for LifeChanger of the Year. I have the utmost respect for his commitment to teaching Mr. Woods goes the extra mile to enhance his curriculum in order for his students to learn while enjoying the lesson.

Jacqueline L Posted 11 months ago

Writing with support on behalf of the education team at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia. Dunn is an alumnus of the 2018 Monticello Teacher Institute (https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/barringer). We remain grateful to him for his thoughtful approach to teaching difficult history, for his joyous and generous attitude, strong skills as an educator, and for continuing to be a resource for us at Monticello as we seek to grow our program and diversify our applicant pool. He pushes everyone in the room to do their best work always, and then celebrates the everyone's collective and individual efforts. With thankful hearts, we voice our support for Dunn! -Jacqueline & the Monticello Teacher Institute Team

Chris Collins Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods was my daughter’s seventh grade social studies teacher. As her teacher, he was in constant communication with the parents and students on upcoming assignments and events. Mr. Woods used unique teaching styles to reach his students. From performances to parades, his students were immersed in history and sociological concepts. He introduces critical thinking assignments to his middle schoolers, instead of relying on memorization or regurgitation of facts. Even after leaving his class, Mr. Woods remains invested in the success of his students, attending awards ceremonies and extracurricular activities to show support. Mr. Woods is an extraordinary teacher and his devotion to his profession is evident in the lasting skills which he instills in his students.

Liz Payne Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is such a passionate history teacher. My son had the pleasure of being in his 6th grade history class. He made history come alive every day with his unique teaching techniques. Mr. Woods really cared about all his current and former students. He would attend their sporting, music, and award events. When my son needed a letter of recommendation years later, Mr. Woods wrote the perfect letter. My son is now a junior in college, but Mr. Woods can still recall his days as a 6th grader in his history class. I admire his continued journey to be a history steward at the global level. The town of Summerville has such an outstanding teacher amongst them and any student that has had the opportunity to take his class, will have had their eyes opened to the world of history, Mr. Woods style.

Felicia Whetsell Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is an excellent teacher. His students are always engaged in his class. When. I walk by hearing them singing, he gets them to sing it from the top for me as I stop in. Even though he's a middle school teacher, he attends the graduations and parties of his former students. That's why he is a life changer because his relationship with his students don't end in June of every year. This is coming from a former parent and current colleague.

M Brown Posted 11 months ago

Awesome teacher! Mr. Woods pushes students to think critically, creatively, and globally. I appreciate his constant support and efforts to grow students. Keep striving, Mr. Woods!

Angela Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods has been an inspiration to not only my children but to myself as well! His dedication to teaching is Extraordinary! I am proud to know him.

Jayden Diffy Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods definitely is a extraordinary candidate for this he is definitely a life changer he taught me so many life lessons and I’m a proud supporter of him

CINDY LEE SELDON Posted 11 months ago

While enrolling my 7th grader in school a few years back a very familiar and unmistakable voice carried thru the halls. Could it be that 18 years later the only teacher I remember from when I was in school? Yes, Mr Woods was that voice. After we caught up for a few minutes I rushed to get Hinters schedule changed so he also could experience Mr Woods as a history teacher. This man is amazing, he makes his lesson come alive and though you will not get an easy A+ you definately enjoy earning it! As for myself and my now junior in high school Mr. Woods will always be our favorite teacher!

Margie Page Posted 11 months ago

Good Man! Great Teacher, and he deserve this award, He taught my son 7th grade Social Study at Alston Middle School. Go Get it Mr. Woods.

Najah Clemmons Posted 11 months ago

We love Mr. Woods. Both our daughters had him for history. No one has more heart or fun helping young minds expand and learn. In 30 years from now, they will still remember his name. Blessings, Pren.

Jacquie Jones Posted 11 months ago

Two of my Grandsons had Mr Woods for their teacher in 7th and 8th grade. At that time Mr Woods was teaching GATE History classes, which allowed both of my Grandsons to have him as a teacher for two years. My Grandsons would come home from school and talk about their History class with Mr Woods on a regular basis. They would share what they learned from Mr Wood’s class for that day. This recapturing of the class would include songs sung to help remember facts, and engaging the students in many different arenas for learning; all in the classroom. Mr Woods is loved by his students. He also balances the fun learning with strict expectations of his students to follow the rules of his class and do their very best. Following up on expectations of each student teaches them to adopt good codes for their lifetime. One Grandson is now graduated from college; awaiting Medical School and the other Grandson is a Freshman at college. Mr Woods still recognizes their birthdays; usually with a birthday song and sees them from time to time. He is still an encourager in their lives. My Grandsons say that Mr Woods is their favorite teacher of all time.

Melissa H. Wagner Posted 11 months ago

Phenomenal teacher! Mr. Woods pours his heart into his teaching. He truly has a passion for teaching and it shows. Mr. Woods makes learning fun, which is important!

Sonya Roberts Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods was my history teacher at Rock Hill High School. He was always friendly to everyone and had a very unique, but effective style of teaching. His class was tough, and I had to work hard oh, but it was worth it. he wanted to prepare us for college while we were still in high school which was very smart. While he liked to have fun, he would always reiterate the importance of a good education and how our current decisions what impact our future. He was really good with coming up with songs and phrases help us remember events in history. I am currently 37 years old and because of Mr. Woods and I still remember that Hannibal was a pain from Spain who wanted his mama during the Battle of Zama. I can also still recite almost half of Marc Antony's "Friends, Romans, Countrymen" speech. To date Mr. Woods is one of the best teachers I've ever had to date.

Brandi Jackson Posted 11 months ago

You deserve this award because you are/show: 1-Self-giving rather than selfish 2-Humility rather than pride. This is not a false humility which makes people stay in the background. But, when they act, it is with a sense of oneness and not a superiority or inferiority. 3-Courage. Courage to do the right thing, whatever society thinks 4-Principles – Acting out of principles for good rather than material gain. 5-Happiness – Inspirational people make the world a better place and make people feel more positive. 6-Vision – Inspirational People have a vision and help turn hope into reality. Thank you for being you! I miss having you as my sons teacher!

Hanah Bowen Posted 11 months ago

There is so much to say about this amazing person. I will start off by saying I have never set foot in his classroom as I am only cafeteria staff, but he has left a lasting impression since day one. Let me preface this by saying I only see Mr. Woods for about 5 minutes a day while his students come through the lunch line, but in that five minutes his infectious smile turns my day right around no matter how good or bad it has been. He treats every student,teacher and staff with the upmost respect. I don't think I've ever seen him with a frown on his face. He is always so kind and uplifting he can't help but boost your spirit. He sings Happy Birthday on everyone's birthdays. You can tell the student adore him and have so much respect for him. He really is just an amazing educator and all around human being. He finds the positive in everything. We need more people like him, but there is and will always be one Mr. Woods!

Christina Miller Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is amazing. He teaches in a way that children enjoy learning and makes it easy for the information to easily be aborbed. I had the pleasure of witnessing how much he can changes lives. I have seen joy from the eyes of children as they sing the lyrics to songs that Mr. Woods created to make learning fun. I have also been blessed to work with Mr. Woods on his commitment to his improve his community by his involvement in many charity events and continued support of all his students. He is a true joy and I am very greatful have had the pleasure to know him professionally and personally.

Aimee Pereira Posted 11 months ago

My son had Mr Woods for 7th grade history. Mr Woods made learning fun, but challenged the students to think about how history imparts our today. Mr Woods does end when kids leave his class. Four years after teaching my son, Mr Woods still reaches out to see how he is doing in high school. Plus I love the fact that Mr Woods himself is constantly pushing himself and learning.

Melissa Jaffe Posted 11 months ago

My daughter has Mr. Woods for 7th grade social studies. It is by far her favorite class of the day. Our family and particularly our kids have had a rough year at home. I know my daughter has confided in Mr. Woods and I appreciate him giving her advice. She has excelled in his class and made her think about things in a different and enlightening way. I love all the projects she brings home and the real life enactments they do at school and have done outside of school. Just recently he had students, including my daughter, out to the farmers market on a Saturday to teach them about capitalism. He is a forward thinking teacher and I’m so grateful that our daughter is in his class. I’m looking forward to the Washington DC trip they’ve planned in April and am excited to be able to go with as a parent chaperone

Candace Thompson Posted 11 months ago

I am a former student of Mr. Woods and he taught me during seventh grade at Castle Heights middle school in Rock Hill SC and that was probably in the year of 1994. I can still see him jumping around our classroom singing to us teaching us history and making it fun so he is well deserving of this award he has helped so many children learn history congratulations and best of luck!

LaToya Posted 11 months ago

I had Mr. Woods in high school in Rock Hill SC. I gave him a hard time, but he was an awesome teacher and I learned so much that year. He truly has a passion for history and teaching.

Jeffrey Alperin Posted 11 months ago

My son is in Mr. Woods history class. I am very impressed with the amount of information my son has learned so far this year. It is not your standard lecture and write, type of history class. Mr. Woods makes it fun and interesting while challenging the students to improve, he is very effective. He also goes well above and beyond, with trips to the farmers market to learn about capitalism and free opera nights to expand the students horizons. Pren Woods is an excellent teacher and I hope my next son is in his class next year.

Susan Sandler Posted 11 months ago

I had the pleasure of traveling with Mr. Pren Woods, in 2011, when we participated in a Fulbright-Hayes Seminar Abroad to Greece and Turkey. Mr. Woods is passionate about teaching. He is always seeking to enhance his knowledge and to bring this new knowledge, this new perspective back to his classroom. He is an engaging teaching with high expectations for his students and for himself. I have learned over the years that while Mr. Woods is passionate about teaching, he is also passionate about learning. Through his passion for learning, Mr. Woods' infectious personality gathers everyone in ~ students, staff, colleagues, friends ~ and brings them along for the experience. He is creative, he is challenging and he is entertaining in his approach to teaching and to life.

Sara Lukridge Posted 11 months ago

I had the honor to have Mr. Woods in 7th grade for history. I was very nervous to come into middle school but in the end it was all worth my while. Mr. Woods not only made personal connections with his students, but also with the parents. My family is very close with Mr. Woods because he was so engaged in my education and growing as a person. We have kept up with each other ever since 7th grade and he is always there to reach out a helping hand with whatever it is I need. He has been a teacher I will always cherish for having in my life and I am so glad he is still apart of mine and my families life. What a privilege it was to be taught by this well educated, caring person! He will always be someone I look up to.

Aiden Peltier Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods was always a fun teacher. He would make us do dances, songs, skits, and lots of other fun things. He would turn the way of learning into a creative and fun experience. One of the more unusual one was when we had to throw eggs at him. He was the new world, South and North America, and the eggs were the European countries. History wasn't the only thing he taught us though. Mr. Woods taught us life lessons. He would also teach us sometimes english. He was very honest and caring to his students. He supported me with one of my biggest life decisions. Was mostly a shy in front of other people, but Mr. Woods made me more confident. Some of my favorite times would be when he told us stories about himself.

Christine Peltier Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing teacher who brings the content of world history to life in his classroom. He is terrific at motivating the kids, and upholding them to a higher standard of work. He is always enthusiastic about bringing real world examples for his students, for example a field trip to the farmer's market, offering free tickets to the opera, and chaperoning a Washington D.C. Trip. I love the fact that he travels the world to enhance and broaden his knowledge of history because it definitely shows in the classroom!

Juliet Ndubuisi Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods was a really nice teacher. I remember when ever we moved on to a different history topic he always made sure to find a fun way to teach the students about that topic instead of just reading a whole book or passage about it. All of his activities made me remember all of the things he taught and when it came to taking a test in his class, a high class average of students would always pass with a high score. Even though Mr. Woods taught history he also cared about my other classes and made sure I stayed on top with all of my work. If any of his kids he teaches has any important event happening in school he would also make sure to show up and support his students. I just remember him always coming to my piano recitals and that always made me happy!

Wramie Spafford Posted 11 months ago

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Woods when I worked at Alston Middle School. His passion and love for learning was something I noticed immediately. The exhilaration and high level of his lessons are infectious and on the occasions I was able to visit his class while he was teaching ,I so wished I could stay and be a student too! Students in his classes do not report for a lesson; they report for an educational adventure that takes them on virtual excursions throughout history. Mr. Woods spreads his talent for educating into the community and everyone he meets. I have the fortune of still seeing him on occasion and look forward to hearing about his newest venture to continue his education for the purpose of expanding the minds he will reach during the school year!

Amy Melendy Posted 11 months ago

I had the privilege to meet Dunn the summer of 2011. We traveled through Greece and Turkey with 14 other educators as part of the Fulbright Hays Teachers Travel Abroad program. He impressed me then with his desire for knowledge and the ability to dig deep to discover the true issues of the cultures we were learning about as we traveled. As a result of his convictions my learning was enriched. I feel fortunate that I have remained friends with him for the past 9 years.He has a great ability to bring his travel experience back with him and make them accessible to his students through extremely creative lessons. He challenges his students to think for themselves, and I know they are engaged as they are learning. Dunn sets his expectations high and his students rarely disappoint. As teaching becomes more difficult, Dunn continues to rise to the challenge. His students will be forever changed.

Isaac Williams Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is by far one of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had. Despite the large work load he gave us his teaching methods and attention to each student ensured that we all passed his class. He managed to create a fun and entertaining class that still properly covered the content effectively while consistently remaining ahead of schedule. Mr. Woods more than worthy of this award.

LaDonna Davis Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is an awesome teacher that brings his lessons to life for our students. He gives several opportunities for students to learn the material in such creative ways. Every student learns something in Mr. Woods' class. As a colleague, he is very supportive of opportunities and initiatives that aren't "history" related, but will better serve the whole student. Since its inception, Mr. Woods has been a top supporter of the EPIC (Empowering Parents Involving Community) Seminar that Alston has each year. This seminar brings industry & business leaders , parents, students, and educators together to discuss future employment opportunities along with present educational opportunities. Even when Mr. Woods is away from school, he is still thinking about education opportunities and making them happen. Throughout the years, he has not hesitated to send great career speakers my way. His reach for his students is not limited to his classroom. It extends to the community, other subject areas, and around the world. Alston Middle is fortunate to have such an educator.

Kristie Smith Posted 11 months ago

While my son received a great education in the schools where he spent time, there are not many teachers I can single out as having a big impact on him. There have been even fewer than that have continued to keep in touch and check on him now that he is in college. Mr. Woods fits in both of these categories. He was creative, compassionate, and caring when he taught my son, and he has remained a positive influence in his life.

Jacinta Ndubuisi Posted 11 months ago

Juliet Ndubuisi used to be in mr woods history class in Alston middle school in summerville south Carolina.. mr woods motivated and inspired juliet in liking history. Not only history but other classes generally. He will be asking how is juliet doing in her other classes.that would make juliet to be studying harder every day to keep up with her school work. He always involves parents in their children education by making sure parents sign a completed homework each day. . Involving parents with their children to watch movies that relates to what he is teaching in class with a free movie tickets. Infant. He makes history class fun for students and parents.he will inform parents if a student is not keeping up with what he/she suppose to do in class. Mr woods has a special way of imparting knowledge to his students. He believes in hard working and staying focused.. mr woods is a born teacher. He is talented. A motivator. An inspirator. Always looking for a way to better his students. He will use his personal vacation time to travel around the world or country just to learn other countries culture, and new ideas just to impart the new ideas to his students.. he goes to conferences., workshops etc. All in the name of improving himself and getting the new information or ideas to improve his students. Always looking for something to improve his students. I would have loved my younger son Elvis to be in his class but unfortunately, we moved back to Jacksonville FL. We really missed mr woods. The motivation and encouragement he imparted to my daughter juliet is still what is leading her through in her high school.. now juliet is in 12th grade with high GPA. I have been receiving mails from many universities across the country for her. . Thank you mr woods. If not you. I hope you continue being whom you are as you impart the knowledge into our growing children.

Taylor Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods was/is simply an incredible teacher. It’s been 9 years since I have stepped foot in his classroom, yet I still remember the 2 years I was blessed to be taught by him. There are very few teachers who you keep up with in life and he has been one of them for me. His approach to teaching is unlike any other and I respect even more now that I’m older his encouragement of independent thinking. He truly invests in his students and not just for the year they are within the four walls of his classroom. Once his student, always his student. I am currently pursuing a degree in Education and I hope to be even half the teacher that this man is.

Sam Stegall Posted 11 months ago

I was a student of Mr Woods in both American History and World History when I was in 10th and 11th grades back in 1996-98. Three college degrees later and Mr Woods is still the best teacher I have ever had. He shaped the way I think about education and the principles he taught (not just the material) are still with me to this day. As an educator myself I have attempted to give to my students what Mr Woods gave to me. Outside of the classroom Mr Woods because a friend and a mentor. In my high school years there was NO ONE that I looked up to more than him. He was demanding as a teacher but in those formative years of my life the time he invested in me shaped who I became as a person. While we have lost touch over the years I am forever indebted to Mr Woods.

EMILY Norris Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods has a great passion for bringing the world to his students. He is wonderful, kind, and fun, when it comes to education of his students. He is a great shining light at Alston Middle School.

R. Gates Posted 11 months ago

Mr Woods, is a great teacher, he has a very creative style in the way he teach. He makes learning interesting and help the students learn how to think outside the box and be creative.

Elisabeth Stafford Posted 11 months ago

Let me tell you about the Mr. Woods experience. He is a very creative and charismatic teacher. He makes learning fun in multiple ways. He engages his students with catchy songs and unique projects. One of our group projects that really stood out to me was our "Readers Theater" project where we created a story line based off of the Industrial Revolution. Mr. Woods really inspired me to reflect on the impact of many historical events on our current society and my own culture. I am very thankful that I had Mr. Woods as my 7th grade history teacher.

Kristie Smith Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods will always be one of the teachers for my child that I remember. He taught in ways that were thought provoking, interactive, and creative. In his 13 years of school, there is not another teacher who continues to show care and concern for him. I cannot imagine a more deserving teacher to be called a "lifechanger".

Mason Bucher Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods.. such a blessing to have had him as a teacher, he always comes in with such a great attitude and ready to teach but what makes him different from my other teachers is he teaches with pride and shows he actually cares, he can make the most boring subject in the world the most fun by just his unique and fun style of teaching.

Cassidy Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods was my middle school Social Studies teacher and is definitely one of my most memorable teachers. We learned a lot of history through songs that he and the class would come up with, which help me to this day. He also pushed us with challenging tests and essays to prepare us for high school and college. He held us accountable, which helped to develop our work ethics. Overall, his teaching made a huge impact that followed me throughout the rest of my education.

Richard Ball Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods taught my oldest son history. By the end of the year, due to his influence and interactive way of teaching, everyone in my family felt like we knew him. My son would repeat what he learned almost every day. In later years he became not only a friend to the family but a positive influence on my younger son who he never taught. Dorchester County has many great educators, but Mr. Woods routinely stands out because he brings his worldly experiences back to the classroom to keep all kids interested.

Jeff Edwards Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods always goes above and beyond to challenge young people both as students and creating productive citizens! His passionate teaching style makes a lasting impression in the lives of his students. Speaking not only as a fellow educator, but also the parent of two of his former students, this honor would be well deserved.

Jacob Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods was my middle school history teacher. Being as how he is one of the few teachers I still keep in touch with to this day, that should say something about the longevity he creates with his students. He is one of the most interactive and unique individuals I have ever met. His style of teaching truly has a way of opening a students mind to multiple avenues for remembering and learning important information. He is constantly molding these students for their future endeavors and creating a foundation for success. Mr. Woods is and always will be a teacher that his students will always remember.

Kelli Farless Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods has impacted the lives of both of my kiddos. He didn't teach my son, but knew him and took the time to form a relationship with him. It takes a village and Mr Woods makes it his business to be a part of that village, whether the schedule dictates it or not! My daughter, Emily, is fortunate to have Mr. Woods this year. Tonight she was reviewing with me her business proposal for class tomorrow. This was on the heels of having met classmates and Mr. Woods yesterday at the farmers market and Mr. Woods took the time (again) to send me a pic that he snapped of her and a friend from the outing. When she was through telling me her business proposal and had answered all of the questions for the assignment, she said I needed to sign the paper saying she had reviewed her business proposal with me. I stated to her that I loved how Mr. Woods promotes parents being involved in their children's education by having them sign off on assignments. This is not the first time in 4 weeks of school that I have signed off on an assignment for Mr. Woods after Emily reviewed it with me. These small actions go a long way and they are so appreciated. I look forward to an amazing year with Emily loving social studies because of Mr. Woods!

Rita Franchi Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods taught both of my very different sons. My older son is an eager learner who enjoys being challenged. He is also musically inclined. Mr. Woods creativity and talent as both a teacher and singer kept my son engaged and excited about history. My younger son is the complete opposite, yet even he appreciated Mr. Woods teaching style and was willing to work for him out of respect. As a parent, I always appreciated the little things that Mr. Woods did outside of the classroom—like sending emails to share something good my boys did, inquiring about them after they moved on, stopping in for an impromptu birthday serenade, showing up at concerts/recitals. He truly enjoys working with kids and inspiring them to step out of their comfort zones and gain new experiences and perspectives.

Melissa Stewart Posted 11 months ago

My son, Eli, had Mr. Woods for 7th grade social studies. Eli is now a junior and Mr. Woods remains his favorite teacher. He has a dedication like no other to his students and works tirelessly to instill a passion for learning into his students. He has such an endearing personality and zest for life which spills over into his teaching. You won’t find another teacher like him.

Lia harrington Posted 11 months ago

I am so excited to have Mr. Woods this year. I can already tell I am going to love his class sooooo much. My brother tells me about all the fun things he did and I can’t wait! I’ve known Mr. Woods for so long and I have been looking forward to being in his class ever since fourth grade. His teaching skills are so amazing! I love his energy, creativity, and so many other things. He inspires so many people and he deserves the best.

Dana Olivieri Posted 11 months ago

Mr.Woods is an amazing teacher. He likes to make learning fun. He's brought my daughter out of her shell. He is very knowledgeable and communicates very well with the students and parents. I wish I had a teacher like him growing up!

Karrie Posted 11 months ago

I am a Jamaican and Mr Woods went the extra mile to ensure my kids understood the culture. Thanks a million Mr. Woods you are the best, because of you my daughters were able to adjust with ease. You deserve this, truly and inspiration to many. GO MR. WOODS!!!

Greyson Ridge Posted 11 months ago

I was in Mr. Wood’s 7th Grade History class 6 years ago. Looking back on it, I wish I could have a connection to a teacher as much as he did, and still has, with me. He is one of of the most authentic, awe-inspiring, creative, and enthusiastic teachers I have ever met in my entire life. He is such a like-minded and well rounded person, which makes it easier to connect with him. Mr. Woods loves to sing... a lot. Which makes is classes 500 times more enjoyable. It was almost everyday we would walk into the classroom and think, “Huh, I wonder what songs we will learn today.” Another thing he would do, was give everyone nicknames. I, was Grey. In doing this, all of the students felt more involved and and interactive with him. Mr. Woods cared for everyone. No matter the time of day, if you had an issue, he would sit down and help you through it. Even if you wanted to chat, he would be there for you. I don’t have much to say other than this man deserves everything he can get. He’s been very resourceful, and has been a great friend of mine ever since I left that school. Thank you for all that you’ve done for us, and I hope my recommendation helps!

Carrington Perdue Posted 11 months ago

When asked about people who made the biggest impact on my life, Mr. Woods comes to mind. Entering 6th grade, I was shy, timid and had never been challenged like Mr. Woods would challenge me, in the best way, that school year. He dedicated all his time and effort to the classroom and his students, teaching history in a new and interesting fashion. He brought me out of my shell and pushed me harder than any teacher ever had and ever would. He not only pushed his students to do their best academic work, he also pushed us to be our best selves, enforcing manners and respect in and out of his classroom. He truly helped shape me into the person I am today. Now, I am about a month into my freshman year of college, pursuing a degree in education. When asked the question “what inspired you to want to become a teacher?” I think of Mr. Woods and how I aspire to be a teacher as thoughtful, committed and invested into my students academic and personal lives as is he is and was.

Sloan Shelbourne Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods and my two years with him remain in my memory as somewhat of an enigma. A student could not enter his classroom without leaving the majority of his or her conventional education outside the door. Our ever-expanding world of global history revolved around a fierce but entirely positive energy, an energy which seemed to produce countless variations of teaching styles ranging from Napoleon and Dolly Parton mash-ups to real money/real product market activities. From your definition of class, Mr. Woods' version would be exceedingly distant. And yet, I can look back upon both school and university and say that his work engrained more material and knowledge in my mind than nearly every other. Not a class, but a separate world. Not lessons, but experiences that remain active in our lives and intellects to this day.

Haley Collins Posted 11 months ago

I had Mr.Woods my 7th grade year at Alston Middle School and I fell in love with his energy in the classroom and how encouraging he is. Even tho I had him for one year, he has continued to be apart of my life when it comes to my extracurricular activities in high school. He will always continues to influence me and other students throughout his teaching career.

Lisa West Posted 11 months ago

Pren Woods is perhaps the most uniquely gifted educator I have ever met, and his interpersonal skills are exceptional. It does not take long to realize that while he has never met a stranger, he is keenly invested in maintaining relationships with former students and parents. His lively interactions are genuine. Time and distance do not present obstacles, thanks to technological advances, and he does his best to keep in touch with others. He will take the time to randomly surprise parents with a photo of their child engaged in a fun educational activity that may take them down memory lane as they recall various history projects and adventures that occurred within his classroom and the community. Pren also makes it a point to take an interest in the life of his former students’ younger siblings. He is able to change a life regardless of their enrollment in one of his classes. As others have noted, he strives to achieve excellence and inspires those around him to do the same. He is a positive force for change, and we are better for it.

Belkis Madera Posted 11 months ago

I met Pren in South Africa seven years ago. We were both part of a five-week-long National Endowment for the Humanities seminar learning about the South African culture; part of the seminar consisted of visiting schools and teaching. I had the privilege of co-teaching a lesson with Pren; I took the traditional route but he decided to teach these South African students about civil rights by teaching them a "negro spiritual, Wade in the Water". In about 20-30 minutes, he had grouped the students by vocal types and ranges, taught them the lyrics and explained their meaning, and had them singing as if they had been rehearsing for months. At that moment, listening to 30 plus students singing with such enthusiasm and joy, I realized how committed Pren was to his calling. There are no borders, ethnic groups, or cultural differences that Pren cannot reach; for him all students matter. He is a true global citizen. Pren has this extraordinary ability to engage students that many instructors lack. I am impressed at the way he talks about his students; always looking for innovative ways to design lessons in order to reach each one. Not only is Pren a dedicated and passionate teacher, he is a mentor. He leads by example; inspiring, uplifting and motivating other teachers to pursue their dreams and reach their goals. For the past 7 years, Pren has counseled me on many occasions; he has encouraged me to seek academic opportunities to enhance my knowledge and teaching methods. I cannot think of a better and deserving nominee.

Julie Curry Posted 11 months ago

Super great teacher . Kids and Parents love him . He’s a teacher that the kids ( my kids ) will never forget ! Thanks Mr.Woods

Lauren Cuppy Posted 11 months ago

As a current college student at USC, I have looked on the impact Mr. Woods made on my life throughout the years with complete respect. He turned me, a science and math learner, to appreciate history and the affects of the past. He taught me the importance of mnemonic devices through song and I can confidently say he is the reason I balance a Global Studies major with a Biological Sciences major as well. He is the type of teacher that makes a lasting impact on his students and I will always be appreciative of the slice of history he gave me.

Chriselle S Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods was my 6th grade Social Studies teacher. I will never forget the time in his class & I can’t hear a ke$ha song without thinking of the Protestant Reformation. Not only did he prepare us well for the state standardized tests, but he sought to bring “the real world” into the classroom. His syllabus (the first one I ever received) was meticulously written, laying out all the details for the class. He had high expectations for his students; however, he was always willing to personally work with anyone who was struggling. His coursework was designed to not only teach us the material, but how to teach us to LEARN the material yourself. He taught us how to paraphrase vs. summarize; he used pneumonic devices so we could really remember the facts; he rewrote hit songs to help us memorize what we were learning (yes, you were encouraged to quietly sing during exams. Who knew Rihanna & ancient Nubia had so much in common?); he made history applicable to the present-day by engaging with the students. His teaching style is unforgettable. I am currently a college student & I still use his methods to teach myself in my classes. Not only did he help shape my work ethic as a student, but he has made a positive impact on every student who was privileged enough to study in his classroom.

Kelly Kennedy Posted 11 months ago

What I admire most about Pren is that he has high expectations for all of his students. He does what it takes to help all students reach their full potential. He never gives up on his kids so they never give up!

Nagia Sanders Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods, is a GREAT teacher!!!! Love his enthusiasm towards teaching. He truly is one of a kind. Thank you Mr.Woods!!!!

Lara Hayes Posted 11 months ago

For the past years, I have worked with Mr. Woods collaboratively on many different occasions. Being an instructional technology specialist, I have co-taught with him in his classroom. After seeing him in the classroom, he has inspired me to become a better teacher for our students. Not only does Mr. Woods inspire me, I know he inspires many of his students as well. I have seen students who were normally apathetic come to life in his class. He believes in being relatable to the students and finding many different learning styles to suit their needs. He gets his students to get up and act out scenes from history or dress up for certain times in history so they can get a feel for that time period. He puts in countless hours recreating popular songs and multiple projects to teach historical events or concepts. He holds his students to high expectations and he has a lasting effect on his students. There have several instances where students who have graduated will return and say that his class may have been a lot of work, but it was the one class that they remembered what they learned. Besides the inside of the classroom, Mr. Woods also does things for his students outside of the classroom as well. He has created an annual event to teach economics at our local farmers market and has had an international event that allows people from different cultures to come and talk to his students. Most students came away from the event understanding that although we may look different, there are many similarities between cultures, religions, and races. Most recently, Mr. Woods has started a Met Opera program which introduces students, teachers, and the community to this art form. The participants have a pre-workshop to learn about the historical significance of each individual opera and then go to the theater to watch the live performance streamed through the screen. Mr. Woods is continuously looking for the next innovative thing to keep his students at the edge of their seats wanting to know more about history. He constantly has a need to learn and create whatever it takes to make his students successful. To me, this not only exhibits a person who is passionate about his profession in teaching, but also a passion for the students whose lives he touches every day.

Jen Clarke Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing teacher. He engages his students in a creative way and it makes them want to do better. My daughter missed class for two days due to illness and she took the time to reach out and make sure she was ok. This is huge in my eyes. He took time on a Saturday to meet students at the farmers market to teach them about capitalism. I can’t say enough about him!

Angela Harp Posted 11 months ago

No matter where he is at, Mr. Woods never meets a stranger! He is caring and works so hard to inspire and motivate his students. He puts his whole heart into his work and the students he teaches appreciate all his selfless efforts. He travels extensively and learns all he can to bring back to enhance what his students learn by bringing the world alive, changing their lives for the better. Mr. Woods truly is a life changer!

Josh Church Posted 11 months ago

I never had the profound opportunity to be a student of Mr. Woods. Even though I wasn’t a student of Mr. Woods, him and I have been able to keep in contact all of these years. We’ve been able to update each other on our lives and see how things were going. It was always nice to hear from Mr. Woods because even though I wasn’t one of his students, he treated me like I was. My brother and some of my friends were fortunate enough to have him as their teacher back at Alston Middle School. When my brother would get home from middle school, he would always tell me everything about what they did in Mr. Woods’s class that day. He was always excited to tell me about his day in Mr. Woods’s class. I’ve been able to learn so many remarkable things about Mr. Woods’s teaching from my brother and friends. It is clear to see that Mr. Woods was made for teaching. His passion and love for teaching has and will continue to inspire so many students to become better people inside and outside the classroom as well. My brother has told me before that he is so glad he had Mr. Woods as a teacher because he felt so much more prepared for his future. Mr. Woods truly cares about his students, and he always goes the extra mile to make sure his students are okay. Mr. Woods always gives full effort into his teaching and I know my brother always appreciated that. Mr. Woods is a true example of what being a teacher is all about. He showcases his spectacular teaching ability in the classroom, and he always makes learning fun. My brother mentioned that they would sing different songs that reflected what they were learning that day as well as interesting projects throughout the school year. No one deserves this award more than Mr. Woods does. You ask any of his pasts and present students, and they will tell you the same thing. Mr. Woods has changed the lives of so many students through his teaching and, he will continue to change lives for students. Mr. Woods has changed my life and I’m so grateful that I was able to learn more about his teachers from the eyes of my brother and my friends. -Josh Church

Shakiyra Silva Posted 11 months ago

This is amazing but not of any surprise that Mr. Woods would be nominated for such an achievement. Our son Xavier had Mr. Woods for 7th grade and to this day he has never spoken of a teacher in the same respect and regard as he does, Mr. Woods. From his teaching style, to the amount of love he puts into getting kids to see history and culture from a world perspective, there is truly no one better. Over all these years, we truly do consider him a friend of the family. As our son, who is a High School Senior this year and heads to college, it is no surprise that his ambition is to be History Teacher. There is no doubt in our mind that Mr. Woods made that impact on him and we are blessed that our son was able to cross paths with Mr. Woods.

Belkis Madera Posted 11 months ago

I met Pren in South Africa seven years ago. We were both part of a five-week-long National Endowment for the Humanities seminar learning about the South African culture; part of the seminar consisted of visiting schools and teaching. I had the privilege of co-teaching a lesson with Pren; I took the traditional route but he decided to teach these South African students about civil rights by teaching them a "negro spiritual, Wade in the Water". In about 20-30 minutes, he had grouped the students by vocal types and ranges, taught them the lyrics and explained their meaning, and had them singing as if they had been rehearsing for months. At that moment, listening to 30 plus students singing with such enthusiasm and joy, I realized how committed Pren was to his calling. There are no borders, ethnic groups, or cultural differences that Pren cannot reach; for him all students matter. He is a true global citizen. Pren has this extraordinary ability to engage students that many instructors lack. I am impressed at the way he talks about his students; always looking for innovative ways to design lessons in order to reach each one. Not only is Pren a dedicated and passionate teacher, he is a mentor. He leads by example; inspiring, uplifting and motivating other teachers to pursue their dreams and reach their goals. For the past 7 years, Pren has counseled me on many occasions; he has encouraged me to seek academic opportunities to enhance my knowledge and teaching methods. I cannot think of a better and deserving nominee.

Shawn Pendry Posted 11 months ago

I was blessed to meet Mr Woods at a conference in Vienna 4 years ago. All of the educators selected for this institute were hungry for knowledge, but none more so than Dunn Woods. He seemed to devour every experience far more than everyone else. He brought extraordinary knowledge to every subject and every conversation. When we returned from Vienna Dunn and I remained friends. As we kept up with each other I saw the scope of what Mr Woods brings to his children. He uses every spare moment to travel in professional development seminars and experiences across the world to bring the best research and knowledge to his children. I even ended up running into him in New York at a Metropolitan opera workshop. Though he teachers history, he came to the met to give his students another avenue to understand humanity and societal change. He has expanded the limits of his classroom so far beyond the four walls he was given that the students have the world in their hands. On a personal note, though we only spent extended time together for the class in Vienna, he always calls and sings to me, my wife, and both my boys on their birthdays. That is so far above the kindness that most people extend to their friends’ families. My two teen boys have only met him once when he traveled through Florida and they still call him uncle Dunn. This man changes lives of students peers and even relatives of those he encounters. He is a blessing to us all.

Teri Butcher Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods makes history come alive and challenges students to use lessons from the past to make sense of the present. He’s a phenomenal teacher with high expectations and a rigorously creative curriculum. Mr. Woods maintains an energetic classroom atmosphere where history is performed through music, art and theater. He truly loves teaching. There’s not a day when he isn’t singing opera or dancing down the halls of Alston Middle School. Mr. Woods never meets a stranger, has an infectious smile, an awesome sense of humor and always has an interesting story to tell. It’s been a privilege to work alongside such an amazing colleague and friend.

Beth Stillinger Posted 11 months ago

I had the fortunate experience of observing Mr. Woods prior to beginning my teaching career. I also served with him on the Teacher Liaison Committee the year he and I both won Teacher of the Year in our district. Anyone who experiences Mr. Woods's interactions with students, both in and out of the classroom, will be as inspired as I was and am. He influenced me to truly enjoy teaching and to build a relationship with the students prior to bringing any content into the classroom. I would support a nomination for Mr. Woods for just about ANY award. He is an amazing teacher and is for sure a life-changer of many, including myself.

Kate Beal Posted 11 months ago

I have known Pren Woods for several years. He is relentless in pursuit of knowledge and finding new ways to engage his students in class. He believes in all his students and strives to have all students succeed. He inspires people with his energy and enthusiasm.

Phillip Brown Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is quite the teacher! He has nothing but positive things to say about others and always has positive energy! He never brings his problems into school with him but instead brings a positive mindset and does his job well! I was accepted as a Student Co-op at Alston Middle School the summer of 2019. That was when I met this "Life Changer" that is Mr. Woods! He and I hit it off almost as soon as we seen each other and from that moment on I knew he was going to be one of the most spectacular, fun and energetic teachers I have ever met! Mr. Woods is definitely a big ray of sunshine to everyone in Alston Middle School including myself and he has definitely been a positive impact in a LOT of his former and fellow student's lives as well! Some of his former students still come back and pay him visits because of what a great life changer this teacher really was to them! Though Mr. Woods has never taught me, I know he has got to be one of the best if not the best teacher I've ever been around and worked with! Thank you for shining bright and making us who we are Mr. Woods!!!

Daniel Kornosky Posted 11 months ago

I met Pren through an international professional development program in Japan and China. Pren had an immediate impact on me professionally and the entire group. It was common for him to be an active leader in discussions with the scholars that led our program as well as each participant on both a professional and personal level. He was as eager of a student as he is a student. Through discussions and interactions Pren was always discussing content, strategies, and new ways to look at curriculum. Pren shares his knowledge with others instead of keeping it under lock and key as many teachers do. He shines brightest when he discusses his role as a teacher, but more importantly as he shares the successes of his students. Pren has inspired me to continually push myself to be better whether it is through his scholarly and fun personality, a phone call to see how my school year is going, or by sending emails filled with insights and information that he has acquired through his own pursuits. I would find it hard to believe that another teacher has impacted as many lives of students or school faculty and staff as Pren has over the years.

Trinity Mcclam Posted 11 months ago

He has made such a huge impact on my life like I acutely am passing history like he just makes it fun he has just a very fun and creative way of teaching people if you have MR.Woods you will be so happy he is making history fun for me I use to hate history until I met him and he changed my point of view like he is the most creative person I have ever met in my hole life he just makes my day every time I see his smile and here his amazing singing he is truly the greatest and he just and he is just inspiring if you no him you fall in love with him and his style of teaching I honestly don’t consider him as a teacher I consider him as a friend, even a uncle he is such a great teacher and we both share something we love if you reading this you most likely love it to bacon ??????????????????????He is truly the best

Gina Causey Posted 11 months ago

One of Pren's greatest contributions to his students is helping them develop a broader world view. His class is not just about facts and dates; it's about the people and cultures who experienced these events, how they were impacted then, and how this has shaped our modern world. As one of Pren's colleagues for the past twelve years, I have witnessed how his travels abroad have made history and geography meaningful for his students, not only through his experiences, but also through sharing the first-hand accounts of people that he has met. Furthermore, for several years Pren has conducted an International Coffee Hour event, in which he invites members of our local community from a variety of religions, ethnicities, and countries. Students have the opportunity to learn about other cultures and religions through conversations in small groups with the guests. This invaluable event helps students learn about differences between the guests' cultures/religions and theirs. More importantly, International Coffee Hour helps underscore the similarities between the students' lives' and the guests' experiences. Guiding students to appreciate cultural differences and develop a more informed world view is one of Pren's greatest strengths.

Karen Lewis Posted 11 months ago

Pren Woods is an exceptional teacher. His talents in music and history worked hand in hand. I had the privilege to observe his classes as a teacher at Rivers and Burke Middle Schools, the students were always energized because he taught history in a format that allowed historical events be utilized In rapping. Not only did he perform for the kids, but he instructed them to as a special project to perform their assignments in a rap. I also remember observing the children, singing the raps to themselves as they were studying or taking a test. Every summer I look forward to Pren’s adventures as he travels abroad for studying through fellowship grants and scholarships. His interactions with colleagues and citizens of different cultures are always funny, serious, and emotional.Wherever he visits, no one is a stranger. I just love it when he becomes excited about the new material and knowledge gained through his travels. He becomes so excited about his syllabus. What I would love to know is, where does he get the energy? You know it’s all about the kids. I once asked him, why does he remain teaching in middle school and not become an administrator. His heart is teaching the children.

Elizabeth Jayme Posted 11 months ago

I had Mr. Woods last year for 7th grade. Mr. Woods is an amazing teacher. He keeps all his students engaged in everything and is very active. He deserves to be National Teacher of the year because before I was in his class I didn’t really participate in class discussions but Mr. Woods brought me out of my comfort zone. He pushed me to be the best student I could be and I proved that by having an A in his class year round. He gives his students (at the end of the school year) a thank you letter. When I received mine I cried. It was heart felt and it shows he truly cares. I will always keep in touch with Mr. Woods and invite him to all my important events such as graduation. He played an important role in my life. He is clearly a life changer.

Kathleen Pisani Posted 11 months ago

Prin is an amazing, inspired teacher who teaches character and humanity as he teaches history. I am blessed to have my child learning from such a great teacher!

Kelly Staten Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing teacher. He taught two of my three children. What I love most about Mr. Woods is, he always pushing the students beyond what they feel is their best into their greatest potential.

Aunt Mae Posted 11 months ago

I am so proud of my nephew. He puts his heart into everything that he does. He travels to get ideas on how to improve his teaching for his student. He is a professional and a forever learning. He has so many methods to make his class exciting. I am a retired 6th grade English teacher (24 years ago) and his stamina and creativity amaze me. He is for ALL students--not just about their academic needs. He is about the whole child. He looks at all students and sees "giftedness" in all of them. I have watched him for 20 years be like this. On a personal note, he is a tremendous help to me and his mom (my sister).

Christi Harley Posted 11 months ago

I did not meet Mr Woods as a parent, teacher, or colleague. We met through his internal drive to educate all people on any given subject. I was raised to sit at the dinner table, typically an hour or two an evening and pound out discussions that helped build our character. We kept a prized set of World Book Encyclopedias at our nearest reach and challenged each other, each comment, the use of our words, and how we addressed one another, honorably, respectfully. We were never expected to agree, but to present sound evidence. Mr Woods speaks that exact language. He not only teaches subject matter, he demonstrates pursuit of knowledge and understanding. Mr Woods does not strive for comfort. Sometime discomfort is even the goal. He pushes, challenges, stretches, and remolds our thinking. Not only his students, anyone’s student. And when he’s not teaching students he’s challenging adults, friends, family, strangers, anyone who is willing to receive his great big spirit for learning.

Alicia Weil Posted 11 months ago

I have had the pleasure of being Mr. Woods substitute for the last few years. Every day I sub is enjoyable and challenging because he does not leave busywork. He wants the days he is not at school to be as meaningful as the days he is there. I have never been bored as a sub because the students are never bored. They become engaged in what they are learning because Mr Woods has made them that way by always doing creative projects and by helping them to understand and enjoy learning history. When they get to high school and I talk to them in high school Social Studied classes about his classes they all say the same things to me. They will never forget the things they learned in his classes. They still remember. “The Cold War Song”. I do too!

Gayna McNeish Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is not only a phenomenal teacher but an awesome mentor as well! He has taught three of my four sons and they have all developed a love of history that would not have occurred without him. He has given me the support and encouragement to seek professional opportunities both here in the Unites States and overseas. He has helped me grow as a professional school counselor. Mr Woods is a life changer to everyone he meets. I am truly blessed to have Mr. Woods as a colleague, teacher, friend, and mentor. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to your students! You are the BEST!

Noah Johnson Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods was my social studies teacher in seventh grade. I was a new student that year and was having trouble adjusting to a new school. Mr. Woods pulled me aside and comforted me. I will always remember that moment and Mr. Wood's kindness. I can still remember some of the content he taught me in class to this day. Mr. Woods taught me not only historical information for a middle school student but study habits, test taking strategies, and writing techniques that I apply to my college courses to this day. Even though I have been out of seventh grade for 9 years, Mr. Woods makes an effort to reach out to me and my family to see how we are doing. Out of all the teachers, professors, and mentors throughout my life so far, Mr. Woods surpasses them all in terms of passion for education and care for his students.

Stephen Platt Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is a great teacher, he has so much positive energy in his classroom and around others. I am the SRO at the school he teaches and I always introduce him to the new officers I train as, “this is Mr. Woods, he an awesome teacher.” While I walk the halls, I always find myself standing outside his classroom door listening to him teach and interacting with the students. Students request to be placed into his class, because they hear from previous students and their friends that his class is fun, he gets into his teaching and becomes part of the lessons. Mr. Woods is an awesome teacher.

HEIDI MERCADO Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing teacher and has left such a great impression on me and my son. Wish there were more teachers that are like him. He makes learning fun!! He is my sons favorite teacher.

Andi Stem Posted 11 months ago

An inspiration to all is my description of Pren Woods. Although tremendously intelligent, witty, and known for his deep laugh, Pren’s greatest gift is his connection with people, young and old. He knows not a stranger, yet makes a point to welcome any into his heart. Teaching is his passion, as well as continuously striving to personally learn more about our world, our history, and the people within it, Pren shares his gain with his students and his community. I am honored to call him my friend, yet privileged to live in the community he blesses with his gifts.

Bailey Edwards Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods changed the way that kids learn. As a former student, I never enjoyed waking up and going to school everyday, but when I had Mr. Woods as a teacher, I would be ready for the day. He would always interpret different styles into his lessons, such as singing and allowing us to put on plays that would allow us to learn the content easier. Even to this day, I refer back to many of the songs I learned being in his class to help me with work I have now in college. He really loves what he does and makes sure that everyone who crosses his path learns something whether it be a small little sentiment or a big lesson. The most important thing is he always leaves people with big smiles on their faces.

Dana katz Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods was one of the best educators my children ever had . Energetic, captivating, enthusiastic, he constantly engaged and encouraged his students to improve and achieve! I have three very successful children academically, two doctoral students and one undergrad student with great scholarships, and am so thankful for wonderful public schools in Dorchester district two , fabulous teachers like Mr. Woods make this happen!

Jim Hamilton Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods had the single most influence on our son's primary education. He was fortunate to be in Mr. Woods' 6th and 7th grade Social Studies classes. While some students and their parents may find Mr. Woods' class too difficult or time consuming, we found him to be extremely well organized and determined to see his students learn - not just about Social Studies and how different cultures impacted our world - but to learn how to be better students. Our son learned to think critically, explain creatively, prepare, anticipate, and accept responsibility for his work. We were fortunate again that our daughter was able to study her 7th grade Social Studies under Mr. Woods. She too, had the same initial apprehension and frustration with the expectations from Mr. Woods, but finished the class more prepared for high school and beyond. Mr. Woods demonstrates his interest and love for his students outside of the classroom. It is not uncommon to see him at our daughter's swim meets and other school and community activities. Now 8 years removed from Mr. Woods class and a senior in college, Mr. Woods and our son still make time to talk and share experiences of higher academic learning. We can only hope our daughter will do the same. Mr. Woods is a life changer. He makes these children better students and better citizens. We are better for knowing Mr. Woods.

LaShana Fogle Posted 11 months ago

Mr. Woods is an amazing teacher who looks for out of the Box ways to teach his students. My daughter always said that Social Studies was her least favorite subject, but after entering his class she has changed. I enjoyed listening to the things she learned each day. He made Social Studies class an art, dance and musical experience. He shares with his students the many things he learns from his travels around the world and they want experience all of the amazing this he has.

Robin Woods Posted 11 months ago

I am happy to write something in honor of my brother. I consider him a colleague (though I am in different district) and more importantly, best friend. I have seen him do this labor of love tirelessly for 22 years. He amazes me. He looks forward to Mondays because he gets to spend five days with his kiddos. He reminds me that Friday when that bell rings, some kids are doing to sad and dark places. So, he has to make his five days count. He is always looking for ways to open his kids’ world. He worked in an inner city school and found money to take kids out to dinner, so they can learn about dining etiquette and a world beyond pizza and chicken fingers. Kids were learning about cultures of the world, but didn’t know people from those places. So, he created an International Coffee Hour where kids came voluntarily on a Saturday to eat and meet with people from around the world. He did an opera workshop in Vienna one summer and wanted his kids to be exposed to opera. So, he applied for this competitive Metropolitan Educator Grant. He got it and now five years later, he is taking students to live stream operas at the local movie theater. He really is dedicated, he gives up his Spring Break to take students to Washington, DC. I asked him once, Why he misses his Spring Break to do such a thing?” He stated, “If this allows at least one student to leave the State and experience culture, education and exposure outside of their State, then it’s worth it! Even in the summers he takes a group. once a year, to the farmers’ market (on a Saturday!) to interact with vendors to learn about entrepreneurialship and capitalism. A culminating activity is that the students, working with their parents, create business plans. I don’t know how he has all the energy for this because he makes me tired hearing story after story. He loves his students and school community. About ten years ago, one of his students was shot and that had a profound impact on him. He still chokes up about it. That moment in time made him love harder, fight harder for his children. I went with him to the family’s house the next day and all these strangers knew who he was and the mom said, “Mr. Woods, you are going to do my son’s eulogy.” I want to be that kind of teacher, that kind of mentor, that kind of human being. This is way too long and so over the top, but he is my brother and I am glad he is getting some attention for his passion. I have to say that education is equity for my brother. He is so social justice driven. He won’t let any child be marginalized. He teaches non-GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) and he was so bothered by that descriptor, he scrapped it and called them GATE (Great Attitude Towards Education). “Now, you are ‘GATE’ just like the other ‘GATE.’”

Maranda Wilkinson Posted 11 months ago

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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months ago

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

Marsha Johnson Posted 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months ago

Supportive, energetic and innovative educator.

Julie Ritchie Posted 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months ago

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

John Johnson Posted 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months ago

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

Rachel Edwards Posted 11 months 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 11 months 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!