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 (415)

Jennifer Posted 1 days 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 1 days 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 1 days 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 1 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days ago

Very positive teacher and knows how to make your day and also is such a hilarious teacher

Josue Posted 2 days ago

Great Teacher !

Jay Karen Posted 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 2 days 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 3 days 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 3 days ago

Mr. Woods’ words and lessons are ones I carry with me to this day. Life changer for sure!

Lasherry Singleton Posted 3 days ago

Hey Mr. Woods I love what your teaching my son...thanks for what your teaching him....#BEST SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER!!!!

Violet Posted 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days ago

This man’s ability to inspire is unforgettable.

Datka McCullough Gray Posted 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 5 days 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 6 days 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 6 days 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 6 days 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 6 days 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 6 days 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 6 days 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 6 days 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 6 days 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 6 days 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 6 days 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 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days ago

Congratulations, Dunn - you are indeed a life changer for so many people!

Karen Thompson Posted 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days 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 8 days 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 8 days 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 8 days 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 8 days 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 8 days 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 8 days 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 8 days 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 8 days 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 8 days ago

He is a very positive teacher. He comes to school with a passion of teaching me and my classmates.

Bismah Posted 8 days ago

you are dedicated and inspire everyone !

Allison weller Posted 8 days 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 8 days ago

Pren is an amazing educator. He finds platforms of learning for all students.

Theresa Posted 8 days 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 8 days 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 8 days 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 8 days 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 8 days 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 8 days 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 8 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days ago

Mr. Woods is a awesome, funny teacher. He makes learning fun and makes me love social studies.

Kathy Davenport Posted 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 9 days 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 days 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 days 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 days 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 days 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 days ago

Mr woods was a very active and funny teacher and because of that we laerned good and faster

Roma Patel Posted 10 days 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 days 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 days 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 days 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 11 days 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 11 days 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 11 days 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 11 days 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 11 days 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 11 days 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 11 days 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 11 days 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 12 days 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 12 days 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 12 days 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 12 days 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 12 days 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 12 days 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 12 days 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 12 days 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 12 days 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 12 days 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 12 days 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 12 days 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 12 days 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 13 days 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 13 days 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 13 days 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 13 days 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 13 days 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 13 days ago

He’s a wonderful teacher and not only does he teach social studies but teaches real world problems

Kellsey Posted 13 days ago

I think Mr.Woods is an amazing teacher. He helps you understand social studies more on his assignments.

Zayne Mohieldin Posted 13 days 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 13 days 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 13 days 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 13 days 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 13 days 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 13 days 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 13 days 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 13 days 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 13 days 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 13 days 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 13 days 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 13 days 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 13 days 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 13 days 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 14 days 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 14 days 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 14 days 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 14 days 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 14 days 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 14 days 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 14 days 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 14 days 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 14 days 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 14 days 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 14 days 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 14 days 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 14 days 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 14 days 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 14 days 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 15 days 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 15 days 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 15 days 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 15 days 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 15 days 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 15 days 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 15 days 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 16 days 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 16 days 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 16 days 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 16 days 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 16 days 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 16 days 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 16 days 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 16 days 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 16 days 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 16 days 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 16 days 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 16 days ago

He is still very much a mentor to my kids! He remembers everyone! Thanks for all you do!

Bruce woody Posted 16 days 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 16 days 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 17 days 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 17 days 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 17 days 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 17 days 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 17 days 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 17 days ago

You are a great teacher. You make class fun while learning. You deserve this award.

Kellee Kabealo Posted 17 days 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 17 days 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 17 days 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 18 days 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 18 days 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 18 days 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 18 days 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 18 days 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 ( 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 18 days 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 18 days 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 18 days 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 19 days 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 19 days 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 19 days 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 19 days 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 19 days 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 19 days 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 19 days 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 19 days 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 20 days 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 20 days 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 20 days 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 20 days 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 20 days 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 20 days 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 20 days 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 20 days 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 21 days 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 21 days 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 21 days 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 21 days 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 21 days 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 22 days 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 22 days 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 22 days 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 22 days 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 22 days 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 22 days 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 22 days 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 22 days 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 23 days 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 23 days 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 23 days 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 23 days 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 23 days 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 23 days 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 23 days 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 23 days 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 23 days 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 23 days 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 24 days 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 24 days 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 24 days 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 24 days 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 24 days 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 24 days 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 24 days 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 24 days 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 24 days 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 24 days 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 24 days 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 24 days 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 25 days 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 25 days 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 25 days 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 25 days 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 25 days 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 25 days 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 25 days 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 25 days 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 25 days 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 25 days 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 25 days 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 25 days 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 25 days 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 26 days 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 26 days 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 26 days 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 26 days 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 26 days 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 26 days 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 27 days 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 27 days 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 27 days 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 27 days 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 27 days 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 27 days 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 27 days 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 27 days 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 27 days 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 27 days 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 27 days 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 28 days 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 28 days 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 28 days 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 28 days 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 28 days 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 28 days 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 28 days 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 29 days ago

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

Nancy Quire Posted 29 days ago

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

Jack Harrington Posted 29 days ago

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

Nellie Kennedy Posted 30 days ago

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

Alison Waring Posted 30 days ago

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

Cade swygert Posted 30 days ago

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

Marsha Johnson Posted 30 days ago

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

Brittany Fitzgibbon Posted 30 days ago

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

Liza Mathews Posted 30 days ago

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

Sarah Bares Posted 30 days ago

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

Hayden Fowler Posted 30 days ago

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

Kayla Norris Posted 30 days ago

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

Allison Simpson Posted 30 days ago

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

Michelle Warren Posted 30 days ago

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

Kelly White Posted 30 days ago

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

Alison VanArsdalen Posted 30 days ago

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

Matthew Caughell Posted 30 days ago

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

Valentino Garcia Posted 30 days ago

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

Christy Carter Posted 1 months ago

Supportive, energetic and innovative educator.

Julie Ritchie Posted 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 months ago

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

John Johnson Posted 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 months ago

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

Rachel Edwards Posted 1 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 1 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!