Education

High School Principal Uses Social Media To Change His School's "Rep"

When the media reported nothing but bad things, he became a one-man cheerleader for his school.


When you step inside the doors of Woodland Hills High School in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA you see a building that's in transition. While hallways on one side of the school have exposed ceilings with temporary lighting and auxiliary fans, just a few steps away are brand new classrooms with state-of-the-art equipment and centralized air conditioning, part of a multi-million-dollar renovation.

Transition and renovation are words you could use to describe more than just the building at Woodland Hills High. This is a district where five students were shot and killed in the same school year two years ago, fights are more likely to get coverage than a winning basketball season, and the old principal resigned and a school resource officer was fired after allegations that they threatened and abused students.

Now, there's a new principal in charge. Things are changing. And Principal Dr. Phillip Woods has made it his mission to tell the world about the great things that are happening in the school, one Facebook post at a time.

Woods was hired nearly two years ago on the heels of the old principal's resignation. Woods knows he was brought in to make change, and while he's working on changing things inside the school, he also feels a responsibility to help the school and the district change its reputation. He's been doing just that by highlighting the exceptional things he sees his students and faculty doing every day.

"I was doing an observation in the classroom and I was very impressed by what I saw," he told Sparkt. "Me being in that classroom for 15 minutes, I actually learned something."

"I said, nobody would believe this if they didn't see it. So, I just started taking pictures."

The Principal Woods Facebook page now has over 2,400 followers and he's been hearing from alumni and parents in the community who are thrilled to see the school finally being represented in a positive light. After starting his social media project about a year ago, Woods says that families who have left the district because of the bad things that happened are thinking about returning after seeing the photos and videos on social media.

"We've actually had a lot of parents and students come back and that makes me feel good when parents say, 'Hey, I've watched what you've done on social media. Where my kid is, he's not getting any of that, can I please take a tour?'"

Sounds like all that positivity is catching on.

Check out all of the wonderful things that the Woodland Hills HS students and faculty are doing by visiting the Principal Woods Facebook page. If you'd like to learn more about the school, check out the WHHS website or call 412-244-1100.

(Source: images Principal Woods Facebook)

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