Richard Woods was born in Pensacola, Florida and while growing
up in a military
family, lived in California,
Hawaii and Virginia before moving to Georgia. He graduated from Fitzgerald
High School, and went on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree from Kennesaw State
University and a Master’s Degree from Valdosta State University.
Woods has over 25 years of
pre-k through 12th grade experience in public education. Woods was a
high school teacher for 14 years, serving as department chair and teacher
mentor. During his tenure, he was also selected as Teacher of the Year. For
eight years Woods served in various administrative roles such as assistant
principal, principal, curriculum director, testing coordinator, pre-k director,
and alternative school director.
Woods also brings a business
background to the superintendent's position, having been a purchasing agent for
a national/multi-national laser company and a former small business owner.
He and his wife Lisha, a retired
30-year educator, are long-time residents of Tifton and have been married for
DR. TESSIE ROSE BAILEY
Dr. Tessie Rose Bailey is a Principal Technical
Assistance Consultant at American Institutes for Research. Her primary
responsibilities include developing high quality technical assistance resources
and providing technical assistance to support implementation of response to
intervention/multi-tiered systems of support (RTI/MTSS) at the state,
district, school, and university level. She currently provides RTI/MTSS support
through several national centers: Center on Response to Intervention (CRTI),
Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform
(CEEDAR) Center, National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI), College and
Career Readiness and Success Center (CCRS), and National Center on Intensive
Interventions (NCII). Dr. Bailey taught in special education K-12 and higher
education for 15 years. She has provided direct MTSS/RTI support and
professional development to teachers and leaders in 43 states. Dr. Bailey has
published and presented on problem solving and teaming, screening and progress
monitoring, RTI for specific learning disability eligibility, tiered
interventions in high schools, and MTSS/RTI essential components. She completed
her Ph.D. at the University of Utah in special education and post-doctoral work
in RTI/MTSS at Lehigh University’s Center for Promoting Research to Practice.
Jason Byars is the Program Manager
for Georgia PBIS. He served as the District Coordinator for Project AWARE
& Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in the
Griffin-Spalding County School System from 2015-2018. He is also the Past
President of the Georgia Association for Positive Behavior Support. After
graduating from Berry College, Jason began his career as a secondary school
history teacher. He then spent 18 years as a building level administrator
serving as an assistant principal, testing coordinator, athletic director, and
principal. He holds a Master’s Degree from The University of Georgia, a
Specialist’s Degree from Liberty University, and has completed his coursework
for a Doctorate Degree from Nova Southeastern University, all in Educational
Jason and his wife, Laurie, live in
Tyrone, GA with their 2 daughters – Mackenzie is a sophomore at Auburn
University and Cameron is a freshman at Georgia College and State
CURTIS JONES, JR.
Dr. Jones, a
passionate educator dedicated to developing students as scholars, leaders and
good citizens, joined the Bibb County School District in April 2015. Using his
classroom and administrative experiences, Dr. Jones developed the Bibb County
School District’s strategic plan, “Victory in Our Schools.” The strategic plan
has five goal areas: increasing student achievement, increasing student and
stakeholder engagement, increasing teacher and leader effectiveness, being a
reliable organization, and learning and growth. This plan drives the district’s
continuous improvement efforts through shared accountability for all
stakeholders and resource alignment.
Jones works to ensure the district’s instructional practices meet the needs of
students and prepares them to be college or career ready. Early on, he
established one of the district’s main priorities as “getting students reading
on grade level.” Through his guidance, district administrators have addressed
equity issues by ensuring students have access to similar instructional
practices, interventions and supports. Additionally, the development of a
District Literacy Plan has led to student growth on the Georgia Milestones
Assessments and an increase in the percentage of students reading on grade
he joined the district, Dr. Jones set one of his first long-term goals as
raising the district’s graduation rate to 90 percent by 2025. The district has
made great gains in improving its graduation rate, which was 58.9 percent in
2014. In 2018, the district graduated nearly 1,300 students with a graduation
rate of 78.5 percent. Three of the district’s six high schools had graduation
rates greater than 80 percent in 2018, putting the district on track to
achieving this goal.
his leadership, the Bibb County School District has been cited for its work to
advance the district and its students. In 2017, the district received Georgia’s
College Board Linking Award for having more than 80 percent of juniors and
seniors utilizing Khan Academy for SAT preparation. The District also received
the 2018 Digital School District Survey Award for Large Student Population
Districts category, and its Board of Education has been twice-named a
Distinguished Board by the Georgia School Boards Association. The district’s
work with elementary schedules was featured in District
in an article titled “Raising Achievement and Addressing Equity at Bibb County
Schools” and the district was featured as a case study with K12 Insight for its
work in improving stakeholder communications through its use of the Let’s Talk! platform.
Jones is an educator with more than 20 years of experience. He began his career
in education as a JROTC instructor with the Griffin-Spalding County School
System in Griffin. He became a high school principal and then advanced to
assistant superintendent, then superintendent before coming to Bibb County.
Before his educational career, Dr. Jones served in the United States Army,
retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He is a graduate of the United States
Military Academy at West Point and earned a doctorate degree in educational
leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
In December 2018, Dr. Jones was named 2019 Georgia Superintendent of the Year
by the Georgia School Superintendents Association (GSSA). The award was
presented during a luncheon at the 2018 Georgia School Boards
Association/Georgia School Superintendents Association’s Winter Conference in
Atlanta. Later that month, he was named one of four finalists for 2019 National
Superintendent of the Year by The School Superintendents Association
(AASA). In February 2019, at AASA's National Conference on Education, Dr. Jones
was named 2019 National Superintendent of the Year.
He is a past governing board member for The School Superintendents Association
(AASA) and past president of the Georgia School Superintendents Association
(GSSA). GSSA awarded him the President’s Award in 2012 and the Bill Barr
Leadership Award in 2016. In October 2018, Dr. Jones received the AdvancED
Excellence in Education Award for the state of Georgia for his role in leading
efforts to improve student learning and outcomes.
Dr. Jones is engaged in numerous professional and community organizations. He
is a member of the Rotary Club of Macon and the Kiwanis Club of Macon. He
serves on several community boards including those for the Greater Macon
Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Central Georgia.
is married to Evelyn, a retired elementary school principal. They have three
children and are the proud grandparents of two granddaughters and a grandson.