Feature: Michael Wood
Agency: Adams Middle School
Michael Wood spends his days supporting the students and staff of Adams Middle School in Brentwood. A veteran teacher who went into administration after 25 years in the classroom, Wood is in his fifth year as principal of the middle school. He said his goal is to be the kind of administrator he always wanted to have.
“The move wasn’t motivated by stress or fatigue, it really was more a desire to have a broader range of impact,” Wood said of making the transition from classroom to principal’s office. “I had learned through doing teacher leadership that the tone on a campus is set by the administration and the support they offer and how they empower teacher leadership.”
Before arriving at Adams, Wood got his feet wet in administration by serving as assistant principal at Freedom High School in Oakley for two years. He has been part of the Liberty Union High School District since 2001, when a friend’s request for him to volunteer as a youth leader in a small church brought him north from San Diego.
“Brentwood has been great for us — we love it here,” Wood said with a smile.
Though the bulk of his experience is in high schools, Wood said he was eager to work in a middle school and have a positive impact on kids as they become more independent.
“I love the middle school environment,” he said. “This is the age range where kids really begin to step into their own skin and become independent of parents and become self-aware . . . it’s a critical junction, and you can really prep a kid for launch.”
When he chose education as a career, Wood was following in the footsteps of his parents, who were both teachers. Before earning his credential, Wood lived a vagabond life as a professional actor for seven years. Eventually, he craved more stability and made the move to teaching.
Wood lives in Brentwood with his wife, also a school administrator, and their three sons. He is a self-proclaimed foodie and enjoys all things music. His students are likely to see him running errands around town or stopping at Starbucks for a caffeine boost.