Woods leads recycling panel

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Long-time Lewisburg residents probably know their city's first female candidate for mayor as a Marshall County educator, but most recently, she's led the city's curbside recycling committee.

More than a year ago, Barbara Woods, 61, of Wedgewood Lane, decided that it would be a good idea if the city had a curbside recycling program, so she took that thought to the City Council and that night she was asked to lead the effort.

She agreed and the appointment was immediate, but she accepted the assignment only if there were others appointed to the committee. They include: Councilwoman Quinn Brandon, City Manager Eddie Fuller, City Codes Officer Greg Lowe, County Solid Waste Director Morgan Thomas and former County Commissioner Jennifer Harris.

Asked why she wants to be mayor of Lewisburg, Woods said, "I've lived here all my life. I like Lewisburg and want it to do well. I hope I have something to contribute to help that to happen.

"The economy and jobs are the key things here and they seem to be what's on everybody's minds, so hope my background in education will help improve the education of the people here if that's a factor that keeps business and industry from moving here.

"I also want to continue our progress in going green with recycling and the additional benefits from that," Woods said.

She's a retired educator who taught social studies courses such as economics, civics, government and history at Marshall County High School for seven years. She also taught fifth grade science and social studies at Jones School for seven years.

Woods has also been the principal at Marshall Elementary School, worked at the school system's central office as the director of special education and she was the principal at Lewisburg Middle School.

She ran unopposed for a seat on the Marshall County Commission and served one term, deciding against running for re-election.

"It was very time consuming," Woods said. "I felt that I owed it to the school to make that my first priority."

While she was on the commission, the county purchased the bank building on the corner of First Avenue and East Commerce Street and it became the Marshall County Courthouse Annex. The historic courthouse in the center of the public square was remodeled at that time.

"It wasn't anything as controversial as it seems right now," she said. "The big controversy was where the government would expand as they remodeled the courthouse."

If Woods is elected, she'll be joining a Council with some long-time friends and acquaintances. Councilwoman Brandon was one of her students. Councilman Robin Minor is and was a teacher at Lewisburg Middle School where she was principal. Councilman Odie Whitehead Jr., who is running for the seat to which he was appointed, was a student at Marshall County High School when she attended the school. And Councilman Hershel Davis, who's said he's running for re-election, was the maintenance director for the school system, so Woods had constant contact with him when Lewisburg Middle School was remodeled.

Born at Leonard's Hospital in Lewisburg, Woods graduated from Belfast School, Marshall County High School and Middle Tennessee State University. Her 1969 bachelor's degree is in education. A decade later she finished her master's studies in administration and supervision. Thereafter, she acquired 45 more credit hours toward a doctorate in education.

She retired in 2004.

Woods is her maiden name. She and her husband had a daughter. They divorced. He's since died. She was married once again, but the union didn't last.

She's a Methodist, a member of the Marshall County Retired Teachers Association and the county's Three Star Beautification Committee, a panel that introduced her to recycling.