Wood chosen as education fellow

Thursday, June 14, 2018
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The State Collaborative on Reforming Education chose, out of 800 candidates, a Marshall County teacher for inclusion in the 2018-2019 class of the Tennessee Educator Fellowship.

They selected Westhills Elementary’s technology teacher Maury Wood II as one of 38 fellows for the coming school year.. 

The Tennessee Educator Fellowship is a yearlong program that helps teachers from across the state learn about education policies and equips teachers with the knowledge they need to advocate not only for students but for their profession as well. 

Since 2014, the fellowship has provided teachers with the opportunity to engage in educational discussions by speaking at events and welcoming policymakers into their classroom. With the fellowship, teachers can write about their experiences for state and national publications. 

The fellows selected for 2018-2019 have expressed a sincere dedication to teaching. Wood has been recognized for his outstanding efforts in his classroom at Westhills Elementary.

He graduated from Cornersville High School before pursuing his education at Middle Tennessee State University. 

He started out in retail management and stayed there for four years while a student. During this time though, Wood had just started a family of his own, and the hours were absolutely brutal. 

According to Wood, he made more money working at Walgreens compared to being a teacher, but that didn’t stop him.

He has always known what he wanted to do though. In Wood’s high school yearbook, it even says most likely to teach. 

After finishing college, his teaching career began at Marshall Elementary.

He has since then left MES for Westhills and switched his focus from English to technology.

He integrated technology in almost all of his lessons, anyway, before changing subjects officially.

Wood went from having a classroom with a set number of kids to teaching every kid at Westhills. 

“I love teaching technology. I like to make a difference in a kid’s life,” Wood said. “I still keep up with my former students.” 

Wood is Google certified, which means that he is qualified to teach the entire Google suite, programs like Google Docs and Google Slides to elementary students. He tries to find engaging lessons to keep the kids entertained, but still have a learning experience that can be transferred into a real-world skill. 

Wood teaches students how to design websites, logos and animation.

“I set high goals in my classroom. I’ve always been about setting them,” Wood said.

Just a couple years ago, nearly half of his students received advanced scores when tested on what he’d taught them. 

When the fellowship was awarded to Wood, he was shocked. He was not expecting to be selected.

“I don’t feel like I do anything special,” he said. 

The fellowship only recognizes the best of the best.

“To be awarded the Tennessee Educator Fellowship is a significant accomplishment, and I think it’s great that the Marshall County School System employs a recipient of the fellowship,” said Director of Schools Jacob Sorrells. “Maury’s selection as a Tennessee Educator Fellow is the culmination of his hard work and dedication to the students of Marshall County. I know he will provide valuable insight as he works with the other members of the 2018-2019 class to make a difference in the lives of Tennessee’s students.”

According to Wood, he doesn’t take this job lightly, and no teacher should. 

“Teachers don’t know the damage they can do,” Wood said.

He tries to treat kids individually, and he knows each kid has a different situation, but he understands that.

Wood tries his best to mold his teaching style to best help each and every student no matter the issue. 

The experience as a fellow next year should only complement his teaching.