Dora hires new superintendent: Allen Woods
Allen Woods has been hired as the new superintendent of the Dora R-3 School District, beginning July 1. Woods, currently in his first year as superintendent of the Richards School District near West Plains, replaces Steve Richards, who has accepted the superintendent’s job at Seymour beginning July 1. Richards has served as Dora superintendent since July 2013.
In a phone interview Monday, Woods told the Times he is in his 19th year as an educator. After 14 years of teaching social studies and PE and serving as head basketball coach at three different schools, he’s now in his fifth year as an administrator.
A graduate of Glendale High School in Springfield, he earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies education from what is now Missouri State University and then earned a master’s degree in educational administration from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar. He holds a specialist’s degree in superintendency from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and a doctorate from Lindenwood University in St. Charles.
He was coaching at Diamond, on the other side of the state, when he and his wife, Tonya, decided “we wanted to raise our kids around family,” he said.
The couple, now married 25 years, moved to Thayer 12 years ago to be closer to family and now have two children, Grayson, 9, and Atley, 11.
Tonya Woods is now in her fifth year as superintendent of schools in Thayer.
Before taking the superintendent’s job at Richards, a K-8 district, Woods was the only administrator at Ripley County R-3 School near Doniphan for four years. The Dora job will be his first as a K-12 administrator.
He’s familiar with the Dora district because, when he worked as a boys basketball coach at Couch, that team played Dora, he said. He also worked as a basketball official and called games occasionally at Dora and Gainesville.
During the family’s 12 years of living in Thayer, he has had a considerable drive to his job. But he says he doesn’t mind it. “I’ve always driven quite a distance to work, but the drive helps me clear my head so when I go home, I’m ready to be a husband and dad,” he said.
“I feel comfortable with all the schools around the area, and I know the Dora community supports its school very strongly. That’s the kind of school I want to be at, where there’s community support – and also community expectations. I’m familiar with Dora and knew it was a good situation and a good job – and good people,” he said.
He’s now out of classroom teaching, coaching and officiating and focusing on administration. “I loved it while I did it, but everything has a shelf life, and now I want to be the best superintendent I can be and also go home to be a great father and husband,” he said.