Ellen McWilliams-Woods Leaves APS This Summer

Assistant Superintendent Announces Retirement
Posted on 03/18/2021
Image of APS LogoA 32-year career with Akron Public Schools is coming to a close for Ellen McWilliams-Woods, Ph.D. Dr. McWilliams-Woods has served as the district’s assistant superintendent and chief academic officer since 2008.

In a letter she delivered to Superintendent David W. James, Ed.D., today, McWilliams-Woods lauded staff and colleagues for providing her with “opportunities to learn, lead, dream and create” which, she wrote, “fueled my desire to continuously design new learning experiences for our students.”

Known by her colleagues for her boundless enthusiasm for teaching, learning and students, McWilliams-Woods spent much of her letter crediting others around her for helping shape her decision making.

As a teacher, Ellen McWilliams-Woods began at Akron Public Schools as a teacher at Hotchkiss Elementary in 1989. Akron Public Schools was and is a place, she said, that was “constantly evolving…a place where everyone became family. I wouldn’t have wanted,” she continued, “to spend my teaching and administrative career in any other district.”

Superintendent David W. James, Ed.D. -- who announced his retirement last fall and whose retirement date mirrors McWilliams-Woods’ -- said today, “Ellen has been an integral part of this team for as long as I’ve been here. More than that, though, she is a significant reason Akron Public Schools employees feel they are on a team. Her work with teachers and principals has been passionate, exhaustive and joyful. As her friend and colleague, I wish her well in the next part of her life’s journey.”

As for why Dr. McWilliams-Woods has chosen to retire, she would write that it is most important that, while the district is “now positioned as a leader among large urban districts,” it is time to “get out of the way to let the next educational revolution flourish.”

Ellen McWilliams-Woods, Ph.D., officially retires June 30, 2021.

Click here to view her retirement letter >>.
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