PLANO – Friends, former colleagues and family gathered to watch current Plano school officials honor the work of a former superintendent during the school board meeting this week.
Plano School District 88 Board of Education and administration officials dedicated the plaque to former superintendent William "Bill" Woody during their school board meeting on Monday, Aug. 19 at Centennial Elementary School. The plaque will be placed in the vestibule of the district's administration office at 800 S. Hale Street, the former location of Bingaman School.
Tony Baker, the current superintendent for Plano schools, said the idea to dedicate the building in Woody's memory came during a June school board meeting. He said he worked with Woody for at least five years while Baker was an assistant principal at Plano Middle School and Woody was superintendent. He said there was no better person for the administration building to be named after than Woody.
"He was a great friend and colleague and was someone you admired and looked up to," Baker said.
Woody started as a teacher at Centennial Elementary School in 1974 and eventually became principal of the school. He was also a coach, counselor and eventually superintendent within the district before he retired in 2007, according to a news release from the district.
Jim Jensen, a former school board member in the 1980s, said Woody always had the best interest of the school district at heart and that Woody himself was Plano, through and through.
"I mean, the man bled purple," Jensen said.
According to the release, Woody moved the district's administration office to its current location, which used to be Bingaman School. The release said he recommended the idea for Indian Valley Vocational Center students to build the administration office, which was meant to be a financial savings for the taxpayers and gave building trades students the opportunity to use the skills they had been learning in the classroom.
Ron Pieper, a former director for the vocational center, said he was among the staff and students within the vocational center that helped to build the administration building. He said he recalls initially being scared about the endeavor, since that was a large responsibility to place with the building trades students.
"It was just such a privilege to work with Bill [Woody]," Pieper said.
Woody died in 2016, according to his obituary. He was 65 years old at the time of his death.
Following the unveiling ceremony attended by several dozen people, Baker said, he anticipates the plaque to be mounted within the administration building within the next couple of weeks.
"I think it's evident in the turnout today what Bill [Woody] meant to Plano School District 88," Baker said.