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Wood: Leadership is action, not position

As of the end of the school year, Brewton Elementary School will lose one principal, but gain another.

Anne Lambert is retiring and Barry Wood is coming from Straughn Elementary and Middle Schools to take her place.

Wood is currently serving as assistant principal and will be moving to Brewton at the end of this school year.

He was born and raised in Covington County where he attended Straughn High School, and graduated in 1988.

After he graduated from high school, he was married to his wife Janice and they now have three daughters, Jordan who is a teacher at Straughn, Reagan who is in the ninth grade and Lauren who is in the fourth grade. He entered Lureen B. Wallace Community College and earned   an associate of science degree in 2001.

“I worked for a while during this time at Shaw Industries in Andalusia and then I joined the U.S Navy Reserve in 1991,” he said. “It was perfect timing. Everything was happening in the Middle East at the time.”

From 1991 to the present, he is Senior Chief Petty Officer (E8) in the U.S. Navy Reserve, Gulfport, Miss. Senior Enlisted Leader, responsible for the leadership, mentorship and training of 128 sailors in NOSC’s Bessemer, Pensacola and Houston. He has spent 26 years in the U.S. Navy Seabees.

“This allowed me to see things I never thought a country boy would see,” he said. “I was deployed to Kuwait in 2005-2006, and to Afghanistan in 2013-2014.”

He was responsible for the training and deployment concept for Afghanistan’s National Engineering Brigade and was mission commander for 38 key leader engagement convoys in a combat zone.

He taught school in Opp for a year, and spent several years teaching with the Middle and High Schools before he made the decision to go into administration. He attended Troy University in 2009-2010 receiving his master’s degree in science; instructional leadership and administration. In 2012 he became the assistant principal at Red Level High School before returning to the school he attended as a youngster. Since that time he has been principal at Straughn Elementary and Middle Schools since 2015. He also has enrolled at the University of West Alabama for additional leadership and administration training.

He continues his work with the U.S. Navy Seabees. He has earned many commendations including the DAR Distinguished Citizen Award in 2017, Army Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medal (2), Seabee Combat and Expeditionary Warfare Qualified.

“I think the military is a great training ground for many people,” he said. “It has shaped a lot of people and they have turned into better citizens. Education is much like the military, it trains for the future.

“I am excited about the future,” he added. “It’s a challenge. Leadership is action, not a position.”