Woodward Academy has a new leadership team in the Middle School this year. Learn more about each of them in this Q&A. Dee Koscik is new at principal and Jessica Parsons is new at one of the assistant principal positions, while Shannon Jackson has been an assistant principal for the last several years.
Dee Koscik, Principal
Years in education: 28
Grades / subjects taught: Middle School (6th-7th-8th grades) English & reading. I taught one year of math under a ‘creative’ superintendent in my early career (not sure those kids ever learned to properly graph equations!). I was the academic technology specialist in the Middle School for three years before moving to Woodward North in 2016.
Favorite hobbies: I love traveling and reading and food.
What were you like as a student in Middle School? I was fairly disorganized when I started 6th grade, but thanks to friends and teachers, I figured it out. I adored my language arts teacher. I played every sport they offered!
What’s the most important thing for parents of Middle Schoolers to keep in mind? That everything in their child’s life is changing, and even when it doesn’t seem like it, their teenagers still need them. That focusing on the balance between work and play is important to help students cope with stress and anxiety.
If you had one thing you wanted parents to know about you, what would it be? That I am absolutely passionate about making the Middle School experience the best it can be for our students. I love Woodward Academy and our students!
Jessica Parsons, Assistant Principal
Years in education: 13 years
Grades / subjects taught: While at Trinity Prep in Winter Park, FL, I taught Honors Biology, Anatomy, and Physiology. When I started at Woodward in 2007, I taught study strategies in the MS Transition Department, then 7EP and 7CP Life science. Simultaneously, I was the Site Director for the Horizons Atlanta at Woodward Academy summer program for 6 years.
Favorite hobbies: Enjoying time with my family and friends, art and DIY projects, reading
What were you like as a student in Middle School? Just before the start of 7th grade, my family relocated to a new school district. As the oldest of 6 children, I’ve always tried to be responsible and helpful. Yet, I could also be timid. I remember being worried about making friends, but I stepped out of my comfort zone anyway. It turned out to be a really great year of meeting people, going to the movies, sporting events, birthday parties, and Middle School dances! Moving forward, and trying, despite my fears has been a mantra.
If you had one thing you wanted parents to know about you, what would it be? As a teacher, parent, and now an administrator, I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Woodward community. It’s always been important to me, and perhaps even more so now, that students hear and know that they matter!
What makes you excited to come to work at the Middle School every day? I enjoy working with the incredible professionals at Woodward and building relationships with our students and families. It’s an honor to be a part of the team and the journey to learn and grow alongside of everyone. I feel like my job is a “get to do!”
Shannon Jackson, Assistant Principal
Years in education: 25 years
Grades / subjects taught: I taught 9th and 11th grade English for four years before coming to Woodward. I teach one class of 8th grade English each year.
Favorite hobbies: Time with family, watching sports, traveling
What were you like as a student in Middle School? I was more reserved and stayed with my small friend group. I remember really liking my teachers in Middle School, especially 7th grade.
If you had one thing you wanted parents to know about you, what would it be? I love Woodward Academy as a teacher, administrator, and parent. I feel blessed to work with Woodward families each and every day.
What is most rewarding about your career? I like all the moving parts of Middle School and more importantly seeing students grow physically, emotionally, and academically into strong, unique young adults.
- beyond the gate