For those who know me, know that I am an avid sports fan! I make sports references because I think a great deal can be learned about the tenacity, passion, and perseverance of some of our favorite players. Professional athletes don’t rise to the top of their industry without overcoming challenges and making sacrifices. I recently shared a quote with district employees from Mike Tyson: “In order to succeed greatly, you have to be prepared to fail greatly. If you can’t do both of them, you’ve got a problem.” Simply put, we can’t let the fear of failure keep us from future success!
I’m challenging everyone to be open to change. The easiest thing for anyone to do is to keep up the “like we have always done it” mindset because we know the process and can predict the result; however, organizations rarely move forward when they are stuck in this cycle. We must be willing to step out on a limb to try something new if it has the potential to improve the educational experience in Autauga County Schools.
Since taking this role, I have been a student of the district’s programs, processes, people, and policies. I immediately began analyzing the cost, efficiency, and educational impact of every program and contract so that I could confidently share that we are getting the most of every dollar spent. While this arduous process is ongoing, we’ve made some changes, and I expect more to come. We are just a few weeks into the district’s new fiscal year, and the numbers don’t lie! I’ve come toe-to-toe with the financial challenges we face and the wholesale changes on the horizon if we don’t address them in the next 12-18 months. As one of the lowest-funded school systems in Alabama, nearing the end of federal COVID funding, excessive bond debt, and the increased costs of goods and services are crippling us. It’s no secret that I’m a strong advocate for securing new funding sources. I see all challenges as opportunities, so we will continue to work to flip these into something that will position us for future success while focusing on student growth and development across the district.
Lyman Woodfin is a 17-year veteran of the school system having served as a classroom teacher, coach, and school administrator. Most recently, Lyman Woodfin was the Marbury High School principal, serving the 560-student school since 2018. During his tenure, he was credited with overhauling the curriculum offerings to meet all students’ educational needs, including adding new vocational classes in broadcasting, business, agriculture, and construction. He is married to Staci and they have five children who attend school in the district.