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Woodrow Price- From dropout to doctor



Renaissance scholar Michel de Montaigne, often heralded as the father of contemporary education, was once quoted as saying “I do not teach; I relate.” And Woodrow Price certainly knows how to relate to struggling students.

Price, lead teacher at Warren Central Intermediate School, has struggled with and overcome many of  his own obstacles.

Like many of today’s young people, Price grew up in a single parent household, struggling with a speech impediment and learning disabilities. Because of those issues, Price was often subjected to harassment and bullying at school.

Woodrow Price with a diploma many thought he’d never earn

As a result, Price failed 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th grades. “I was a career summer school student,” he recalled. “I thought about dropping out all the time. The only thing that kept me from giving up was being stubborn and wanting to prove all the people that wronged me wrong.”

As Price got older, he recognized the need for positive male role models and decided to enter the field of education. He has spent his career teaching in low socioeconomic areas, and his personal experiences have changed the lives of countless students.

“I can pull those angry, frustrated, struggling kids aside and tell them ‘I get it. I know what you’re feeling. I know what you’re facing. But don’t quit. You can become something.’ I want those kids to know it is possible to be more than a statistic,” he said.

Price working with a group of students

Price is also well-known for establishing initiatives that reach beyond simple academics, such as Real Men Read and Beauties and Beaus.

“Real Men Read is something I started to get more positive, successful men into the lives of our youth. I invite men into the schools to read with the kids, but they also talk to them and can be like, hey, you don’t have to be a casualty of your environment,” Price said.

Beauties and Beaus was implemented by Price to model the importance of wearing professional attire. Price spends much of his time rallying the community to donate neckties, jackets and even haircuts for students. “When a kid is dressed up nicely, they feel better and therefore want to do better. I want them to realize they can be more than some thug in the streets. You want to be a lawyer or a doctor? Then do it.”

Price with one of his many awards

And Price is certainly proof of that. In between his career and civic responsibilities, Price has been spending time attending school himself. That angry, frustrated kid who failed all those grades and talked funny and had all those learning disabilities and wanted to drop out of school has indeed become a doctor.

Price is now officially Dr. Woodrow Price, having just received his doctorate in education from William Carey College and is writing his first book, Failure to FinishEd.D, which is planned to be out in the spring.


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