How one former New Brunswick educator failed retirement
Woodworth, or G. Fred as he known to friends, colleagues and some adult students, is in his tenth year of teaching university classes in South Carolina. He began his teaching career in 1962 in Taymouth Rural High. From there, Woodworth moved on to Keswick Ridge Rural High School and then on to Oromocto, currently District 17. After one year at Oromocto High School, Woodworth assumed the principalship of Drummond Drive Elementary School (Arc en ciel). Subsequent administrative assignments took Woodworth to Hubbard Avenue, Summerhill and Burton Schools.
After an undergraduate degree attained in Massachusetts, Woodworth began his teaching career in 1962. While teaching, Woodworth completed bachelors of education and master of education degrees at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. In 1989, Woodworth began study at the University of Connecticut, which would eventually lead to a Ph.D. in Special Education with a concentration in education of the gifted and talented. A sabbatical leave, granted by the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association in the spring of 1994, gave Woodworth the opportunity to complete his dissertation and graduate in the spring of 1995.
The fall of 1995 found Woodworth teaching at Southern Wesleyan University in town of Central, S.C. Central was established as railroad town midway between Charlotte and Atlanta, just a few miles from the Blue Ridge Mountain Range. Southern Wesleyan University is a small liberal arts institution whose history dates back to 1906.
Since his appointment as associate professor of education, teaching courses and directing the field placement of student interns, Woodworth has attained rank of professor and currently is chair of the 600-student education division. Woodworth has seen the program grow to the point where the undergraduate education program accounts for nearly 50 percent of the undergraduate student body. As division chair, he has led the department through two accreditation visits by the state department’s accrediting body. The school of education program is now moving toward accreditation under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
In May of 2003, Woodworth oversaw the introduction of the master of education program, which currently boasts more than 300 students at six sites throughout South Carolina. To date, more than 150 teachers have received advanced graduate degrees in education from Southern Wesleyan. The program, which offers evening and summer classes for currently employed teachers, continues to grow at a phenomenal rate.
In addition to his teaching and administrative responsibilities at Southern Wesleyan University, Woodworth is serving as president of the South Carolina Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, a state affiliate of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. He was elected to the position in the spring of 2004. There are 29 universities in South Carolina, public and private, which have teacher education programs. Woodworth is also serving as president of the South Carolina Association of Independent Colleges of Teacher Education.
Woodworth, who has adapted well to his new environment in the South, is quick to mention that he has not forgotten his roots in New Brunswick. He recalls his years of working in the public schools as being very rewarding and he credits anything that he has accomplished to his friends, former colleagues and a school system, which to many, has been severely underrated. All of these continue to share a very important part of his life.
Woodworth can be contacted at .