Joe Wooding: Board Member
I graduated from Federal Way public schools in 1996, then served the district through AmeriCorps, the national community service organization. Growing up as a latchkey kid, I was privileged to have parents who positioned me to become the first in my family to complete college. Following brief stints at Pierce College and Highline Community College, I transferred to WWU in 1999. At Western I gravitated toward the American Cultural Studies program where I studied U.S. history, sociology, and political science. In 2007, I earned a master's degree from the Woodring College of Education and have been teaching social studies for Bellingham Public Schools ever since.
College and career can seem distant and abstract. However, real relationships and concrete experiences can make opportunities feel more tangible and achievable. This is why I have taught AVID (Achievement Via Individual Determination), a program designed to help students overcome opportunity gaps. As an AVID teacher at Options High School, working with organizations like FuturesNW helps expand the realm of possibility for students I serve. By serving on the board, my goal is to scale out and sustain similar relationships and experiences.