After many successful years of leadership in middle school education, John Goode is ready for the next level.
Goode recently began his first year as the principal of Lakewood High School, after serving Midway Middle School in the same role. He was honored with Principal of the Year award for 2015-2016 for Sampson County Schools.
“It’s never a dull moment as a principal,” he said. “There’s always something to do and there’s a waiting list of things to do.”
Goode was an assistant principal at Midway Middle School and later became a principal in 2011. Before those administrative duties, he taught social studies at Midway High School for five years.
“It’s very nice to come back to a high school and I’m looking forward to it,” Goode said.
Born in Atlanta, Goode grew up in Goldsboro and graduated from high school in Lumberton. He earned a degree in history from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and a master’s in school administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Before coming to Sampson County, he worked at historic sites in the state. He was the manager at Bentonville Battlefield and served as a park ranger at the Moores Creek National Battlefield. Those roles came with responsibilities to educate visitors.
Today, his office at the high school is not in the classroom. But he still loves to teach and does it on the college level.
“I never want to lose that passion for teaching because that gives me insight to what my teachers are doing in the classroom and the struggles that they go through,” he said.
Although he’s familiar with a high school setting, Goode said it’s a little different, compared to 10 years ago. While comparing his new role to middle, he said the biggest difference is the schedule.
“I spend a lot of time here or on the road traveling to other ball games or extracurricular activities,” he said. “That’s been the biggest adjustment for myself and my family. But I was aware of that coming into it. So we’re making the adjustments and doing what we need to do.”
Another major change is curriculum.
“The markers that we have at high school are a lot different than the ones we have at middle school,” Goode said.
At the middle school level, a big concern are End-of-Grade assessments, but with high school students, other factors such as the ACT come into play.
“There’s a lot more to keep track of at the high school level,” he said.
One of his goals is to see the school continually improve through proficiency scores, End-of-Course tests and ACT results.
“It’s my belief that we are capable of so much more than that,” he said about test scores. “We just have to convince ourselves of that and prove it.”
He also wants to make sure residents in the Lakewood area know that the school wants to be a viable part of the community.
“We’re here to support the community and we’re here to serve the community,” Goode said. “We want them to see that and come to us for things that we can help them with.”
Goode said he wants to continue the good things that Kevin Hunter, former principal, did for Lakewood and boost Lakewood, so it can be in the best position.
“There’s a wonderful group of people that work here at Lakewood High School,” he said. “The kids are great kids and I’ve enjoyed meeting them so far. They really made me feel at home.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.