HottyToddy.com just met with Jason Wood, the newly hired Head of School at Regents School of Oxford, following a national search. Wood along with his four children and lovely wife Erin, are now calling Oxford home and enjoying every minute of it.
HottyToddy.com: Welcome to Oxford Jason! Please tell us about your previous assignment before deciding to accept your new position at Regents.
Jason Wood: I was Headmaster of a school near St. Louis, Heritage Classical Christian Academy.
HottyToddy.com: For our readers unfamiliar with Regents, what grades are offered?
Jason Wood: We have a faculty of approximately 27 who direct our preschool through 12th grade. Presently we enroll a little more than 200 students.
HottyToddy.com: What was your very first impression of Oxford?
Jason Wood: A small town with an appealing pace of life. I immediately picked up on the fact that Oxford is a community of families with a kindness and quaintness that are very attractive to my family and a community that I would welcome the opportunity to raise our children.
HottyToddy.com: Speaking of your kids, what are their ages?
Jason Wood: Lainey is 5; Ansley is 8; Jude is 11 and Ethan 13.
HottyToddy.com: You must have already determined that Oxford is a football mindset town that circles the calendar each and every year for the three months of September-November.
Jason Wood: (LOL) Actually I grew up in Tuscaloosa, however, I attended Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA (a PCA Christian college).
HottyToddy.com: Returning to Regents, what will be your primary objectives and goals (Jason came on board effective June 1.)
Jason Wood: To grow the school and increase enrollment is first and foremost. We intend on establishing a vibrant high school in which the children will want to remain until graduation, staying actively involved.
HottyToddy.com: Putting on our devil’s advocate hat, will not your task be exceedingly difficult by the Oxford public schools being so fantastic?
Jason Wood: All educational institutions rise and fall with the same tide and we are all on the same team. We are a great complimentary education, highlighting Christian values and offering the classical or traditional form of education.
HottyToddy.com: Which is?
Jason Wood: Classical Christian education includes an emphasis on Latin which starts in the second grade extending through the eighth. The curriculum includes theological classes as expected. We place considerable emphasis on logic and rhetoric training.
HottyToddy.com: Define logic training from Regents’ perspective.
Jason Wood: This enables the student to have the basic building blocks to prepare a research paper. In the senior year each student is required to write a 25-page thesis paper. They are free to choose any subject of interest to them including current events. They are then required to present and defend their paper before faculty and the school community. It is a joy to see these students develop into thoughtful, reflective thinkers who know what they believe and why.
HottyToddy.com: Is not one attractive feature of private schools the size of classes and the extra attention provided the child?
Jason Wood: Yes, our student to faculty ratio is low and while our HS is only 4-5 years old, we will continue to increase the class size to 18 students. Our desire is to keep the classes small in order to care for each student individually. This year’s senior class had 11 students.
HottyToddy.com: Apparently, you are already emphasizing the growth.
Jason Wood: That is correct. We have just hired an Athletic Director with varsity volleyball beginning and we are in the process of renovating our gymnasium. It is our desire to create a vibrant co-curricular culture for our students to enjoy.
HottyToddy.com: What is the area you recruit from?
Jason Wood: The greater Oxford area and we believe we are a good fit for Christian families who desire to see their children challenged intellectually and discipled spiritually.
HottyToddy.com: What are some of the other subjects offered that are unique to Regents?
Jason Wood: In grades 10 and 11, we offer Greek and as previously mentioned, we have formal as well as informal logic classes. We also have a formal rhetoric class.
HottyToddy.com: What class reflects the greatest size in terms of number
Jason Wood: Our largest classes are found in our early elementary year. First grade is our largest group.
HottyToddy.com: With all your ambitious plans to increase the size of Regents including the expansion of facilities, won’t this take a great deal of funding for marketing purposes, not to mention new capital improvements?
Jason Wood: Yes, we plan to put together a marketing plan that would help families in the Oxford area know that we are here and we have plans to begin a Capital Campaign for campus renovation. We want to continue the work we have started in the gym and see that continue across the campus. We plan to hold a few events this year with specific fundraising goals in mind.
With this new vision and emphasis on student preparedness for the real world upon graduation as well as college readiness, it appears a given that Regents will build upon its already established record of success. It will be exciting to watch the growth Jason Wood’s tenure!
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 985-852-7745.Sign up to receive Hottytoddy.com morning and evening headline emails HERE!