FRONT ROYAL — E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School assistant principal Shane Goodwin has developed a love of the Warren County community.

“I’ve lived here for almost a year now and I love the people and I love the community,” he said. “I love the challenges that lie here in terms of the achievement of our students.”

Goodwin was named the principal of E. Wilson Morrison in April and will formally take over July 1.

“I think [the school] is a gem ready to be polished again,” he said.

Before coming to Warren County, Goodwin worked various teaching and administration jobs in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Goodwin and his family moved to Front Royal in 2018 after his wife, Christy, became the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Front Royal. Goodwin wanted to continue his work in education after moving to Front Royal.

“I love education,” he said. “I worked really hard and had a really good reputation in Rock Hill, where I was always in the same school division for the 24 years before we moved. I love teaching, I love working with students, and I love working with families and community engagement.”

Goodwin discovered the assistant principal position at E. Wilson Morrison and applied for it.

“They added an assistant principal position last summer and I interviewed for it,” he said. “I was able to earn that [position] and it has been great. I stepped into a place I never lived and I went to a school I did not know. I was welcomed with open arms, not only at the school level but at the School Board level.”

In the 10 months that he has been at E. Wilson Morrison, Goodwin has helped start several programs for students at the school. One of Goodwin’s biggest successes came when he and E. Wilson Morrison special education teacher Rodney Brown started Boys Into Gentlemen (BIG). The club introduces fourth and fifth-grade boys to opportunities for leadership, mentoring, and being involved in their community.

“One of my passions is community involvement,” Goodwin said. “I don’t think you can be a successful school without involving the entire community, not just the people who bring their children here every day. I have made it a mission to get to know everybody in the community.”

Goodwin said that BIG, along with other programs the school runs, has brought the school and the community closer. Goodwin also said that he has worked on strengthening relationships with parents.

“When you come to this school and when you bring your child here, you should have high expectations of me and the staff,” he said. “Whoever stands in front of me is the most important person and they get my undivided attention.”

When he takes over as principal, Goodwin said that he wants to bring staff stability to E. Wilson Morrison

“The children here haven’t experienced stability in terms of staff,” he said. “One of the things I’m working on and one of the things I’m really good with is figuring out how to keep people.”

Goodwin said that continuing to improve the work environment and continue to build on top of its recent academic success will help E. Wilson Morrison grow.

“I think success builds on success,” he said. “People want to be a part of something successful. I want to keep people here, so when the children are in fifth grade, they can go back to visit their kindergarten teacher or their second-grade teacher and talk to them again and appreciate the work they did for them.”

Goodwin said he wants to expand on programs like BIG and begin some other programs to help his students on the road to success.

“I want to build so schools and our state knows that this is a place that has children that are successful,” he said. “One day, when kids are graduating, I want that success to be tied back to the beginning, which I hope is at E. Wilson Morrison.”

– Contact Donald Lambert at dlambert@nvdaily.com