A retired military serviceman who was Edmond North High School’s first principal has filed for the school board seat expiring in February.

Charles Woodham will face incumbent Kathy Ritz, the current board president, for the District No. 1 seat on Feb. 14.

Woodham, 62, retired from Edmond Public Schools in 2003, where he was transportation director beginning in 1998.

Woodham was Edmond Mid-High principal from 1984-86. From 1986-93 he was principal at Edmond Central Mid-High. In 1993, he became North’s first principal, serving in that position until 1997, when he became director of transportation and food service and was the district safety officer.

Woodham and his wife, Sherri, have two grown children, Darci Oplotnik, of Edmond and Cory Woodham of Bixby, all of whom attended Edmond schools, as does one granddaughter.

Woodham said he is familiar with the issues facing the school district, and he wanted to give patrons a choice in the election.

Keeping ahead of the needs related to growth, revisiting the district transfer policy and creating an “attendance officer” are some of the issues Woodham would like to visit if elected.

Woodham said he respects Ritz and what she has done for the district and he is looking forward to the campaign process.

Ritz said she is looking forward to the campaign. Currently serving in her second term on the school board, Ritz said that during her tenure the district has experienced steady growth. In David Goin, Edmond has an excellent superintendent, she said.

Public support in passing past bond issues has helped the district supplant state funding, Ritz said. The district has done a good job of administering what funds it does receive, she said.

As a board member, Ritz said she thinks of the needs of the students before she makes a decision.

Issues important to Ritz include test scores, continuing academic excellence and continuing being a good steward of taxpayer’s dollars.

Ritz is the mother of two children who both graduated from Edmond Memorial High School. Her daughter, Tracey Heald, is a second-grade teacher in McKinney, Texas. Her son, Travis, is the project manager for a construction company in McMinnville, Tenn.

Woodham is a retired lieutenant colonel and a Vietnam veteran who served in the Army National Guard and in the Navy. He also is a member of American Legion Post 111 and he is president of the Willow Creek Neighborhood Association.

Woodham received his bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Florida in 1968 and his master’s from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1972. He fulfilled his secondary administration requirements at the University of Oklahoma.

(Education reporter Mark Schlachtenhaufen may be reached via e-mail at ms@edmondsun.com)

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