Westlake High School’s Curtis Woodhouse is among the five finalists named in FOX 5’s “High 5 for Teachers” contest. The annual contest recognizes Georgia’s most exceptional high school educators.
Woodhouse teaches Intro to Law, Criminal Essentials and Criminal Investigation. Through his curriculum, he’s teaching students how to make the world a better and safer place.
But he’s also committed to cultivating the next generation of leaders, and giving all students the chance to make a difference in their school, community and on an even larger scale.
This school year, Woodhouse launched Future Leaders of Westlake (FLOW), an initiative that has already attracted 140 students. The program helps participants to enhance their leadership skills through retreats, community service projects, seminars and conferences. The program also focuses on increasing student achievement, modeling integrity, good citizenship, critical thinking and the importance of lifelong learning.
So far, students have had the opportunity to participate in a leadership conference with the Atlanta Hawks, visit the State Capitol, host voter registration events, give back through turkey and toy drives, and visit and share their experiences with students in feeder schools.
Woodhouse says the program is filling a void, and helping to solve a problem that has not been adequately addressed.
“I feel like there’s a lack of leadership in the community, and I think we talk about it a lot, but not a lot of people are doing anything about it,” Woodhouse told FOX 5. “I said let me take the first step, start getting the kids engaged and begin making some changes.”
Woodhouse’s program is already having a major impact on the high schoolers. One student said that while he was never interested in participating in groups or clubs before, he’s participating in FLOW and has since noticed a change in his character.
In a congratulatory social media post, Principal Jamar Robinson acknowledged Woodhouse’s efforts and thanked him for always representing Westlake with dignity and respect. “We’re proud of you,” he tweeted.
As a “High 5 for Teachers” finalist, Woodhouse receives $500 from Montlick & Associates, a sponsor of the contest. After all of the finalists have been named and featured by Good Day Atlanta, viewers will then be able to vote for the teacher they think is most deserving of an additional $2,500 for his or her school.
Photo: Westlake High School’s Curtis Woodhouse (second from left) is among the five finalists named in FOX 5’s “High 5 for Teachers” contest.