The History of Andy Woods Elementary School
In 1956, a ten-acre tract of land in southeast Tyler was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Pollard for the purpose of building a new elementary school. In November 1956, Andy Woods Elementary opened its doors.
The school was named for Thomas Andrew Woods who was a physical education teacher and a popular head coach at Hogg Junior High School. He inspired his players to do their best at all times and judged them fairly on the basis of their performance. Because of this, his team always received strong support from parents, students and the community. Woods sometimes pointed out this poem excerpt to teachers; “It matters not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.” He believed those words might apply to the game of life, but in sports, winning always mattered.
Woods served as both a deacon and trustee for his church and operated The Tyler Little League Summer Baseball program for eight consecutive years. The successful coach died in 1954 at the age of 42 and was buried at Waldrop Cemetery near Beckville.
SCHOOL BUILDING – OLD AND NEW
The original school included 18 classrooms, a library, administrative suite and a cafetorium. Due to the terrain of the ten-acre site, the school was built on two levels. The classrooms and administrative suite were located on the upper level, while the cafetorium, kitchen and playgrounds were built on the lower level. Due to the crowded conditions, four portable classrooms were placed on the campus. When enrollment increased to 804 in 1963, Woods expanded to 30 classrooms and two temporary portable rooms.
In fall 2010, Andy Woods proudly opened the doors to its new, modern school building! With 44 enclosed classrooms and no portables, the new school building can serve a student population of 800.
One of the earliest traditions begun at Andy Woods was the Hot Dog Supper that was first held in January 1957 to raise money for school projects. The supper became an annual event sponsored by the PTA. Back then, hot dogs cost .20 and cold drinks sold for .10!
Another PTA sponsored event, which still continues, is the Book Fair. The first one was held in December 1957 with books provided by local book stores. A total of $165.00 was made that year.
In the fall of 1958, a special honor came to the Andy Wood PTA. There were 829 parents who had children enrolled at Woods and every parent was a member of the PTA. The 100% membership was the talk of Tyler!
In an effort to promote school-wide safety practices, the very first safety patrol began in the fall of 1956. The safety patrol continues today to be an important part of Andy Wood’s daily regimen.