Wilbert Tucker Woodson High School

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W. T. Woodson High School
W. T. Woodson High School is located in Northern Virginia
W. T. Woodson High School
W. T. Woodson High School
W. T. Woodson High School is located in Virginia
W. T. Woodson High School
W. T. Woodson High School
W. T. Woodson High School is located in the US
W. T. Woodson High School
W. T. Woodson High School
9525 Main Street
Fairfax, Virginia 22031
United States
Coordinates 38°50′25″N 77°16′31″W / 38.84028°N 77.27528°W / 38.84028; -77.27528Coordinates: 38°50′25″N 77°16′31″W / 38.84028°N 77.27528°W / 38.84028; -77.27528
School type Public, high school
Founded 1962
School district Fairfax County Public Schools
Principal Carlyn Floyd
Staff 264
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 2,425 (2016)
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Navy blue, red and white
Athletics conference Patriot District
Northern Region
Nickname Cavaliers
Feeder schools Frost Middle School

Wilbert Tucker Woodson High School, commonly known as W.T. Woodson High School or simply Woodson, is a high school located in Fairfax County, Virginia, in the east end of the city of Fairfax, opposite the shopping center on Main Street.

The school opened in 1962 and was once the largest school in the state. It is named for W. T. Woodson who served as Fairfax County School Superintendent from 1929 to 1961.[1] As of 2016, the student population is roughly 2,400. Woodson has the largest campus in Fairfax County in size of area, and also houses Woodson Adult High School, a separate education facility run by FCPS that allows adults to earn their GEDs and HS diplomas. It was ranked #74 on Newsweek's Top 1000 U.S. High Schools in 2008. The school is named after Wilbert Tucker Woodson, superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools from 1929 to 1961.

Following the retirement of Jeff Yost, Dan Meier, the former principal of Robinson Secondary School, took over as interim principal for most of the 2014–2015 school year.[2] The current principal as of October, 2017 is Dr. Carlyn Floyd.

Academics and statistics[edit]

Woodson High School is a fully accredited high school based on Standardized Testing in Virginia. The average SAT score in the 2009–2010 school year for Woodson High School was 1778.[citation needed]

VDOE accreditation summary[edit]

The following table shows the passing rates of all Woodson students in their respective years and academic subjects, as determined by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).

Subject Area 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07
English 97 95 98
History 95 95 99
Mathematics 93 91 94
Science 92 91 96


SOL test scores[edit]

SOL Passing Rates by Year and Subject
Subject 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08
English: Reading 98.3 98.3 98.7
English: Reading/Literature And Research 86.8 NA NA
English: Writing 95.3 96.3 98.9
Social Studies
Virginia And United States History (2001 Standards) 97.6 97.4 97.6
World History / Geography II 94.9 98.0 97.7
World History And Geography I 95.1 96.4 97.0
Algebra I 94.7 94.3 97.8
Algebra I (Plain English) (2001 Standards) NA TS 83.3
Algebra II (2001 Revised) 90.5 93.2 95.4
Algebra II (2001 Standards) 63.0 NA NA
Geometry (2001 Standards) 93.6 93.2 93.5
Biology 92.1 93.0 95.2
Chemistry 89.9 93.9 94.7
Earth Science 94.9 88.1 89.0



For the 2016-2017 school year, Woodson High School's student body was 53.1% White non-Hispanic, 23.95% Asian, 11.7% Hispanic, 5.12% Black, and 6.12% "Other."[5]


  • Emory Chelsey[6] 1962–1965
  • Robert Phipps[7] 1965–1968
  • William P. Ladson[8] 1968–1972
  • Robert Phipps[6] 1972–1981
  • James Wilson[6] 1981–1986
  • Charles E. "Chuck" Billak[6] 1986–1991
  • Gary Miller[6] 1991–1999
  • Robert Elliot[6] 1999–2007
  • Jeff Yost[6] 2007–2014
  • Dan Meier 2014–2015[9] ( interim principal)
  • Scott F. Poole[9] 2015–2017
  • Carlyn Floyd 2017-current


Woodson began the process of renovating all of its facilities in 2005 and adding several classrooms. The project was paid for in bonds that were established in 2003 by a voter referendum. The issue of whether to renovate had been debated for several years before the plan was approved. Woodson was one of the oldest schools in Fairfax County Public Schools, as the main facilities (plumbing, heating/cooling, floors, electrical) were still fundamentally the same as they were when the structure was built. The renovations nearly doubled the square footage of the school.

The project was completed in 2009. The renovation consisted of complete renovation to all existing interior spaces, as well as adding to the performing arts and athletic wings, creating a new administration wing with a new front entrance, highlighted by a large tower and the addition of a new science classroom wing and two student drop off areas.

Activities, groups, and programs[edit]

Woodson's mascot is a Cavalier and the sports teams play in the AAA Patriot District and the Northern Region. In 1976, the Washington Diplomats of the North American Soccer League used the school's stadium as their home field.


The Cavalcade is the school newspaper. The Cavalier, Woodson's yearbook, is a AAA publication.[10]


The girls' field hockey team defeated Princess Anne High School in the state finals in 2003, and the girls' lacrosse team won states in both 2004 and 2005.[citation needed]

The boys' soccer team beat Robinson High School in 2000 to capture the Virginia State Soccer Title. To date, W.T. Woodson has won 30 Virginia AAA State Championships in a variety of sports.[citation needed]

Performing arts[edit]

Woodson offers three levels of concert band: Concert I, Concert II, and the Symphonic Band, as well as a Marching band that performs in the fall and a Jazz Band that plays in the winter. The band received the prestigious Sudler Flag of Honor in 1995 and 2012, and has been named a Virginia Honor Band 20 times. In 2009, the Woodson Symphonic band was invited to play at the VMEA[clarification needed] conference as the featured wind ensemble, and performed as a featured high school band at the University of South Carolina's annual Band Clinic and Conducting Symposium in February 2010. The Symphonic Band also performed at the CBDNA/NBA Southern Division Conference in Kennesaw, Georgia, in February 2012. The winter guard is also praised for its consistent high rankings and success in the region. In 2008, the winter guard was ranked the #1 high school winter guard in Virginia in the AIA circuit.

The Choral program features two Women's Ensembles and two Men's Ensembles, as well as a Chorale and a Select Vocal Ensemble. The choral department is the largest in the state of Virginia, with over 300 members each year since 2006. The department is renowned for its excellence in Virginia and nationwide as a consistently top ranked choir. The Select Women's Ensemble has performed at the VMEA conference twice as has the Select Vocal Ensemble once. The Select Vocal Ensemble has also performed at the Kennedy Center several times—once at the Terrace Theater, on the Millennium Stage in 2007, and on the main stage with the City Choir of Washington in 2010. The department also puts on a musical revue called "Dessert on Broadway" every winter.

The Orchestra Department comprises four orchestras: Concert, Symphonic, Sinfonietta, and Chamber Orchestra. A Symphony Orchestra is also put together from year to year in the spring with volunteer wind players.

The theater department puts on productions in the fall and spring, usually one musical and one play. These productions have been nominated for numerous Cappies awards and have won several of them over the years.

Academic clubs[edit]

The school's Model UN club won the Best Small School cup at the Ivy League Model United Nations Conference in 2006. In 2009 Woodson MUN earned the Honorable Small School Award at the Ivy League Model United Nations and the Outstanding Large School Award at Mid-Atlantic Simulation of United Nations.[citation needed] In 2008, Woodson beat Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in the District It's Academic competition, the first time Jefferson has lost in over five years.[citation needed] In the 2008–2009 season, the Woodson team made it to the semifinal round in the It's Academic television show, the furthest the school has ever gotten in its history. Woodson was the only team from Virginia to make it to the semifinal round. In 2010 and 2011, the It's Academic Team won the Patriot District Championship, finishing 3rd in the Northern Region in 2010 and 2nd in the Northern Region in 2011. The 2011 team then went on to the State Championships where they finished 4th after an upset loss in the semifinals. In 2011, the team also won the Washington, D.C. area championship and the Super Bowl for the 50th season of the TV show It's Academic.[citation needed]

Communities served by Woodson[edit]

Several unincorporated areas, such as Mantua,[11] Olde Creek, Canterbury Woods, Truro, Rutherford (http://rutherfordcommunity.com/), Long Branch, and Wakefield Forest are served by Woodson.

Woodson in the news[edit]

  • On April 1, 1973, a strong tornado struck Woodson High School and ripped off the roof.[12] It was hit on a Sunday and no injuries were reported among the 65-75 people playing basketball in the school gymnasium.[13] The students did a split shift with Oakton High School to finish out the school year.[14] Graduation ceremonies were held on their home football field.
  • In 1976 the Washington Diplomats of the North American Soccer League played their home games at Woodson High. They also played several matches in the summer of 1975 there while artificial turf was being installed at RFK Stadium.
  • A second tornado spawned by the remains of Hurricane David severely damaged the school's stadium on September 5, 1979, causing an estimated $45,000 in damage.[15][16]
  • In 2004, Newsweek rated Woodson as the 22nd best high school in the United States according to the Challenge Index system developed by The Washington Post reporter Jay Mathews. In 2005, the school placed 34th; in 2006, it placed 92nd; and in 2007 the school was ranked 65th in the United States.[citation needed]
  • In 2008 Woodson was ranked the 90th best public high school in America by the U.S. News & World Report, the first time Woodson has made the list.[17]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1983/07/14/wt-woodson-fairfax-schools-ex-chief-dies/586b7f6c-997a-4022-a2ec-44a79ff5fa35/
  2. ^ Shapiro, T. Rees (2014-08-18). "Woodson principal announces retirement". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  3. ^ "FCPS - School Profiles - Woodson HS - VDOE Accreditation Summary". Retrieved 14 March 2017. 
  4. ^ "FCPS - School Profiles - Woodson HS - Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL)". Retrieved 14 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "Woodson HS". Student Membership Demographics and Supplemental Programs. Fairfax County Public Schools. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "WTW History". www.fcps.edu. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  7. ^ Peterson, Tim (18 April 2013). "Woodson High Celebrates '50 Years of Excellence'". www.connectionnewspapers.com. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 
  8. ^ "William P. Ladson: High School Principal". The Washington Post. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  9. ^ a b Shapiro, T. Rees (2015-03-30). "New principal to take the helm at Woodson High". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  10. ^ "Yearbook". vhsl.org. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "Schools." Mantua.
  12. ^ "Tornadoes Rip Fairfax Apartments, Shops; 32 Hurt". The Washington Post. 2 April 1973. Retrieved 30 October 2015 – via Proquest. (Subscription required (help)). 
  13. ^ "Victims Escape Falling Roofs, Breaking Glass". The Washington Post. 2 April 1973. Retrieved 31 October 2015 – via Proquest. (Subscription required (help)). 
  14. ^ DuPree, David (12 April 1973). "Tornado Still Keeping Woodson Team in Spin". The Washington Post. Retrieved 30 October 2015 – via Proquest. (Subscription required (help)). 
  15. ^ Harden, Blaine (7 September 1979). "Tornado Rakes Fairfax". The Washington Post. Retrieved 31 October 2015 – via Proquest. (Subscription required (help)). 
  16. ^ Dougherty, Kerry (20 September 1979). "Woodson Football Team Seeks Home Away From Home: Stadium Repairs Could Cost $45,000". The Washington Post. Retrieved 31 October 2015 – via Proquest. (Subscription required (help)). 
  17. ^ "Jefferson Is No. 1; Others in Area Make List". The Washington Post. December 6, 2008. 
  18. ^ "The W. T. Woodson High School: 38 Years of History". Retrieved 2009-02-13. 

External links[edit]