DAVIDSON, N.C. – The Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) announced that Woodlawn's former Interim Head of School and current Board Member, Dr. Bob Shirley, has been selected as the recipient of its 2018 Distinguished Service Award. The award is given annually by SAIS to a head of school or senior administrator in recognition of a long and distinguished career in independent education.
Bob Shirley's journey through the world of independent school education spans over 50 years and has touched thousands of lives, especially in the Carolinas. A large portion of his career was spent at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia, SC, where he was head of school from 1978-2000. From 2000-2012, Shirley was the executive director for the National Center for Independent School Renewal, but also held other school positions during that tenure. In 2000, he took on the role of interim head at Gaston Day School in Gastonia, NC, and in 2001 served as interim head at Bimmer and May School in Chestnut Hill, MA. In 2003-2004, Shirley took a short departure from education as the interim executive director at the Columbia Museum of Art. He served as head of Charleston Collegiate School in Charleston, SC, from 2005-2011, and as interim head at Woodlawn from 2014-2016.
"Bob came to Woodlawn at a critical juncture," stated Woodlawn Founder and former Board Chair Dwayne Bowman. "We were very fortunate to benefit from his wealth of experience and knowledge, as well as his down-to-earth and empathetic style of leadership. He succeeded in bringing together our school community and growing enrollment to the highest level in school history." Bob resides in Columbia, SC with his wife, Thrace. He has served on Woodlawn's Board of Trustees since 2016.
Woodlawn is an independent school founded in 2002 and located just north of Davidson, North Carolina. Enrolling students in grades K through 12, Woodlawn is accredited by both the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and offers a challenging, project-based academic experience.