Woodland Heights Principal Kristie Spenner and staff are committed to providing rigorous and relevant instruction.


Woodland Heights Elementary School teachers and staff are committed to engaging students in a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence and creates caring problem-solvers.

“Our challenge at Woodland Heights is 83.2-percent of our students are proficient in grades 3-5. So it is important that we challenge our students by providing rigorous and relevant instruction,” said Principal Kristie Spenner.

“We purposely plan learning activities that require students to productively struggle and promote real world application to ensure mastery,” she added.

At mid-year, more than 70 percent of Woodland Heights students were proficient in English Language Arts and Math on their iReady exams, which is correlated to End of Grade (EOG) standardized testing outcomes.

The school has 635 students. Around 25 percent of the school’s fourth- and fifth-graders have been identified as academically gifted.

Woodland Heights boasts a 91 percent teacher retention rate. Approximately 97 percent of the teachers met or exceed growth, according to standardized testing standards for the 2022 school year.

“Woodland Heights is unique because we are a Personalized Learning School, which means student learning is customized for each student according to his or her unique ability, skills, preferences and experiences,” Spenner said.

This is done through targeted instruction, data-driven decision, student pathways and student reflection and goal setting.

In the classroom, teachers practice hands-on math, which fosters problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Other benefits include increased social skills, student engagement and more.

Woodland Heights Elementary School uses acronym for WHES: We Help Everyone Succeed. Teachers have embraced this slogan and the students that love getting involved in their school.

Woodland Heights Elementary art students placed first in the North Carolina Association for Scholastic Activities Art Showcase. Pictured (from left) are art teacher Ann Whelan, and students Lilly Parrent, Vivian Augustine and Tess Cornell.

Teacher Ann Whelan’s art students placed first in the North Carolina Association for Scholastic Activities Art Showcase. Student winners are Tess Cornell (first place in drawing), Vivian Augustine (first place in mixed media), Rhiannon Clark and Lilly Parrent (first place in sculpture). The students won first place as a team overall in the West Regional.

“This has been a great opportunity for me and my colleagues. We have had a great time expressing ourselves and exploring our creative ideas through art. I really have had a wonderful time doing this,” Parrent said.

In addition to a focus on academics, the school also promotes giving back to the community. WHES has raised money for United Way and the American Heart Association. The competition is fierce, and students have fun while supporting those in need.

Fifth-grader Bode Griffin single handedly raised $7,483.38 for Kids Heart Challenge, and the school raised more than $41,000 for Kids Heart Challenge.

School Highlights

• 83.2% Proficiency in Grades 3-5 on EOG’s for 22-23 School Year;
• 39th out of 1,444 North Carolina public elementary schools for proficiency;
• Staff members Amanda McEwen, Sarah Black, and Amy Jordan received a grant from the Project Explore and initiative from the North Carolina Arboretum; and
• Two students qualified for the State Science Fair for their project on gravity.