Woodrow principal walks after one year, leaving the school without leadership. Again.

Steve Ewing (Photo by Rasy Ran)
Steve Ewing (Photo by Rasy Ran)

Once again, Woodrow is looking for a new principal. Steve Ewing, who said two months ago that Woodrow was perfect for him, is leaving after just a year.

In an email written to staff and obtained by the Advocate, he said: “I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign as principal of Woodrow Wilson. While this is not an easy decision, it is the right decision for me and my family at this time.”

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Ewing praised his coworkers in the email. “I want thank you for the best year of my professional life. You have truly been an exceptional group of educators and community members that put students first. There is so much to be proud of this year with the many accomplishments by our students and staff. The teachers and staff have clearly demonstrated what excellence in education should look like at every campus. Again, thank you for an amazing year. Our students have truly benefited from your leadership.”

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Last summer, Woodrow had three principals in a matter of weeks with the retirement of Kyle Richardson. Michael Dang, who came from the Law Magnet at Townview, held the position for two weeks before resigning. Ewing was named principal soon after. The East Dallas school has won numerous accolades, and has great athletic and academic success, but has not been able to hold on to a principal, with four different leaders in a little over a year.

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Vince Murchison, who is chairperson of the Site Based Decision Making Committee and a parent of a rising senior, was hopeful about the future. “Speaking as a parent, I thought he was a well-liked by leadership and engaged, and thought he resonated with the kids. I have a high degree in confidence in the process to be followed to find his replacement,” he says.

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  • Los_Politico

    You should both spend more time working to improve your home school. Just my two cents.

  • Jeremy

    “All students should be encouraged to excel scholastically and to participate in all off campus events.” I absolutely agree with that. But I think most are aware that Woodrow is more urban now. That secret has been out for a while.

    But if you feel that way, then I’m sure you have some specific experiences that have lead to that. That’s what I’d like to drill down to in order to see if we can change something for the better. Did you have a child not make the cheerleading squad? Not make it into the IB program? You hate the letters you get from the truancy department? An unsatisfactory experience with teachers or administrators? About what? Do you not see your child’s heritage or culture celebrated at school?

    We can’t fix it if we don’t talk about it. Other than your name and what it implies, I don’t know anything about you. I have a middle class, white kid at Woodrow. We live just outside Woodrow’s zone, so we are a transfer family. I’ve had problems with Woodrow that I’m happy to discuss. But I’m more interested in understanding other people’s specific problems and experiences. The more we know, the more we can do. Thanks!

  • Rafael Ibarra

    DISD is transitioning from a suburban school district a district where the majority is now the minority. It’s difficult for some of the school board members to acknowledge this. Our superintendent has bean given the task of trying to make this work. His task is a difficult one; old habits die hard. The neighborhoods that surround Woodrow Wilson are, indeed, diversified; almost like in NYC where every block represents it’s difference.
    Let’s respect and enjoy our differences. All students should be encouraged to excel scholastically and to participate in all off campus events.

  • Jeremy


    I see lots of different perspectives here. Regardless of the possibly differing opinions, I’m glad to see the community engagement. We can make a difference for the better here.

    So, here’s my open invitation to you all: Mr. Maddox, Sylvia, Mizzy, Vicki, Rafael, Nancy, Rick, Los_Politico, Non Believer, Cdub, anyone else interested in Woodrow, would any of you be interested in meeting up for lunch one day? I’d love to meet you, to get to know you, and to learn more about your perspectives and what you think Woodrow needs. There are plenty of lunch places in Lakewood near the school. Or, I think there are some Woodrow families that own some pretty good restaurants. Anyone interested?

    Oh! Peak and Elm! I’ve never actually had a chance to have lunch there, but I’ve heard great reviews. And I think they are Woodrow people who have supported the school. We could meet each other, I could try their tamales, and we could support a Woodrow family all at the same time. Anyone?

    I’ll be out of town next week, but I could do an early lunch, say 11:30-ish this Wednesday or Thursday. Otherwise, sometime after the 4th? Reply if you’re interested and we can set something up.

  • Jeremy

    Mr. Ibarra, I’m interested to hear more about your feelings and about what facts and experiences underlie them. I’m sure that if you feel that way, then there are probably other Woodrow families that feel that way too. I’d like Woodrow to be a wonderful place for “Lakewoodites” and “non-Lakewoodites” alike. Maybe if we can figure out the reasons why you feel that way, then we can make some positive changes. The wonderfully rich diversity of people and cultures is part of what makes Dallas a great place to live. Embracing our entire school family is the surest way to succeed. As long as there is a feeling of us against them, it will drag us all down. So, I’m interested in the dialog. Reply, or message, or e-mail me anytime. Or maybe we can meet for lunch somewhere. Anyone else want to come? I’d say the more the merrier.

  • Rafael Ibarra


  • Sylvia Flowers

    Very well written article Mr. Maddox. With teachers like you there the kids will be fine, regardless of leadership.

  • Los_Politico

    Rafael lives in Casa View. He’s not even in the Woodrow neighborhood.

  • Thanks again for the comment, Rafael, but come on: You know what happens when you assume. You seem to arguing that you have special insight that the rest of us don’t have; that’s a dangerous road to travel because none of us really know anyone’s backstory. And you seem to assume the administration and teachers unilaterally aren’t doing their best to encourage all to participate; perhaps some don’t care, but that wasn’t our experience when our kids attended Woodrow.

  • Rafael Ibarra

    My friend, I have faced racism all my life. Opportunity is the equalizer.
    I’m sure Mr. Wamre, you’ve never had this issue. The administration and teachers should encourage all to participate. You’re correct ones color or ethnicity should no interfere. If you lived in Dallas in tge 50’s or 60’s you know what I’m talking about.

  • Rafael, thanks for the comment. But do you really believe the only way to show racial integration is to have an allocated representation of races on every single school group, right down to the appropriate decimal point? If that’s the case, I suspect you will find racism wherever you go for the rest of your life. Striving to be equal in all things is a worthy goal overall, but it isn’t a practical goal in every single instance. Surely we can minimize racism without setting hard-and-fast allocations for race in all circumstances and in all places. We should be working toward a day when it makes no difference what color the faces are rather than simply counting the color of noses.

  • Rafael Ibarra

    Oops, You mentioned “cheer”. Is there an equal diverse selection of the young ladies. Does the cheer team have an equal amount reflecting the students. As a parent I would like to see that.


    Rafael. I’m not sure when was the last time you walked into Woodrow, but Woodrow does NOT just focus on the Lakewoodites. I have 2 daughters at Woodrow and what you are saying is the farthest from the truth. The students are a cohesive group no matter what their differences are. We, the parents, are united as one. We eat together, we cheer at games together, we volunteer together, we host events at Woodrow together. Sadly, I take offense to your comment about Lakewoodites because it’s comments like these that divide a community.

  • Mizzy Martinez

    Having dealt with Mr.Ewing i can say he had a grip…
    But as far as some of the administrators well not on the same page. Hopefully A new principle might make it more cohesive enviroment.

  • Cdub

    Disparaging people for where they live or what they earn is part of the problem. Woodrow can only be great if the diversity is respected, the best ideas from all members of the community are heard, and the gifts we all can offer are embraced by the administration. No one residential community is more important than another; we need to show up for the good of all our kids, together at Woodrow, no matter where we live.


  • Vicki McCain Anderson

    (Forest Gump’s voice): Woodrow is looking for a new principal …again!

  • Non Believer

    Well said Rafael Ibarra. Diversity is what makes Woodrow such a great school. The student body represents members from all walks of life which is what graduates will encounter out here in the real world. It’s not just about the entitled “Lakewoodites” you mention.

  • Rafael Ibarra

    The challenge for the next Principal, there are many, would be to focus on the diversity of its students. He or she cannot focus just on the Lakewoodites. Woodrow Wilson represents East Dallas and all its different cultures. Today is a new beginning for Woodrow Wilson and all of us who live in East Dallas. Good choices produce good results.

  • Jeremy

    I’m with Mr. Murchison. Mr. Ewing was a good man, but I’m hopeful and optimistic about the future for Woodrow. Woodrow has had its hiccups in the past, and this is an opportunity to find the strong, committed leader that the school and the students need and that they deserve. The District has already begun the search and if parents and teachers and staff pull together to find the right principal, and then to support that new principal in whatever ways are needed, then this could mark the beginning of a bright, new chapter at WWHS.

    It will be a challenge after Mr. Ewing’s brief tenure and with the new upcoming construction projects, etc. But there are still many great administrators and teachers committed to making Woodrow the best, comprehensive high school in the District. Many of them will read this article. Let them know that they can count on us to have their back. Let’s support them until and even after a new principal is named. Let’s prove that the Woodrow community is where every principal should want to be. We should all recognize this as an opportunity and seize the chance to make Woodrow Great(er) Again! Go, Wildcats!