Gary W. Woods, EdD. is the Head of School and Founding Partner of American University Preparatory School (AUP) in Downtown Los Angeles. AUP’s extraordinary one of a kind facility is situated just south of 3rd and Figueroa in the heart of DTLA. AUP’s unique City-Center environment provides both international and domestic students with an opportunity to invent, problem solve, and lead in ways that are unrivaled on the West Coast.
Prior to being involved with the founding of AUP, Dr. Woods served as Superintendent of Schools for both the San Marino Unified School District and the Beverly Hills Unified School District – two California public school districts consistently recognized as among the State’s highest performing school systems.
Dr. Woods continues to advocate for progressive reform resulting in enhanced levels of student achievement and creativity. He passionately promoted programs and opportunities for students that attempted to inspire academic, athletic, and visual and performing arts excellence.
Dr. Woods earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis. He earned a Master’s degree from California State University, Stanislaus, and a Doctorate in Educational Administration and Leadership from the University of the Pacific. Dr. Woods is certified by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing as both a teacher and as an administrator and he is a regular evaluator for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
In addition to his extensive teaching and administrative experience, Dr. Woods coached college football and high school track, golf, and soccer. Dr. Woods played college football and rugby at UC Davis where his teams participated in several NCAA Division II National Championship games.
Dr. Woods and his wife Blanca have four grown children and are often aboard their boat off the Long Beach coastline.