My name is Tessa Woods and I just began my fifth year of teaching. I have spent my entire teaching career so far at the Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics (GSIC), which is a charter school in my home town of Hephzibah, Georgia. Prior to finishing my teaching degree, my husband and I spent 4 years in Fort Lewis, Washington where he was stationed. We loved it there and got to do and see some really amazing things!
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
I have been married to my husband for 10 years! We have two beautiful children, a 4 year old boy and a 3 year old girl. I come from a huge blended family, so I have a lot of siblings including 4 older sisters, 2 younger sisters, and 2 younger brothers. My youngest brother is currently a driver in the NASCAR truck series at only 18 and we are super proud of him.
Q: Please tell us about your current, past, or future career. What do you love most about what you do?
This year will be my second year teaching 5th grade and I absolutely love it. My first three years of teaching were in 3rd grade, which I also loved. For the past 2 years, I’ve gotten to teach the same group of kiddos that I taught when they were in third grade. I love being able to watch the kids grow academically and see them come into their personalities before they head to middle school. My school, administration, coworkers, students, and parents are all very supportive which can be hard to find. I am currently working on my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction, which I will finish in the spring.
Q: How long have you lived or worked in our community?
Other than the 4 years I lived in Washington, I lived and worked in the Augusta area. I grew up in Hephzibah, worked my first job at Evans Diner through high school. I graduated from Greenbrier High School in 2008 and from Augusta University in 2015. My husband and I also opened a home inspection business in 2015. We recently rebranded and became Savannah River Residential, which specializes in home inspections and real estate photography.
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
This is a tough question because I’ve met so many wonderful and interesting people in Augusta. While I was in college, I met my husband when he was working at a local outdoor store. I’ve made lots of life-long friends in Augusta!
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
I would love to travel to Hawaii or Alaska for very different reasons. I would love to be able to relax on the beaches of Hawaii and do nothing for a week. Alaska is one place I wish we would have visited while we lived in the Northwest since we were so close. I would love to set up camp or stay in a cabin in the woods, explore the outdoors, and enjoy the wildlife.
Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
I enjoy anything with Kevin Costner or Liam Neeson. As far as tv shows, I really enjoy true crime documentaries.
Q: What advice would you give to people?
From First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, “Do what you feel in your heart is right- for you’ll be criticized anyway.”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
I want to travel all over Europe.
Q: What is your go to band when you can’t decide what to listen to?
My go-to band is Pearl Jam. I love their variety.
Q: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about our community?
My first job was at Evans Diner, which is no longer in business. When Stardust was open, I would spend weekends there with my friends.
Q: If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch?
Ashton Kutcher because of his work to stop human trafficking. I’d love to know how their technology works and how people can help. I’d chose a farm to table restaurant with outdoor seating. Manuel’s Bread Cafe comes to mind.
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
The homes in the Summerville of downtown Augusta fascinate me. I love the history behind the homes and the college building.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
I see myself still living in Augusta with my family and still teaching my heart out.
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I’m not sure if this counts, but I’m really good about remembering birthdays. Lol. It’s just something I’ve always been really good at.
Q: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
Mt. Rainer, Washington
Q: Favorite month? favorite holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
My favorite month is October because the weather feels the best. My favorite holiday is Christmas, and the best single day is the first day of summer vacation.
Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
Driving across the country was definitely a 10/10 for me.
Q: Who inspires you to be better?
My children, for sure. They see and hear more than you can imagine. I want to set a good example for them.
Q: What is one or two of your favorite smells?
Dreft laundry detergent. It reminds me of my kids when they were babies. And Champagne Toast from BBW.
Q: Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Family. Love. Comfort.