Meet Our Principal
Mrs. Heather Thomson
Heather is truly dedicated to education in the Manteca Unified School District. She attended MUSD schools from kindergarten through high schools and was a member of Sierra High School’s first graduating class. Heather received a bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Exceptional Children and Youth as well as a multiple subject credential from California State University, Stanislaus. She later enrolled at National University where she earned both a master's degree in Educational Leadership and an administrative credential.
In 2003, Heather began her teaching career at Great Valley Elementary. From 2003-2014, she taught at two different school sites and gained experience teaching 3rd, 5th, and 6th grade. For the next several years, Heather worked as a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) where she had the opportunity to support intervention programs, English Learners, and staff development at Walter Woodward Elementary. Heather served as the vice principal of Brock Elliott Elementary from 2017-2021 before returning to Walter Woodward as the principal. “Coming back to Woodward feels like coming home,” she said.
Heather has three main goals for Woodward centered on helping students achieve their maximum potential. First, all students will have access to grade level standards through effective instruction. Assessment data is reviewed with parents/caregivers and used to determine the supports necessary to meet student need. Second, all students will be encouraged and expected to attend school daily in a clean and safe environment. The administration works together with families and a various student support teams to create a positive school climate. Third, “At Promise” students will be provided instruction and supplemental support designed for academic differentiation and intervention. Small group instruction and other interventions will be utilized based on data throughout the school year.
Heather has been married to John, her high school sweetheart, her over 20 years. They have two children who both now attend Sierra High School as well. In her spare time, Heather enjoys hiking with her family, watching her kids play sports, playing board games, and going to the beach.
“Students need many opportunities to work with others and build on prior knowledge. They are encouraged to take risks and learn from mistakes. At Woodward we celebrate growth, achievement, and citizenship.”