Barbara Woods: HR analyst dedicated 25 years of her career to Laurel Ridge ‣ Laurel Ridge Community College
Skip to Content

Barbara Woods: HR analyst dedicated 25 years of her career to Laurel Ridge

Barbara Woods

When she retires from Laurel Ridge after 25 years this June, Barbara Woods will be sailing off into the sunset. Literally.

She and her husband of 47 years, Mike, are the happy owners of a 37-foot sailboat that they enjoy sailing in the Chesapeake Bay. Woods, an HR analyst, said coworkers keep asking her what her post-retirement plans are.

“I don’t know exactly,” she said. “My husband and I hope to do a lot more sailing.”

Woods grew up in Woodstock, graduating from Central High School. She went to Potomac State College in West Virginia, where she earned an associate degree in medical office management and then managed a family medical practice for 11 years. Later, she was a payroll specialist for Loudoun County Public Schools before coming to Laurel Ridge in 1999.

When she was hired, Woods was one of three people in the human resources office. Now, she is one of seven.

“There have been a lot of changes,” she said, noting the college’s second president, Marilyn Beck, was in office then. “For years and years, we did everything on paper. Now, everything is online. We don’t keep paper personnel files anymore.”

During her tenure, Woods has earned PHR (Professional in Human Resources) and SHRM-CP (Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional) certifications.

And, she has been a beloved member of her department. In May, she was the recipient of the Distinguished Full-Time Staff Award.

“The HR team and I are going to miss working with her so very much,” said JoAnn Ellwood, associate vice president of human resources. “Barbara is truly one of a kind. Not only is her work consistently impeccable, but she is also a person of genuine warmth and kindness. Barbara’s unwavering commitment during a recent payroll system transition is just one example of how she has ensured pay accuracy and advocated for improved processes throughout her tenure.”

Woods said the people she has worked with have kept her at Laurel Ridge for nearly 25 years.

“I will miss my coworkers a lot,” said Woods, who along with her husband moved to Augusta County from the Winchester area about six years ago. “I just know it’s time to retire.”

In addition to sailing with Mike, who is a Church of the Brethren pastor and chaplain for the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office, Woods will be able to spend more time with her two children and four grandchildren. She also enjoys gardening, baking, reading and exploring the national parks.

Additionally, Woods has already accompanied her husband on one mission trip to Africa to build a school, and she intends to continue this in her retirement.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.