Sumter School District Title I director dies

Woods was in role since 2014

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Sumter School District lost a member of its "family" earlier this week with the passing of Arthena Woods, the district's Title I director.

A career educator, Woods held the position for the last six years, supervising district Title I program projects and budgets, as well as those at 16 schools across the county, according to a district release. The federal program provides funding to school districts to help low-income, at-risk students and their families better understand how to achieve success in the educational process.

District staffer Keasha Grant, an instructional technology specialist, said Woods was a good friend, "had a heart for the kids" and just had a calming effect on others.

"She was very patient and a very good listener," Grant said. "She never really talked in a loud tone when you sat down with her. She was just always ready to listen."

Superintendent Penelope Martin-Knox said the district family mourns the loss of Woods.

"She was our friend, our team member and a member of our Sumter School District family," Martin-Knox said. "Arthena truly left a lasting impression on the lives she touched. Our deepest condolences are extended to her family."

Woods, 43, died of natural causes on Monday at Prisma Health Richland Hospital in Columbia.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. today at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, 253 Coleman Road, in Greeleyville.