Kayla Wood has been named the new Girls Varsity Head Soccer Coach at Salem High School, effective immediately. Wood brings a wide array of coaching, playing, and volunteering experiences to the Spartans program.
“I am so excited for the opportunity to coach the Salem Girls Soccer team,” says Wood. “I see the soccer field as an extension of the classroom, a way to build relationships with students and families, while instilling in them a love for the game of soccer.”
Wood played four years of varsity soccer at perennial power Courtland High School in Spotsylvania County, just outside of Fredericksburg. Most recently, she served as the U18 Salem Sabres Girls coach and guided the team to an undefeated fall season.
“The game of soccer has so much to give, and I hope to foster a team that receives the very best from the game, including comradery, hard work and grit,” she says.
Before arriving in Salem in 2018, Wood accumulated a wealth of soccer knowledge and on-the-job training by coaching at a variety of levels. From 2014-18, she was the Head JV Coach and a Varsity Assistant for the girls soccer program at Massaponax High School in Spotsylvania County. Her JV squads won district titles and the varsity captured back-to-back championships during her time on the staff. In addition, she assisted with the field hockey and volleyball programs at Massaponax.
During this time, Wood also served as the director of Tot Soccer. In this unique program, she guided high school athletes and helped them teach 3-and 4-year-old children basic soccer skills. She also generously gave back to her community by leading a free summer soccer initiative through the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office.
Wood has a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University in history and she earned her master’s degree from Mary Washington University in education. She has been a special education teacher at Salem High School since 2018.
“My job as a special education teacher is so important to me, and I hope to instill in each of my students that being different is what makes them special,” says Wood. “I also hope to create a community within Salem that embraces students and adults for their differences and creates a space for students with disabilities to belong.”
She and her husband reside in Roanoke. Her appointment was formally approved by the Salem School Board on February 9.