A teacher for more than 34 years, a principal for more than 15 years and a member of the Lubbock Independent School District Board for more than 16 years, Vernita Woods-Holmes continues to educate, serve and give back to the Lubbock community.

Besides her time in college, at Huston-Tillitson College, Holmes said she is a lifelong resident of Lubbock. 

She said it’s this community, along with her family and friends, that helped raise her into the educator, mother, grandmother and great grandmother she is today. 

While growing up, Woods-Holmes said she remembers a very tight knit community where her principal lived across the street with his wife who was also her first grade teacher. She said everyone helped each other and respected each other. 

“We knew that if we were out playing or whatever, whether mother was there or not, if Mae Simmons was there or somebody else, that was just like mother being there. That’s just the way it was,” Woods-Holmes said.

She’s served on a number of local boards–philanthropic, medical and education–and she continues to do so, even after being retired for more than 20 years. 

“One of the things that I am really enjoying today, even though I’ve been retired for 20 years, and some of the students now that I taught in elementary, they’re 34 and 35 years old,” she said. “They’ll say, ‘Mrs. Holmes’.  I don’t remember their names, but I remember their faces and we hug, as if it were yesterday and that means a lot to me.”

While continuing to reside in Lubbock, she said she plans to remain just as active as she has been in the past.

“I just like giving back, I like doing things, I like to know what’s going on too,” Woods-Holmes said. “It keeps me going.”