Soma trading Royal blue for Hornet greenWoodbury High School activities director to take similar position at Edina High School.
By: Tom Carothers, Woodbury Bulletin
Woodbury High School Activities Director John Soma announced May 18 that he would be leaving the school at the end of this academic year to take the position of assistant principal in charge of athletics at Edina High School.
"I have mixed feelings for the fact that I am excited at the opportunity I will have at Edina to grow professionally as an administrator, but sad for leaving Woodbury High School and the Woodbury community," Soma said in an e-mail sent to faculty.
Leaving the lion’s den to set up shop in the hornet’s hive opens up future possibilities to move upward in the new school system, as well as a bump in salary — sources indicate Soma will receive a raise of approximately 20 percent in his new position.
Soma had originally applied for the Edina assistant principal opening, which went to the school’s current A.D., Jenny Johnson.
However, impressed with what they saw, EHS offered Soma Johnson’s position on May 15 and he accepted that day.
“That’s pretty much how it happened,” Soma said.
The new Hornet reportedly will maintain his Woodbury residence.
“Even though I will continue to live in Woodbury and stay a part of the high school as much as possible, I will be leaving a place that I have loved to be a part of,” Soma said.
Woodbury High School Principal Linda Plante said that a search for a new A.D. would commence after Soma officially submits his resignation to the school board on May 21.
“We’ll be looking for someone with previous experience as an activities director,” she said. “Hopefully, we can have a person in place by the end of June.”
“He’ll be truly impossible to replace,” she added. “It will be an extremely difficult position to fill as he has done an outstanding job.”
Plante extolled Soma for his five years of service as activities director and said she understood his reasons for leaving.
“I’m happy for him,” she said. “There were opportunities for him to advance in their district that were not available in our district.”
Leaving was still a difficult decision for Soma, however, a longtime member of what has been dubbed “Royal Nation.”
“Woodbury is a great school,” Soma said.
A Woodbury resident since 1980, Soma graduated from WHS in 1996 and, after receiving a degree from St. John’s University, the would-be A.D. taught math at Woodbury from 2000 until 2004, when he moved into the role he held until now.
“Even though I will be leaving at the end of this school year, there will always be a special place in my heart for Woodbury High School,” he said in the e-mail. “Woodbury is a great school and community and I will bring all the great things that I have learned from here with me.”