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David Woodward – Ascent Academies of Utah

I would like to nominate Mr. Woodward for the Teacher Feature Award for his Example and Leadership. Last week I picked up my 8th grade son, after school, and he was uncharacteristically in a talkative mood. He began to tell me why Mr. Woodward was his favorite teacher and why he was the best teacher. He said Mom, “He is a Sergeant in the Utah Army National Guard and he runs his classroom like we are in the military too. I said, “So if you misbehave are you doing push-ups?” He laughed but what he said next caught me off guard. He said, “His classroom motto is, No man left behind.” Then he proceeded to tell me how he cares enough to take the time with each student. He goes around the classroom and makes sure everyone is on the same page and understands what is being discussed. He said Mom, “He doesn’t leave anyone behind.” I was so touched by that and felt so blessed he is a teacher.

Mr. Woodward is his U.S. History & Civics teacher and my son regularly comes home discussing current events, politics, and excited about the debates held in class. My son is learning, listening and more importantly taking an interest in the world and in the real challenges faced today. I noticed yesterday after school Mr. Woodward was talking to my son, near the carpool lane and was once again leading by example and more importantly teaching by example. If all his students followed his example and lead forth in their lifetime by taking an interest in others and “Not leaving a man behind;” what a difference it would make.

I love that my son respects his teacher and that Mr. Woodward is a solid role model in his life. He has chosen to teach and chooses to go the extra. Mr. Woodward also formed and oversees a school Archery Team that took several students to Nationals last year. He also volunteers his time teaching the kids a few dance steps before the Jr High Dances and on top of everything else he drives from Provo to Farmington every day. I believe he truly sees the individual worth of each student and furthermore, these kids recognize it. They know he is making an investment in them. Mr. Woodward is making a difference!

–Jennifer Holbrook