Welcome to Friday's Faculty Focus!

We are introducing a new campaign that highlights the powerhouse of St. Pius X High School: our incredible Faculty! These men and women work hard every day to make sure our students are well-served – through the student experience to graduation and beyond. Faculty Focus is their time to shine! On Fridays, we will be highlighting a Faculty member and their subject area.

On Fridays, we will feature one of our faculty members, who will share their experiences, philosophies, and memories. Be sure to check back often to view the highlighted Faculty member's Q&As, photos and/or videos.

Rick Wood, Social Studies

Years teaching/Years teaching at St. Pius X: 32 years at St. Pius X / 45 years of service

Department: Social Studies

Coaching or club sponsorship Roles: Served as Head Boy’s Track Coach , Head Coach Boy’s and Girl’s Cross Country, Started and coached the Club Hockey team in 1999 and it continues today. Started and coached the Club Racquetball Team in the 1980’s. Served as Academic Dean and Student Council Moderator.

Degree(s)/Degree-granting Institution: Attended University of Missouri–St. Louis for undergraduate degree in Social Studies and did graduate work at UMSL, Truman State and Fontbonne.

 What is your favorite thing about working at Pius X? Our wonderful students and the sense of community we share with both students and faculty.

Outside of work, what are you passionate about? Music has defined my entire life and traveling and Civil War battlefields in particular along with my involvement with YFU student exchange program.

What are three words that best describe you? Passion, Empathy and Dedication

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Make music and teach!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Find a career that you both enjoy, are passionate about and can give something back!

If you could have any superpower what would it be? Time travel

What has surprised you most about working for Pius X? The willingness of our students and faculty to embrace change and to constantly challenge themselves to be better, more productive people.

Tell us about your proudest moment at Pius X. Just being a part of such a great school and faculty makes me proud but winning our Club Hockey High School Championship in 2005 still makes me feel proud after all these years!

What are you currently reading for enjoyment? The Soul of America by Jon Meacham

What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom? Reading, traveling, hosting for YFU and listening to music

When did you decide to become a teacher, and why did you choose this field? I’ve always wanted to teach for as long as I can remember. I just wanted to make a difference in someone’s life, to give back.

What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in your teaching? My kids would say that its patience! I also feel that its passion for what I do.

What do you like most about teaching as a career? Just spending a life in academics and making life-long memories and relationships.

What is your philosophy of education? Know your stuff, be passionate, have empathy for others.

What is the greatest success you have had in teaching? It’s not getting through to the advanced students but reaching those students who are more academically challenged and seeing the look on their faces when they finally make that connection with knowledge of something that they didn’t know before. When you inspire learning!

What do you think is the greatest challenge facing students today? Socialization skills

How do you motivate your students to become active learners in your classroom? By designing activities and planning lessons to motivate and engage students in the learning experience.