School Favorite Mr. Wood is Retiring

After 16 years of substituting at Monarch, Dave Wood is stepping aside


Matt Keenan

Dave Wood poses with a photo signed by the Monarch staff

For more than 16 years, Dave Wood was the most recognized substitute teacher throughout the Monarch community, filling in for teachers throughout the school on nearly a daily basis. At the end of the fall semester, his stint will be coming to an end, however, as he recently announced his intent to retire.

After retiring from his position as a Spanish teacher in the Jefferson County School District, Wood began to receive many calls from the Monarch administration, requesting his services in both the Mathematics and Language departments for all grade levels. Ever since the day he subbed in his first class, he has been a fixture in the community; a repeat attendee of sporting events and a devout fan of the students and faculty from throughout the building, and has savored every minute.

“I never got the same feeling at other schools as I did here,” said Wood. “Monarch is my home base.”

And as much as Wood has cherished his time working with hundreds of different teenagers, the high schoolers who experienced his teaching enjoyed it even more.

“When you hear about subs, people say, ‘let’s give him or her a bad time,’” said Wood. “That’s never really happened to me here at Monarch. It’s very rare I go into a class and the students go, ‘who are you?’”

This, it could be said, is due to the flare he added to the often monotonous school day. On top of reading the day’s lesson plan and other petty details, he always provided a special treat.

“I usually presented the lesson plan,” he said. “And then I usually brought out the guitar, if time permitted, especially on block days.”

From classic folk songs to Christmas and seasonal tunes, Wood’s musical performances were relished by the student body, no matter the class. Students have even gone as far as to create a Facebook page, with short video clips of his renditions. Almost as much as football games and school dances, Mr. Wood’s songs have been a true Monarch tradition.

Wood, who will not be renewing his teaching license when it expires in late December, feels at peace with his decision. However, he is determined to keep in touch with the community that he has supported for more than a decade. At a surprise faculty send off breakfast last week, he announced his plans to attend the senior graduation this year, as well as his hope that his granddaughter will choose to attend Monarch at the initiation of the 2017 fall semester.

“After sixteen years, it’s going to be hard to leave,” he said. “But I’ll be around.”