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CCSD Heroes Profile: Tari Wood

Virtual Cherry Creek Heroes Award ceremony for GVHS teacher Tari Wood Tari Wood’s commitment to her students, her school and her community cannot be swayed by a global pandemic.

Wood has long been an icon at Grandview High School, where she teaches science and coaches the school’s girls’ soccer team. Wood has shown dedication, perseverance and a commitment to excellence in both of these roles, having earned a reputation as a top-notch educator and as a coach who has inspired players to greatness. The proof of the latter is in the Grandview Wolves’ recent record – the varsity girls’ soccer team has won the state championship four of the past five seasons.

Wood’s investment in her school and her students didn’t come to an end when the COVID-19 global pandemic upended academics, activities and athletics for Grandview, the Cherry Creek School District and the rest of the world. She found new ways to inspire, and she worked tirelessly to ensure that her students were still successful.

Case in point: Wood and her family helped make 650 masks emblazoned with the Grandview mascot for the school’s belated graduation ceremony this summer. The students who had to wait months to properly celebrate one of the most important rites of passage of their lives were able to do so with a one-of-a-kind memento, one that celebrated their school’s spirit and their own strengths in navigating an unprecedented challenge. What’s more, Wood and her family also made masks for the varsity soccer players, and hand-delivered them to their homes.

Wood’s consistent dedication to Grandview has inspired countless students, staff and CCSD community members. Most recently, it’s earned her the Cherry Creek Heroes Award, an honor designed to celebrate those in the Cherry Creek School District who commit extraordinary actions on behalf of the larger community.

“She has taught her players to stay humble and to remember that past success does not guarantee future success. She always reminds them that it takes a lot of hard work and team work,” CCSD Superintendent Dr. Scott Siegfried noted during Wood’s online Heroes award ceremony on Sept. 15. Siegfried offered tributes drawn from the input of Wood’s colleagues and from Grandview’s principal Dr. Lisa Roberts during the online recognition, and he noted that Wood’s approach in the classroom and on the field reflects broader values that have always been at the core of CCSD. “She holds students and players accountable and in return she earns much respect. She works endlessly to be the best she can be.

“That makes her the true definition of a Cherry Creek Hero,” he added.

Siegfried spoke to Wood and other faculty members from the Grandview Science Department during the remote meeting. He acknowledged that the 2020-21 school year has already posed challenges to students and teachers alike, and he noted the hard work of every teacher in the department.

“Thank you to everyone on the call. You’re all working hard to give our kids the best experiences they can have while they’re in school, and you’re helping to keep them and those around them as safe as possible,” Siegfried said. “Teri, thank you for being an example of that dedication for everybody.”

For Wood and countless student athletes, the challenges of the current moment have meant a momentary pause in familiar and treasured sports, activities and athletics. Siegfried expressed confidence that the games would continue eventually, and when it was safe to do so, Wood would help lead the Wolves to another important victory.

“Let’s get that number five championship. We’re going to keep working at it,” Siegfried said.

-- Posted 9/15/20 at 3:30 PM