John Moore, Jacquelyn Pendarves and David Wood began teaching when computers weren’t even in the building much less in the hands of every student.

Wood began his career at Lake Highlands in 1980. LHHS Principal Dr. Josh Delich called Wood a Lake Highlands legend.

“Mr. Wood’s students leave his classroom with knowledge of literary classics, impressive grammar skills, and most importantly a mentor,” Delich says.

Wood co-founded and is a director of “Wild for Cats,” the LHHS academic booster club and is chairman of curriculum and instruction.

He is the AVID staff development trainer and instructor. He has coached the Athletic Decathlon team for nearly 30 years, has been varsity tennis coach and taught summer school across four decades. In short, Wood has done it all for LHHS. He is a Texas-ex who also completed graduate programs at SMU, UTD and The University of Dallas. Wood twice has been named a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow.

Jacque Pendarves teaches Advanced Placement Human Geography and sets “incredibly high expectations for her students and backs it with exceedingly high support,” according to Dr. Delich. The Wichita Falls native holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of North Texas.

John Moore graduated cum laude from the UNT in 1978 and started teaching at LHHS in August 1979. He received a master’s from UNT in 1982.

“Mr. Moore after all his years of experience maintains an enthusiasm for engineering so much so that his students were a catalyst for designing the first rendering of what it would look like if we connected our two buildings,” Dr. Delich says.

RISD Trustee Karen Clardy worked with Wood and Moore for decades as the executive assistant at LHHS. She said these teachers put their own children through RISD and continue to teach in Lake Highlands because the community has become family.

Clardy cites poet W.B. Yeats when she thinks of Pendarves, Moore and Wood: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

“They don’t simply teach, they continue year after year to light the fire in their students,” Clardy says.

“The education world has changed so much over the years and the challenges of teaching all children has required these teachers to adapt and meet the challenges of today. These amazing teachers have the wisdom and humility from years of experience to know that students can teach them too, about different cultures, abilities, and perspectives. The challenge of teaching children in today’s world keeps David, John and Jacque coming back because they are inspired every day to light that fire in all of our children.”

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Lake Highlands High School Honors Three Legendary Teachers was originally published in Richardson ISD Newsdesk on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.