Wonderful Woodruff


Emma Padelford

Renee Woodruff has been teaching at Ridge for about 24 years, and has been in charge of FBLA for the past 3 years. Recently, she has been awarded the FBLA Adviser of the Year Award for the state of Arizona.

To win this award, there is quite a lot of work that goes into the application process. However, Woodruff didn’t have to do a single thing. The whole process was done by her students.

“My students put me up for it,” Woodruff stated. “Sometimes peers will put you up for awards and things like that, but it was really cool to me that my students were the ones who took the time to go through the application and come up with all the things they needed to get me nominated.”

Along with the application, the students had to fill out different requirements and get letters of recommendation from admin. Woodruff’s students had told her at the beginning of the year that this was something they wanted to do for her. However, she had no idea how far they would go for it.

“Sometimes things happen and sometimes they don’t,” Woodruff stated. “I thought it was nice that they wanted to do it, but I didn’t know that it was all processed, done, and actually applied for so it was cool.”

The nomination was open to the whole state. Woodruff was running against around 100 other advisers for this award. Woodruff was given the award at a FBLA leadership conference, during a general meeting. During the meeting, there were some presentations done and awards given out, including Woodruff’s. She got to take home a trophy and is very honored by this award.

“The reason I put in the time and the effort to FBLA is for the opportunity for the students. I see them grow, and I see them mature, and learn things that you can’t learn in a classroom,” Woodruff says. “I see them be awarded for what they did well, those kinds of things are what’s important to me.”

Woodruff stated that she learned to never doubt it when students say that they are going to do something. She also sees a lot in the future of FBLA. This year, they took the Sweepstakes Award for the second year running, which is the most awards of any chapter in the state. Ridge has also sent another state officer to be part of the 10 students who represent FBLA for the state of Arizona. In the future to come, Woodruff sees nothing but growth.

A few goals she has set in mind for the next year is to get more students involved in the community service aspect. She stated that those who are heavily involved in service are not recognized enough for it. She wants to create more awareness for those students and for the community as a whole.

Woodruff works very hard to create a good FBLA environment and invests a lot of time into her students. Because of the nomination from her students, she can see how her work is paying off.

“When they recognize backwards that I put that time in and it’s worth something to them, that makes it worth more than I can say,” Woodruff stated.

The students are like family to Woodruff. She has demonstrated that a day of teaching is not restricted by the hours of 7:30 to 2:12. She’s gone above and beyond to invest in the lives of her students and has proven to be completely successful through it.

“In some ways they ended up like my own kids because you spend a lot of time together, you travel together, you’re tired together, you’re excited together, you’re sad when you don’t win together; all those emotions bring it into like a family, and so thank you [Mountain Ridge] that I can be available to the students,” Woodruff said.