David George Stoddard graduated from BYU in 1979 with a bachelor’s of science in zoology. He began his teaching career soon after, teaching biology and coaching basketball in the San Juan School District in southeastern Utah. During this time, he not only fulfilled his traditional teaching duties, but also agreed to get his license to drive school buses in order to assist in transporting students to and from school functions. This skill proved quite helpful, as the San Juan School District is primarily rural. “I highly recommend teaching in a rural district to anyone who is entering the profession,” Stoddard stated. “The experiences gained there are treasured and have been invaluable to my perspective throughout my career.”
His career in teaching continued when in 1985 he was hired as a middle school science teacher at Joel P. Jensen Middle School in the Jordan Utah School District. He found it difficult, at first, but soon grew to love teaching middle school students. During his time of service at the middle school, he earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Utah.
In 1990, Stoddard was appointed as an assistant principal at Oquirrh Hills Middle School, serving for three years until he was transferred to the same position at Bingham High School. After three years there, he was appointed as principal of Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah. In 1999, Stoddard accepted the assignment to work as the principal of the new Riverton High School and served in that position until 2002. That year he was appointed as an area executive director for the Jordan School District, where he currently serves the 74,000+ students of that district.
Stoddard adopted a personal motto that he likes to share with anyone trying to prepare themselves for any assignment, especially educators: “Experience is something you get right after you needed it!” Stoddard explained, “Just prepare the best you can and dig in with all your might. Seek divine help, and somewhere in the midst of it all you will find that incredible and invaluable possession—experience.“
Stoddard believes that the best teaching involves providing students with opportunities to experience learning. “There is no other profession that is more noble or rewarding than being a teacher of youth,” said Stoddard. “It is a profession that must be done from the heart to be the most effective.”
May 12, 2008