2011 Award Recipients
Tom WOOD (Carpentry 1955)
Tom Wood was born in St. Louis in 1936. He graduated from St. Boniface grade school and attended Cleveland High School, enrolling in the carpentry program at Ranken when he was 18 years old. He used his training from Ranken as a carpenter for 52 years. He worked in his dad's business, William P Wood and Son General Contractors before and after his student life at Ranken, in addition to working for several large construction companies as a foreman. He is a member and continues to be active in the St. Louis Carpenter's District Council including serving as a delegate.
Tom was a founding member of the Alumni Leadership Council in 2005 and remained an active member until 2008 when failing health forced his resignation. He has donated his carpentry tool set and books to the Ranken archives. Tom has purchased memorial bricks, referred students, visited campus on many occasions bringing friends for tours and continues his close ties with carpentry as well as donating to the college on an annual basis. Currently on kidney dialysis, Tom continues to be an active participant in the life of the College whenever he can.
Tom has been a Fourth Degree Knight of the Knights of Columbus Pope John XX111 Council 6018, and a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Meramec Aeries No. 3678 in Arnold, Mo. Tom has spent many volunteer hours frying fish for the Knights of Columbus, planning the Chocolate Fantasy Night for the Missouri Children's Burn Camp and wearing a yellow and red vest on the street corners for the annual Tootsie Roll Drive.
"My Ranken education was the best thing that ever happened to me. I learned chemistry, math, drafting and English in addition to carpentry skills. I was able to acquire everything I needed to be successful. It was a complete education. My instructor, Bill Wagner, was a tremendous influence on me and I owe so much to him both as my carpentry instructor and as my friend. Because of my Ranken education, I have had rewarding jobs with a variety of employers my entire career."
Tom has three daughters all living in the St. Louis area, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He and his fiancé met at the Saint David Church Picnic ten years ago and enjoy fishing, golf, dining out and traveling.
Distinguished Young Alumni
Jeff Scott (INDUSTRIAL Technology 2006)
Jeff Scott was born in St. Louis's North County and attended St. Jerome Grade School. He later graduated CBC High School in 2002. Jeff was an altar boy until the age of 21, stating that he was one of the youngest people in the parish able to serve. Jeff has been a member of CBC tech crew, a student leader and a volunteer in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Jeff has helped to build 16 homes in 16 days as part of Habitat for Humanity Blitz Build in 2000. Jeff having been diagnosed with ADD worked hard to overcome the disorder. In fact his senior paper was entitled "ADD the Beneficial Disorder."
Scott has been involved in theater and dance since 2000. Jeff is a swing dance competitor and co-founded Show Me Swing which sponsors an international dance exchange called "Show Me Blues" annually. Jeff enrolled at Ranken after attending Florissant Valley Community College and completing many odd jobs and construction projects. He always knew he wanted to be a maintenance man. Jeff remarked, "When I entered the Finney foyer at Ranken and saw all the old marble I felt at home. I knew this school was right for me!" Jeff was a December Ranken graduate and received the Ranken Distinguished Achievement Award that year. Jeff joined the Ranken staff in the Industrial Technology department as a full time instructor in 2008.
Since teaching at Ranken he has participated in Rebuilding Together 2010 and 2011 and is an Industrial Technology department lead for Summer Academies. He teaches classes of students at all levels in Industrial Technology, Mechanical Systems and Print Reading."What I love most about teaching is that ah-ha moment when it all fits together and it clicks. You can see it in each student when it happens. The moment when they figure out exactly what is going on and how it relates to their lives is an amazing thing."
Jeff enjoys dancing, working on his 1995 Chevy, backpacking, camping, shooting, reading and working a friend's cattle farm mending fences and herding cattle. Jeff is an annual donor to Ranken through the Every Employee Counts Campaign.