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  • Katherine Le

The Woodwards' Love Story

In honor of Valentine's Day, the Woodwards reflect on their own love story that brought them over 30 years of love and companionship. Rick and Jenn Woodward teach AP Macroeconomics and AP Psychology/Educational Psychology respectively in Tesoro’s 400 hallway, just three doors down from each other. 

First at Orange View Junior High School, the Woodwards started in opposite social groups. 

“He was a breakdancer, and I was what you now call goth,” said Mrs. Woodward. 

With no shared classes and separating at different high schools, their relationship would eventually start at a party when they were 19. 

“Mrs. Woodward was wearing a beautiful flower dress, it was hawaiian print,” said Mr. Woodward. “After the party, I called my friend and asked for her number.”

Mr. Woodward then took her to their first date at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Newport Beach. He recalls that “the conversation was great; [he] knew [they] were compatible.” 

Mrs. Woodward, however, thought it was a “good conversation but [she] was” not too sure. In his effort to be a true romantic, Mr. Woodward drove to Norco to take her horseback riding under stars. “The horseback riding did it,” said Mrs. Woodward, who tells their first-date as an example for the two-factor theory of emotion in her AP Psychology class. 

The Woodwards dated for six years; Mr. Woodward attended Cal State Fullerton while Mrs. Woodward attended UC Santa Barbara. “The distance during college wasn’t optimal,” said Mr. Woodward, “we would go three weeks without seeing each other.”

At the beginning of their relationship Mrs. Woodward even took a semester abroad in Spain. “I flew 3000 miles to see this woman,” said Mr. Woodward, “and when she got back from Spain, I knew it was probably going to last.”

Marrying in 1996, the Woodwards have since settled down and raised their three sons in South Orange County. Though they teach in the same hall, “sometimes I’ll go the whole day without seeing him, but it’s super fun when we get home,” said Mrs. Woodward. “We have great students, so we’ll tell funny stories when we get home.” The Woodwards use their relationship in various economic and psychological examples making their love palpable for all of their students to admire and learn from.

This Valentine’s Day, the Woodwards will get dinner on an “off-day.”

“I’d rather have flowers on a random Tuesday, then flowers on Valentine’s Day,” said Mrs. Woodward. “That’s what makes him unique – he does things off the cuff, not when it’s expected.” 

With every year that passes, the Woodwards’ love continues to grow. “I felt as though I was better because I was with her – she made me better,” said Mr. Woodward.

Mrs. Woodward said, “Mr. Woodward doesn’t need to do anything for Valentine’s Day because he makes me feel like I’m his Valentine everyday.”



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