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The Student News Site of St Joseph's Academy

The Voice

The Student News Site of St Joseph's Academy

The Voice

The Student News Site of St Joseph's Academy

The Voice

Meeting Mr. Ward

Mr. Mikey Ward poses for a photo.

St. Joe is thrilled to welcome a new member to its faculty this semester, Mr. Mikey Ward. Mr. Ward will be teaching Living the Gospel Through Catholic Social Teaching, a junior theology class, more often referred to as Social Justice, and a section of Sacred Scripture, the year-long freshman theology course. 

Mr. Ward is from a small town in the Quad Cities on the border of Illinois and Iowa. He played football and earned his bachelor’s degree in Religion from Greenville University in Illinois before earning Master’s degrees from both Saint Louis University and the University of Illinois. Mr. Ward has been teaching for seven years; he worked as an adjunct professor at Greenville for four years and taught at the University of Illinois for two. While teaching at Greenville, Mr. Ward was able to pioneer a freshman course and created the class, “The History of Political Activism in American Sports.” Mr. Ward also has experience teaching high school in St. Louis; during the completion of his Master’s from SLU, Mr. Ward gained teaching experience at both St. Louis University High School and De Smet Jesuit High School. 

Being the youngest sibling to three older sisters, Mr. Ward feels he is uniquely prepared to teach in an all-girls environment like that of St. Joe. Mr. Ward is incredibly passionate about his work. He finds teaching to be a lifegiving pursuit and considers himself a co-learner, learning about himself, how to interact with others, how to communicate an idea and get to the heart of it, and how to love people. 

Mr. Mikey Ward and his family smile for a portrait.

“Why teaching – the real question is ‘How can you not teach?’” Ward said. 

Mr. Ward is also passionate about the pursuit of social justice. During his time at Greenville, he studied the Rwandan genocide while abroad in East Africa. While pursuing his second Master’s degree, Mr. Ward examined the Catholic church as a historic institution and studied the Black Catholic experience in the United States. His first weekend in St. Louis coincided with the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson which served as his introduction to systemic racism and local politics in St. Louis. Mr. Ward believes that it is impossible to examine the story of the Catholic Church in America without taking into account the intertwined history and legacy of enslavement and systematic racism. He wonders what kind of world could be if each person woke up every day and said “I’m going to participate in justice work today.” Mr. Ward further spoke to the delicate nature of social justice work and his journey working to give voice to the voiceless and invite others to social justice work without alienating them. 

“I feel really convicted and very fortunate that Dr. Sudekum and Mrs. Everitt and the theology department have given me the opportunity to continue to wrestle with all of that here at St. Joe,” Mr. Ward said. 

After only a brief three weeks of the semester, Mr. Ward’s students are already being inspired by his teaching. Paige Evans, a junior in Mr. Ward’s social justice class, is excited to continue learning about social justice with Mr. Ward. 

“Even though we’re only a few classes into the semester, I’ve really enjoyed how we’ve not only learned about social justice but also tied it into our own school and lives,” Paige said. 

Mr. Ward is making waves at the Academy and the entire community is more than happy to welcome him into the St. Joe family. 

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About the Contributor
Lucy Broun
Lucy Broun, Digital Managerial Editor
Lucy Broun is a senior at SJA. This is her second year working on the Voice and she is so excited to be the Digital Managerial Editor. Lucy is also a member of the SJA robotics team, an officer for Club Sandwich, and an officer of Earth Angels. When not at school, Lucy is a nanny, club volleyball coach, and an avid reader. Her favorite subject is social studies and she’s looking forward to her final year at the Academy.