Steve Rick made impressions on everyone who knew him, so it’s fitting that his memorial also is an impression of sorts.
Rick, who joined Woodstock North High School in 2014 as assistant principal, died of cancer in February at the age of 39. A memorial in his honor was dedicated at the school earlier this month.
Three stone dinosaur footprints, one for each year he spent at WNHS, were installed in the courtyard just outside of the school cafeteria, each of them flanked by footprints of the greatest loves in his life — his wife, Cindy, and his daughters, Harper and Evie.
The memorial designed for Rick represented things he loved. Rick, a former science teacher, was an avid fan of dinosaurs.
The memorial was a gift from the class of 2017. Students organized the construction and ceremony. Studio 2015 of Woodstock donated a plaque designed with help of the students.
A group of faculty, friends and students gathered May 5 to join the Rick family for a dedication of a permanent memory to the man who influenced so many.
One of Rick’s close friends and colleagues, Jeff Schroeder, spoke at the ceremony about the impressions Rick left and said he was grateful to have had a friend like Rick in his life.
“Fossils leave impressions in the earth. You can study an impression of a fossil and learn a lot about what created that fossil. The fossil record, like its name, suggests it is about a recording of the past. It tells a story,” said Schroeder, attendance facilitator and coach at WNHS. “Steve Rick’s life, much like a fossil record, also told a story. Granted, he didn’t leave any fossils behind, but he certainly left an impression.
“I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to our friend than a monument of footprints that leaves an impression, because he left an impression on so many of us,” Schroeder continued. “Leave the impression on others that he left on you, and I think you will experience a life well-lived.”