Mr. Wood is an award-winning journalist, author and educator. Across the island chain, Wood’s name is synonymous with inspired writing and effective teaching.
He began teaching in 1977 at Lahainaluna High School providing “occupational skills” training to local boys. In 1979 he accepted a position in the English Department at Seabury Hall, a college-preparatory secondary school in Makawao, Maui. There he taught writing and literature classes, served as department chairman and representative to the school’s board, and he created a drama program, which included for-credit acting classes. For many years he directed and wrote plays, built sets, and staged public-attended student productions while teaching full-time in the English Department—his signature class being the school’s required “Expos,” or expository writing. In the late 1980s he established the school’s Arts Department, hiring drama, dance, visual art, and music teachers and thereby making that school’s dedication to the arts its second-highest bragging point (after college admissions). When he withdrew from full-time classroom teaching in the early ’90s in order to create a career as a self-employed writer, Seabury Hall created an award in his name: The Paul Wood Arts Award, given each year to one or more graduating seniors.
Since then he has continued to work as a teaching artist, primarily offering residencies in elementary schools, staff trainings, and teacher workshops. He is a long-time affiliate of Maui Arts & Cultural Center, and he is recognized as an “advanced teaching artist” by the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the
Arts. He calls his approach “Writing Without Pencils.” In 2013, by invitation, on two occasions, he presented teacher workshops at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. He continues to teach as a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College.
His published writing has been honored in Hawai‘i—best in the state from Society of Professional Journalists (five times), Hawai‘i Publishers Association (three times),the Hawai‘i Ecotourism Association (“Travel Writer of the Year 2013”) and in 2006 the Elliott Cades Award for Literature. Other recognitions have come from the International Association of Business Communicators, the Public Relations Society of America, the Lowell Thomas Travel Writing Award, and the Telly Award. Paul Wood-authored books available at this time on Amazon: Four Wheels Five Corners; False Confessions; Lurigancho; The Ingenious Life of Melbourne Smith.