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Reaching Kids by Ron Richards

Reaching Kids

by Ron Richards

604 pages
Reaching Kids is the autobiographical story of the nearly four decades the author spent in public high schools. The Debate team Richards coached at Broad Run H. S. became one of the most successful teams in Virginia.

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Category: Education:Teaching
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About the Book
As a college student at the University of Maryland in the late 1960s, Richards had no thoughts of becoming a teacher. After graduation he became a Montgomery County police officer in Silver Spring, Maryland. In 1973, he moved to Manassas, Virginia, to open a pet store. In 1981, as he was closing his pet shop, Richards began working as a substitute teacher in Prince William County, Virginia. Suffice it to say he fell in love with the classroom and decided this was how he wanted to spend his life. Despite having not taken any Education classes in college and not being certified to teach, he applied for a Social Studies position at Osbourn Park High School in Manassas, Virginia. He was given a two-year provisional certificate and was required to take all the classes necessary to be fully certified by the conclusion of those two years. In the Fall of 1981, he began his career teaching American History and World History. Thus began his time in the classroom which would span the next thirty-eight years. In the Fall of 1983, he created the school’s first debate team, beginning a highly successful career as a high school debate coach.

In the Fall of 1984, Richards left Prince William County to take a position in Loudoun County at Broad Run High School in Ashburn, Virginia. He immediately took over the school’s existing debate team which he coached for the next thirty-five years, shaping it into one of the most successful high school debate programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia. During those years his teams were so dominant at the district, regional, and state levels Richards would see himself nominated for and inducted into the Virginia High School League Hall of Fame in 2011. In that same year a chapter of the National Federation of High Schools would name him Educator of the Year for Region II, which includes seven states and the District of Columbia.

In the 1986-1987 academic year, Richards taught Patton Oswalt in both Honors Government and Economics. He recruited Patton for the forensics team to compete in humorous interpretation. Patton would go on to win the district, regional, and state championships that year; the only VHSL triple champion at Broad Run in 1987. Before Patton graduated Richards joked with him that he should forget college. His future was making people laugh. This proved to be somewhat prophetic.

In Reaching Kids, Richards maintains the impact of teachers extends well beyond the confines of their classrooms. For young or aspiring teachers, this is the perfect book.



About the Author
Ron Richards Richards graduated from the University of Maryland in 1969. He taught high school Social Studies for 38 years in Virginia. His Debate and Speech team at Broad Run H. S. would grow to become one of the most successful programs in Virginia.



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