Gisselle Washington | Staff Writer |
Mr. Thompson is a teacher who connects with his students. As a teacher, Mr. Thompson often captivates you with his intriguing anecdotes of being in the Air Force in Panama. But as an educator, he’s very sure to make mathematics more understandable for each and every student in the class just for the simple occasional satisfaction that if anything, at least one person will gain something from when he teaches. That inspires him.
After serving 22 years in education, Richard Thompson, the Pre-AP Geometry and AP Statistics teacher, will retire this year from Roosevelt High school.
Mr. Thompson helps geometry student Ilyana Hopper with a math problem.
“Roosevelt [has a] reputation across the district but the students here are pretty good students,” Thompson said. “So I enjoy teaching the Pre-AP and AP level students the most here.”
Thompson received a Bachelor of Science and Physics from Florida State University in 1975 and a Master of Science and Operations Management in 1986. Thompson described having the most pride in teaching himself AP Statistics at the request of the school to teach it.
“I had to teach myself how to teach AP Statistics because when I got asked to teach it, I had three Stats classes in 1974 and so it was [counting] 84, 94, 2004; it was thirty plus years between those classes and trying to teach,” Thompson said.
Thompson has been teaching at Roosevelt since 2005 and taught courses in Algebra I, Algebra II, and Pre-AP Calculus. Currently he teaches AP Probability and Statistics and PreAP Geometry.
“When I think of Mr. Thompson I think of a dedicated teacher who is here every day and works with his students to help make them successful,”fellow math teacher Roger Kramer said. “He is patient and whenever I see him he’s always available for his students and I know that he works really hard to prepare them for his next course.”
Mathematics, more than any other subject, is dependent on information you’ve learned before and carrying concepts over to expand on knowledge to solve even more complex problems. As a teacher, Mr. Thompson takes the time for a student to get back on track.
“He’s really personal,” Geometry student Nathaniel McCormick said. “ He [Thompson] always makes sure you understand the concept before he moves on. He just teaches the subject in a way that students can understand. He wants to make sure that you yourself are getting an education and not just the class or part of the class.”
After his farewell, Thompson plans to spend vacation time with his wife in their very own RV in different parts of the United States such as Florida, California, and Alaska as his first act of retirement.