Mr. Richards replaces Mr. Crush


Mr. Richards grades paper by Alex Coburn

Alex Coburn

Mr. Richards grades paper by Alex Coburn
Mr. Richards grades papers during his planning period. Photo by Alex Coburn.

When Mr. Crush resigned, many of his students were wondering who would take his place. For two weeks the classes were managed by a variety of substitute teachers until a new teacher was announced: Mr. David Richards (Math). Richards is a first year teacher, which is unusual for Manual. Before teaching here, he taught seventh and eighth grade math at Bullitt Lick Middle School. His first job was in the Air Force.

“I was active duty for four years, and I’ve been in the reserves ever since. In total, I have been in the military for almost ten years,” Richards said.

Just like his predecessor Mr. Crush, Richards was surprised by how much Manual students differed from the students he had taught in the past.

“Besides the obvious, middle to high school, the demographic of students is completely opposing. Most of the students at Bullitt Lick come from a rural background and are on a free lunch plan. Also, motivation to learn and behavior often hindered the learning process and can make it frustrating to teach, but that’s almost any middle school,” Richards said.

He also found that in general, Manual students highly value their education.

“Students at Manual know where they want to go and what they need to do to get there. They might not enjoy the work, but they do it and don’t offer too much resistance,” he said. “If I had to pick my favorite thing about teaching Manual students, it would have to be their maturity. I like to have fun and joke around in the classroom, but that is impossible with a student body that can’t refocus after a joke.”

Mr. Richards’ students all know that in his free time he enjoys shopping for sales at Dillard’s, but that’s only one of the many things he does outside his teaching life.

“If I get some free time, I spend it with my family or playing basketball. I also play Clash of Clans, but I consider that family time too since my wife and I are in a clan together,” Richards said. “I also serve one weekend a month for the Air Force Reserves and play in Texas Hold’em tournaments.”

Even though he’s only been at Manual for a short time, Richards has already made a good impression on his students.

“He’s a really nice guy with a really good teaching method,” Sarah Kelley (10, HSU). “I think he’ll be a really good teacher at Manual.”