Walter Johnson teacher receives Marian Greenblatt award


Photo courtesy of Khanh Chau

Members of the science department flock Pat Richards lawn in celebration of her teacher of the year award. Richards was thrilled by her colleagues’ gesture and the award itself.

Every year The Marian Greenblatt Education Fund awards each of three Master Teachers $2,000. Winners of the award are chosen based on their ability to inspire students and encourage younger teachers to achieve the best of their teaching by ability. This year Patricia Richards, a science teacher at Walter Johnson High School, was one of the winners.

About The Winner
On March 10, The Marian Greenblatt Education Fund named four educators who will receive the 2021 Marian Greenblatt Excellence in Education Awards. Three Master Teachers were selected, representing high school, middle school and elementary school teachers as well as one rising star. Out of those four award recipients was one of Walter Johnson’s very own, Patricia Richards.

Patricia Richards is a science teacher at Walter Johnson High School whose energy and enthusiasm inspire students and faculty alike. She was instrumental in increasing the participation of minority students in high-level science courses and in boosting AP class participation by 59 percent overall. She helped to reduce the number of minority students receiving a D or E in science classes by 40 percent. She brought new AP courses to the school and helped create a summer AP teacher training workshop series. Guest speakers she hosted at the school include Dr. Anthony Fauci from NIH, Dr. Bonnie Bassler from Princeton University, and others. She organized a student trip to the Galapagos Islands. Through a partnership with Rutgers University, Ms. Richards’ molecular biology students discovered and published novel gene sequences.

“One cannot look at any aspect of the culture and climate at Walter Johnson High School without seeing a direct pathway to Ms. Richards. She is a mentor, leader, teacher, colleague, influencer, creator, believer, and so much more.” Jennifer Baker, Principal of Walter Johnson high school, said.

About The Award
The Marian Greenblatt Education Fund is a non-profit organization established in 1988 to honor the memory of Dr. Marian Greenblatt, a leader in education and education policy in Montgomery County. Since its inception, the Fund has awarded more than $189,000 to outstanding teachers and students. In addition to its annual Master Teacher and Rising Star Teacher awards, the Fund presents awards for student excellence in Social Studies and in Foreign Languages.

Master Teacher Award recipients receive a $2000 award, and Rising-Star awardees receive $1000. In the spring, one Master Teacher will be named Montgomery County Teacher of the Year and could ultimately become National Teacher of the Year. In order to be considered for a nomination, teachers must have spent the majority of their time teaching and have six years of experience in Montgomery County Schools.

Other Winners
The other winners are Joseph Bostic of Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, Master Teacher. Sara Kopf of New Hampshire Estates Elementary School, Master Teacher. Lindsey Flint of Chevy Chase Elementary School, Rising-Star Teacher.