Mr. Richard Adams transitioned into the Swampscott High School Faculty as a Math Teacher for subjects ranging from Algebra 1 to Geometry for the 2013-2014 school year. He was warmly welcomed into the community by students and faculty alike.
As the sun rose on August 26, teachers filed into the auditorium for orientation and first day festivities. Being new to the school did not hinder Adams from active participation in these events. Mr. Adams could not have been more actively involved noted Jill Sewell, a Chemistry teacher.
Adams’ Mentor, Mrs. Sewell is a 12 year veteran teacher. In order to be a mentor in the Swampscott Public School District, one must gain professional status by working in the district for 4 years. As another requirement, a mentor is obliged to attend a training, typically consisting of 2 days in the summer.
The mentor system was put into place to make new faculty members comfortable, instruct them as to how the school works, and advise them on protocols and interactions with administration.
Mrs. Sewell met with Mr. Adams in the summer to get to know him. “Rick is a really positive guy who seems to love everything about life, and his attitude radiates unto his students and coworkers. Swampscott is very lucky to have him with us!”
Growing up in New York, Adams graduated from Kenmore East High School in Tonawanda (near Buffalo), where he was a proud bulldog, playing football and winning championships all 4 years. The Bulldogs were also the number one team in the state of New York Adams’ Senior year. Adams graduated with many scholarship offers and ultimately accepted admission to Lehigh University. At Lehigh, Adams continued to play football as a Center for the Mountain Hawks, where he led the team to win an NCAA Football National Championship.
Adams attended the University at Buffalo for graduate school where he sought monetary success when he graduated. He was offered a Job at Merrill Lynch, where he worked for 20 years. During that time, he received a call from the Head Coach at Penn State, Joe Paterno, who asked Adams to be the Tight End Coach for the team. Adams declined and later left Wall Street to move to New England, where he says people live longer than those in Manhattan.
Adams is involved in the NFL as the head statistician for the New York Jets. Football holds a major part in Adams’ life and so when he came to New England, Adams coached high school football in various towns around the Boston area. He loved teaching kids, and loved math at the same time. Adams aced all of his teaching exams and was hired by Stoneham High School as a math teacher. He spent 12 years teaching there before bringing his expertise and optimistic personality to Big Blue.
“I’m all about building character. If a student is made to feel good and confident, they will succeed. Everyone deserves to feel good,” said Adams. “Life’s too short.” Adams starts every one of his math classes with a motivational quote. He said, “yesterday’s was from Buddha.”
Adams says he has two goals for his classes, each prominently written on the whiteboard. One is, “Walk out of class smarter than when you walked in,” and the other is, “Be better today than you were yesterday.” He said that if students are struggling one day, they are encouraged to ask questions the next day.
Along with his two class mottos, Adams has many motivational posters around his classroom. Words about respecting yourself and others, excellence, believing and achieving, attitude is everything, character, and keys to success. His students receive life lessons in addition to learning math.
Juliana Mora, a Freshman and student of Mr. Adams said, “He is determined to help his students succeed and is willing to assist them every step of the way!” Mora goes on to mention, “His presence in a room cannot be ignored. He is a great teacher!”
Ultimately, Adams is happy to be here with such “awesome students and intelligent teachers” in such a “student-centric” environment.
When he is not teaching, Adams can be found grading papers by the Swampscott oceanfront, or writing his first motivational book, Life is the Letter F. Watch for it on shelves when it’s finished!
Austin Sagan can be contacted at: email@example.com
Richard Adams can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org