Richard Nelson, 2002
Medford High School
I am writing to recognize and nominate Mr. Richard Nelson from Medford High School for the "Looking to Honor One of Our Own" award. Mr. Nelson was an outstanding math teacher at Medford High School for 34 years and was a major reason why many Medford High graduates have continued and been successful in the field of education and mathematics. He brought an infectious enthusiasm into the classroom and his passion for his profession was unequaled.
I had Mr. Nelson as one of my high school math teachers 25 years ago, where he shared with me and all his students his love of mathematics and his passion for teaching. After college I was hired to teach mathematics in the Medford Public Schools and I was fortunate to teach three doors down from Mr. Nelson for 13 years. He was my inspiration, my mentor, and a big reason I chose the profession I did. As my colleague he was someone I tried to emulate and I feel he is the finest teacher I have ever come across. He had a love for his job, and a dedication to his students that was truly remarkable.
He was offered the Mathematics Department Chairmanship many times in the last ten years and has refused it each time because he is a teacher and loves to teach. He was always willing to spend time with other teachers, new and old, in math and other subjects discussing teaching and learning. He was a constant source of information for me and many of my colleagues who needed a question answered, a problem solved or any topic in need of discussion. As a former President of the Medford Teachers Association he was knowledgeable about contract issues and was a great source for everyone to determine what steps were needed. His credibility with the faculty was unparalleled because of his loyalty to the teaching profession.
Richard Nelson was respected by administrators, teachers, parents and students. He retired last June after thirty four years of teaching and because of the job he did and the thousands of Medford High School graduates he inspired and the hundreds of teachers he encouraged he would be a worthy recipient of this honor.
Mark K. Smith