In high school, Kevin Richards focused almost exclusively on football. He spent most of his free time practicing, and it paid off. He was accepted into the University of Albany, near his home town, to play football on their team.
He played against people who would become NFL players, and in front of thousands of spectators.
“There is nothing like playing in front of 20,000 people,” he said. In one playoff game against Hofstra, his team blocked a field goal, and then went on to score to win.
“I remember making the last point of the game and my coach coming onto the field,” he said. “I can see his face right now.”
After college, Kevin started working in sales, like his father, but he found it to be too boring for him. He was looking for another career when he had an idea.
“I remembered all my coaches and being on a team,” he said. “And I said to myself: ‘I want to be a teacher.”
He brought his love of sports with him, and became a coach as well.
After he finished his degree he worked at a private school for seven years.
“I wore a tie and a blazer to work every day,” he said, “and I was always Mr. Richards.”
After his wife got a job offer in Vermont they moved here in June, and he came to teach at U-32. Coming from the formality of his previous job he likes the more laid-back attitude.
“One of the things I love about U-32 is being on a first-name basis,” he said.
He coaches the football team and teaches social studies at U-32. He always liked social studies and history, and brings the same passion from on the field into the classroom.
Kevin is teaching 10th graders about political science in Democratic Roots.
“History is interesting because it is the story of people,” he said. “We are talking about the “isms” in dem roots, communism, socialism, capitalism, etc. What’s important to remember is that it all happens to people.”