Secretary Duncan Thanks BLTN’s Rich Gorham

May 14th, 2014 | By | Category: BLTN and Policy, BLTN Teachers, Issue, Spring 2014

Gorham-et-alDuring Teacher Appreciation Week this year, Secretary Arne Duncan called Rich Gorham to thank him for his work in the Lawrence Public Schools and with Andover Bread Loaf (ABL) and its international outreach work in Haiti and Pakistan. Rich was one of only a handful of teachers to receive “Courage Calls,” in a year when ED is particularly interested in pointing out teachers assuming leadership roles as the Department and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards roll out the Teach to Lead Initiative. (For more profiles on Bread Loaf Teachers and teacher leadership, see “BLTN and Leadership” from our Fall 2013 issue.)

Currently the English Language Arts Content Coach for the Lawrence Public School High School campus, Rich works with 70 general education and special education teachers and 6 principals in smaller learning communities. Rich has taught in the district for over 18 years. He has also worked for 13 years at Phillips Andover, where he is the Associate Director of Andover Bread Loaf Writing Workshop and a wrestling and track coach.

Rich Gorham takes the call from Arne Duncan while pulling up to coach track.

Rich Gorham takes the call from Arne Duncan while pulling up to coach track.

Rich has built partnerships among the students and teachers of both schools, utilizing the Andover Bread Loaf Network as the catalyst to empower students’ voices. Rich was 1 of 14 people on the district’s Stakeholder Group that worked to develop a set of recommendations for the state receiver on how to quickly improve education in a district with over 85% high poverty and 90% Spanish speaking students. Rich has been a key player in initiating a new model of student-led professional development to build relationships between teachers and their students and develop cultural awareness. He works closely with community groups, such as the Boys and Girls Club, Lawrence Community Works, and Elevated Thought, a non-profit art group for students.

Rich has been the director of all four of ABL’s international conferences (Karachi, Tanzania, Kenya, and in August 2014, Haiti), leading teams of U.S. and international teachers and students in week-long professional development and writing programs.

Rich has designed and presented several BLTN-related professional development and student writing workshops in several cities, including New Orleans, New York City, and Boston. He has also presented at several National Council of Teachers of English conventions.

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