Richard Montgomery High School: Wikis


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Richard Montgomery High School
Established 1892
Type Public Secondary
Principal Nelson McLeod II
Students 2,121 (2009-10)
Grades 9–12
Location Rockville, Maryland, USA
District Montgomery County Public Schools
Campus Urban
Colors Black and Gold
Mascot Rockets
Rival Rockville High School
Newspaper The Tide
Website Richard Montgomery
Richard Montgomery High School aerial.jpg

Richard Montgomery High School (#201) is a secondary public school located in Rockville, Maryland.

Richard Montgomery High School is named for Richard Montgomery, an American General who died while attempting to capture the British-held (now Canadian) city of Quebec. The school is usually referred to by either its full name, or by the acronym "RM" in everyday parlance by its students and alumni, presumably because shortening it to Montgomery would be too vague, and also perhaps to distinguish it from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring. Over the years, Richard Montgomery has won awards for being the number one school in Montgomery County and Maryland state.[citation needed] Intel Science Talent Search finalists, national essay competition winners, and multiple Presidential Scholars have been recent graduates of RM.



The school houses Montgomery County's first International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB). This competitive-entry magnet program draws students from all over Montgomery County and has a IB diploma rate of 99%, the highest in the United States of its kind.[1] It also includes the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP), in which freshmen and sophomores take rigorous classes. The average class size is 24.8, although this number has recently been increasing, with a student to staff ratio of 12.8:1.[1]

In 2007, Richard Montgomery was featured in Newsweek magazine as the 27th highest-rated high school in the nation.[2] In June 2002, it won its first award in National Scholastic Championship at George Washington University. Richard Montgomery High School won the 2003 "Blue Ribbon in Education Award" by the United States Department of Education. RM has been identified as the number one school in the D.C. metropolitan area in the Challenge Index for Rigor.


Upon graduation, 79.2% of the class of 2008 planned for only post-secondary education,14.5% for post-secondary education and employment, 1.1% planned to go straight into the workforce and 1.4% into the military. There was a 92.1% attendance rate and a 2.0% drop out rate in 2002-2003.

The student body of 2008-2009 was 42.4% White, 24.5% Asian, 17% African American, 15.9% Hispanic, and 0.2% American Indian.[3] Currently 2,150 students are enrolled and approximately 15.6% of the student body is eligible for free/reduced lunches.

History and campus

Rockville High School was established in 1892, when the state Board of Education first allocated funds to local school to educate high school students. The first class graduated from Rockville High School in 1897.

A new high school was constructed and opened for use in September 1905 on East Montgomery Avenue and Monroe Street. An addition was built in 1917, expanding the school to 19 classrooms. When the Rockville Colored High School was opened in 1935, the school for white children was renamed Richard Montgomery High School to distinguish between the two.

The building was completed in 1942 at 49,167 sq ft (4,567.8 m2), after a fire destroyed the old high school in 1940. Additions to the school were made in 1952 at 39,895 sq ft (3,706.4 m2), 1959 at 37,425 sq ft (3,476.9 m2), in 1964 at 56,703 sq ft (5,267.9 m2), 1969 at 4,000 sq ft (370 m2), 1975 at 35,890 sq ft (3,334 m2), 1976 at 8,300 sq ft (770 m2), and 1988 at 1,938 sq ft (180.0 m2). A new 311,500 sq ft (28,940 m2) building, completed in December 2007, was built on the athletic fields. The old 233,318 sq ft (21,676.0 m2) building was demolished over the summer of 2008, and new athletic fields were created on the site of the old building. Until a few months into the 2008-2009 school year, all athletic practices and games were held at other sites. The current campus is 26.2 acres (106,000 m²) in size.[1][4]

In April 2008, the DC Examiner newspaper ran a series of four articles revealing that the school principal, Mr. Moreno Carrasco, had allegedly been running a private business on school time. The third article reported that Carrasco was using materials that appeared to be plagiarized from a seminar that he had attended at school district expense.[5][6][7][8]. Similar articles appeared in the Washington Post[9], the Montgomery County Gazette[10], and the Montgomery Sentinel[11]. Shortly after the third Examiner article was published, Carrasco went on extended sick leave.

During Carrasco's absence, the RMHS newspaper, The Tide, requested that administrators approve publication of an article about the investigation into Carrasco's alleged ethics violations and business endeavors. Assistant Principal Veronica McCall denied permission for publication of the article, but was overridden by Community Superintendent Dr. Sherry Liebes after The Tide editors announced that they would go public with news of the denial.[12][13] The article was finally published online on April 24, 2008.[14]

The Carrasco scandal triggered publication of an article by Wayne Goldstein, president of the Montgomery County Civic Federation. In the article, which was published in the April 22, 2008 issue of the Montgomery Sentinel and on the MCCF web site, Goldstein asserts that Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jerry Weast "has little concern about the ethical behavior of himself or others."[15]

On June 10, 2008, Montgomery County Public Schools announced that Carrasco had been named the new director of secondary leadership training. The announcement also stated that the allegations about Carrasco's involvement in private consulting were "thoroughly investigated" and "not substantiated." [16]

On June 23, 2008, Nelson McLeod II was named the new principal of Richard Montgomery High School.[17]


Richard Montgomery opened its new, modernized building following the end of students' 2007 Winter Break. The new building features wireless internet to the teachers, LCD projectors in every classroom, dozens of Promethean interactive whiteboards and learner response devices, a modern auditorium, and a good quality recording and TV studio. The new facilities lack the capability to access older forms of media, such as material on VHS and photographic slides; however, teachers sometimes bring in their own video players to rectify the problem.

The school has an artificial turf stadium next to tennis courts and a track. The location where the former school stood is the current location of the baseball fields.

ID Policy

One of the new policies following students' move to the new building was the institution of a policy requiring students to have their Student IDs visible at all times.[citation needed]

As of the 2008-2009 school year, the ID policy has been changed. Students are no longer required to wear their ID in some fashion, but must be able to produce it if a staff member requests it.

Extracurricular activities


Several of RM's athletes advanced to the professional level, including Gordy Coleman (Class of '52?) with the Cincinnati Reds and Mike Curtis (Class of '61) with the All-Pro Baltimore Colts & James David Riggleman (Class of '71) Manager of the Washington Nationals.

Richard Montgomery's Girls' Swimming and Diving Team has been undefeated in dual meets since 2003. The Girls' swimming and diving team is currently ranked 12th in the nation and holds the Division I title ('04, '05, '06) and County title ('05, '06, '07). The Girls' Swim Team has a record of 22-0 over the past 4 years.

In the 2007-2008 school year the Golf team went undefeated for the first time in RM history. Two of their players also won the Athlete of the Month award for their performance. In the 2009-2010 year they placed second in the Kyle (Middle) Division.

Cross country, Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field are three of Richard Montgomery's accomplished sports programs. They have won four Maryland State Cross Country Boys team championships in 1975, 1980, 1990 & 1995 and were runners-up in 1979 & 1981. The 1975 & 1980 teams were coached by Lowell Fritts, the coach from 1971-1986. The 1990 & 1995 teams were coached by Scott Spear, the current coach since 1988. Additionally, the school has won numerous team and individual Track & Field state championships.

Richard Montgomery's tennis team was at the top of Division I in 2006. However, in 2007 the team was taken on by a new coach, and it dropped back down to Division II. Fall of 2008 the team has gone back up to Division I.

Other Activities

National Forensics League, Musicals, Plays, Choral and Instrumental ensembles have helped distinguish Richard Montgomery as a noted school for the arts. Its literary magazine Fine Lines and the Citizenship Law Related Education Program (CLREP) Mock Trial Team have won multiple national and statewide championships and honors.

Richard Montgomery is one of very few schools in the entire state of Maryland which has not only its own student newspaper, "The Tide" but also its own award winning student literary magazine "Fine Lines".

Richard Montgomery's Quizbowl team (known as It's Academic) has won numerous awards and honors, including a victory at the National Scholastics Championship in 2002. As of 2007, they are the highest ranked team in the state of Maryland and the Maryland state quizbowl champions. In 2006, they won the NAQT High School National Championship Tournament, defeating State College Area High School in the final at Chicago.

Richard Montgomery's International Space Settlement Design Competition team won the 2008 cycle at Houston, Texas.


The musical program at Richard Montgomery is led by Ronald Frezzo who directs the choral music program and Peter Perry who directs the instrumental music program. Both departments have a number of different musical ensembles requiring various degrees of skill. All ensembles meet during the school day as scheduled classes with extra rehearsals and performances in the evenings. The most skilled ensembles such as the Madrigals, Richard Montgomery's chamber choir, often travel off campus to perform at various venues.

The school also has a long tradition of student led ensembles which rehearse on their own and perform both at official venues such as the choral concerts and unofficial venues such as coffee houses hosted by Fine Lines. Notable examples include, student led a cappella groups such as "The Testostertones," "Resonance," and "In Tune" which are similar in operation to the many collegiate groups found on college campuses today and bands such as "Stuck In The Mud," "Purely Platonic," "Ladies' Shock Battalion of Death," "Room 320," "The Corduroys" and "Vociferous".


The largest extracurricular club in the school is the Black Maskers Drama Club, boasting a membership of approximately 200. Members of Black Maskers may, upon participation in a sufficient number of shows in various capacities, become members of the International Thespian Society Troupe #1748. Richard Montgomery shows one drama in the fall and a musical in the spring. The Drama Club is led by Emily Davis, Eric Rodney, and Denise Saladyga and music for the spring musicals is directed by Peter Perry. While Ron Frezzo used to direct the non-instrumental music, he has recently left that responsibility with private teachers.

Associated with, but not under the Drama Club are the Shakespeare Club and the Improv Club which meet regularly but in a more informal setting.

Honors Societies

The school also has seven honors societies. These include the National Honors Society, the Alejo Carpentier chapter of the Spanish Honors Society, the French Honors Society, the Chinese Honors Society, the English Honors Society, and the Tri-M Music Honors Society. In fall 2008, a chapter of the Mu Alpha Theta Math National Honors Society was added, and in fall 2009 an "Art Honors Society" was formed.

Student Government and Politics

RM's student body is represented through the Student Government Association (SGA), whose officers are elected each April. The student body at large is represented through a system of delegates who attend monthly General Assemblies. The SGA officers appoint an Executive Board to help in community service projects and special functions. Additionally, each grade elects four officers every April. RM also has politically oriented clubs such as Young Democrats, Young Republicans, and Junior State of America.

Notable alumni


External links

Coordinates: 39°04′42″N 77°08′45″W / 39.078442°N 77.14583°W / 39.078442; -77.14583

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