SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Approaching each year as a challenge, Richard Pitman was looking for a tough job that would allow him to use what he learned in college. His career started in biology and eventually made its way into teaching. “It’s a really beautiful thing when a class gels, and you can really get a bunch of young people thinking and asking questions,” said Pitman.

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He says every year is a new puzzle. That means pushing students who show promise but aren’t yet engaged. “I’m big about calling home, I really want to get the family involved if possible because I see them for an hour a day maybe, and the family sees them for a lot more,” said Pitman.

Richard enjoys getting to know his students by figuring out each other’s styles by relating and learning more about one another. He explains high school is more than just learning. His method of pushing students and being involved as much as possible has made a large impact on his students. Some have even stopped him on the street to give an update on where they are at now.

For Pitman, receiving the Golden Apple Award is a familiar feeling “that just feels just as good” as his encounter with his student who came to thank him for his efforts in driving him to find potential. Pitman also pushed his students toward community service. They are engaged with groups like the Santa Fe Watershed Association, the Interfaith Community Shelter, and Bike Santa Fe.

Pitman is a teacher at Santa Fe High School.