How many of us can look back and say I loved my economics teacher? A Canandaigua Academy student can. She asked us to surprise Dan Richardson with a News 8 Golden Apple Award.
Dan teaches Economics in the International Baccalaureate Program. His classes are challenging. Senior Ambrielle Army has had Mr. Richardson for 2 years. She's hoping to study Engineering at Cornell. He's played a big role in getting her ready for college. "He's definitely prepared me for a more holistic sense of learning as opposed to memorization. That's one of his key lessons is not to memorize things but to try to understand them better. Which is something I really respect and something I get a lot out of."
Principal Richard Faccio says Mr. Richardson is "Very exuberant in what he teaches and he really buys into it. And he loves what he does and it shows through his teaching and that's why the kids love it as well."
We can't remember surprising an Economics teacher with a News 8 Golden Apple Award, so Dan Richardson is a first. He's been a teacher for 28 years and says Ambrielle's kind gesture reminds him of why he became a teacher in the first place. "It means everything. That's why you come in everyday and certainly hope you impact your students. A lot of times you don't know. The best part about my job is seeing a student who is struggling with concepts with ideas and who sticks with it and eventually gets it. I love to see the growth of the kids."
Dan Richardson is a News 8 Golden Apple Award winner. You can read Ambrielle's letter below.
Dear Channel 8,
Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find teachers who are not only content with their job, but passionate about education itself. Mr. Richardson teaches IB Economics to juniors and seniors at Canandaigua Academy, and I am in my second year of class with him.
In economics, Mr. Richardson teaches a potentially grueling subject in an interesting and relatable way. The attention he keeps to the understanding of each student is the reason IB Economics test scores are consistently great. He encourages keeping an open mind and truly understanding economics instead of memorization like many other classes. It is refreshing to be taught information in a way that directly applies to the world today.
In addition to teaching economics, he is also the IB program coordinator for the school, a difficult job that doesn't demand the level of concern and care he takes with each individual student. Not only does he go above and beyond in this manner, but he pursues each student in an effort to guide them through the college application process as well. His door is always open, and he is always willing to write a letter of recommendation, offer advice, and teach.
His sense of humor and in depth knowledge of the subject matter inspires a sense of respect in his students. I truly believe you would be hard-pressed to find a more passionate, kind, and patient teacher with genuine concern for all of his students, and I count myself lucky to be in his class.
Ambrielle Army, Canandaigua Academy Senior