Last month a reader sent me a link to this inspirational story about a beloved teacher in the Milwaukee Public School System, Rich Ringland. Here is an excerpt from that story. Mr. Ringland died from multiple myeloma:
Ringhand known as ‘Math Man’
MPS teacher’s expectation of students helped make a difference
By Amy Rabideau Silvers of the Journal Sentinel
Feb. 20, 2011
Rich Ringhand was the kind of teacher who made a difference.
He made a difference to Bonita McClain Vinson, who wrote about him in 2006 as she earned her doctorate.
“It is, in large part, thanks to my sixth-grade teacher, Richard Ringhand of the Milwaukee Public Schools,” she said in a piece for the Journal Sentinel.
“I think I barely passed to the sixth grade,” Vinson continued. “I remember sitting in the home room on the first day of sixth grade in 1974. . . . In walked a white, hippy-looking man with scraggly clothes and a hairy face. ‘Oh boy,’ I thought. ‘Here we go again.’ “
Things proved to be very different than she expected. He smiled. He walked with a bounce in his step. He wrote each student’s name on the board.
“He told us that we could all be successful,” Vinson wrote. “Something in his words told me that this would be a different year. What I did not know was that his expectation of the class and me would change my entire future.”
It took cancer to get Ringhand out of the classroom.
“He always called himself ‘the Math Man,’ ” said his wife, Mary Roidt Ringhand. “ ’I’m a numbers guy,’ he’d say.”
Ringhand was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009, teaching through the 2009-’10 school year. Then came September.
“He was working his new dream job – math team leader at Golda Meir School – when he learned the stem-cell treatment hadn’t worked,” Mary said. His doctor said that he had to stop teaching, because the risk of infection during chemotherapy was too great.
“He planned to return to teaching in January, but in December the cancer came back with a vengeance,” she said. “It was hard for him not to be able to teach.”
Ringhand died Feb. 12. He was 62.
Read more by clicking HERE.
Sounds like a great guy. Another myeloma casualty. Like my friend from Germany, Thomas always asks:
“Where is the cure?”
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat