Saturday, January 25, 2014


We decided to kickoff our campaign of 52in52 with someone who has already been down the road and back again. A retiree who has educated thousands of students and instead of winding down after four decades of teaching, chooses to push forth with his on-going genealogy study. Here is a Mainer who has taught for 43 years, received the highest honor a Science Teacher can receive, The Presidential Award, and has authored a handful of classroom teaching guides and textbooks. It is with our utmost respect that we proudly introduce Mr. Richard "Dick" Lord, Jr..  

Being that this is our first entry we are not really sure on what format we are going to adopt. However, with someone as bright as Mr. Lord we couldn't help ourselves from tossing a few questions his way to see if we could soak up some of the wisdom that he has gathered while living in Maine and teaching up at Presque Isle High School.

DNA: What do you enjoy most about being a retiree? What do you do with most of your time nowadays? Is retirement like you thought it would be?

Mr. Lord: "The best thing about being retired is that I can do what I want on my own schedule. I no longer have to do things at specific times dictated by a school schedule. I use much of my time doing several things I enjoy. I collect ancestors. My hobby is genealogy and I spend a lot of time looking for new leaves on the family tree.

 I am also writing a book of classroom ideas and suggestions for biology teachers and hope to have it published someday. And I enjoy spending time with my grandson and attending his athletic activities. Since I really didn’t have any preconceived ideas on what retirement would be like, I am still learning about the freedom I have to do what I want when I want to."

DNA: How many teaching awards have you received? What did it mean to you to have received the Presidential Award back in '86?

Mr. Lord: "I have received 17 teaching awards at the national level, as well as one state and one local award. I was also recognized with honorable mentions or finalist awards four times. My biography has been published in 15 reference books.

The Presidential Award is the highest honor a science or math teacher can receive. I’ve heard it said that it’s comparable to an actor receiving an Oscar. One math and one science teacher is chosen from each state every year. I was extremely excited and humbled to be recognized by receiving this very special award in 1986. It showed me that I was being effective as a science teacher and that this was recognized by a select committee of scientists and educators.

It also reignited my passion for teaching, because now there would be higher expectations for me. Other teachers would look to me for inspiration. I would have to do the best I could do in order to be a part of this group of wonderful, innovative and creative teachers from all over the country."

DNA: If you could go back and do your working career any different based on what you have learned now...what would you do?

Mr. Lord: "I would have started being more original and imaginative from the first day of my career, rather than following the older teaching methods that I had observed in my student days. When I broke the bonds of "old school" teaching, there was no limit to what I could do to make my classes stimulating, motivating, informative, and enjoyable for my students."

DNA: If you could share some words of wisdom with a youthful - what life secret would you share?

Mr. Lord: "Seek God’s plan for your life. When you find something you are passionate about, immerse yourself in it and discover all you can about it. Surround yourself with people that support your goals. Follow your dreams."

Mr. Lord currently resides in Saco with his wife Marcia - a retired French teacher of Presque Isle High School.


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