Teacher Spotlight: Eric Richardson


Nick Chernisky

English teacher Eric Richardson works at his desk.

Nick Chernisky, Staff Writer

On June 30, English teacher Eric Richardson is retiring from the state.

What are your plans for retirement? 

I have a four-year-old, which means I can’t really retire. I’m leaving Fairfax County and then my wife and I are going to move to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She’s from there, so we agreed when we got married that when I retired we would move to be closer to her parents. I’m looking and interviewing for jobs in North Carolina right now.

What is your favorite memory at Chantilly? 

I really love and am proud of the World Civilizations program. It originally started when I worked with Mr. Downes, but then I was partners with Mr. Koch and we have been working together for I think 10 years. That was a really great class to teach—one of my favorite classes. It was two or three years ago, Mr. Koch had a student teacher, and that particular group of kids was just really enthusiastic. They threw a big party and one of the kids made a video about World Civ that he shared with everybody so that particular class stands out.

What hobbies or interests will you pursue? 

I was a rock climber for about 20 years but I haven’t climbed in about seven years so I’m kind of hoping that when I get to North Carolina there will be some good climbing down there. I eventually want to teach my son as well. I think for the most part my hobby is just going to be “dad” until my son gets a little bit older and can entertain himself.

What tips do you have for young people planning for retirement?

The best thing any student can do is enter a profession they love. Don’t do it for the money, do it for the love of the work, whatever it is. I’m not lamenting that I’m going to have to continue working. I’m excited that I’m going to be able to continue working and I’m excited about teaching in a new environment. I’m looking at applying to private schools as well as public schools and I look forward to that. 

I’m not ready to retire, I just kind of have to retire from the state and from the county but I want to keep working. Any money I make now is just going to be a bonus. [Retiring] is not really a need, but I want to build a college fund. I’m looking forward to continuing working.

Do you feel like you are ready to retire?

Not in terms of the work, but I’m ready to retire from Fairfax County. It’s been an awesome place to work for the past 28 years but I’m also ready to move on and just start over again and start something new.

Any closing statements?

Chantilly is a great school. I’ve worked at a few schools in my career and so as a great school it has a lot of really great opportunities for the students here. I know that last year and half has really been awful and I hope that—and I know this is asking a lot of young people—but I hope that the students here at Chantilly can kind of set aside the last 18 months and moving forward focus on what a great opportunity they have simply by living in Chantilly and being able to attend school. Take advantage of that to overcome what they’ve experienced the last 18 months.