Richard Montgomery High School

Richard Montgomery High School

Infobox Secondary school
name = Richard Montgomery High School

motto =
established = 1892
type = Public Secondary
principal = Nelson McLeod II
students = 1,969 (2008-9)
grades = 9–12
city = Rockville
state = Maryland
country = USA
district = Montgomery County Public Schools
campus = Urban
colors = Black and Gold
mascot = Rockets
newspaper = [ "The Tide"]
literary magazine = "Fine Lines"
rival = Rockville High School
website = [ Click]
picture =

Richard Montgomery High School (#201) is a secondary public school located in Rockville, Maryland.

Richard Montgomery High School is named for Richard Montgomery, an American General who died while attempting to capture the British-held (now Canadian) city of Quebec. The school is either usually referred to by its full name, or by the acronym "RM" in everyday parlance by its students and alumni, presumably because shortening it to "Montgomery" would be too vague, and also perhaps to distinguish it from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring.


The school houses Montgomery County's first International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB), which attracts top students from the entire county. It also includes the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP), in which freshmen and sophomores take rigorous classes. The average class size is 24.8, although this number has recently been increasing, with a student to staff ratio of 12.8:1. [ Richard Montgomery High School - #201 ] ]

In 2007, Richard Montgomery was featured in "Newsweek" magazine as the 27th highest-rated high school in the nation. [ [ America's Top Public High Schools | Newsweek Best High Schools | ] ] In June 2002, it won its first award in National Scholastic Championship at George Washington University. Richard Montgomery High School won the 2003 "Blue Ribbon in Education Award" by the United States Department of Education. RM has been identified as the number one school in the D.C. metropolitan area in the Challenge Index for Rigor.


Upon graduation, 92.9% of the class of 2003 planned to go through a type of post-secondary school, 4% plan to go straight into the workforce and 0.9% into the military. There was a 91.9% attendance rate and a 1.8% drop out rate in 2002-2003.

The student body is 44.6% White, 23.6% Asian, 14.6% Hispanic, 17% African American, and 0.2% American Indian. []

Currently 1,924 students are enrolled and approximately 14.9% of the student body is eligible for free/reduced lunches.

History and campus

Rockville High School was established in 1892, when the state Board of Education first allocated funds to local school to educate high school students. The first class graduated from Rockville High School in 1897.

A new high school was constructed and opened for use in September 1905 on East Montgomery Avenue and Monroe Street. An addition was built in 1917, expanding the school to 19 classrooms. When the Rockville Colored High School was opened in 1935, the school for white children was renamed Richard Montgomery High School to distinguish between the two.

The building was completed in 1942 at convert|49167|sqft|m2|abbr=on, after a fire destroyed the old high school in 1940. Additions to the school were made in 1952 at convert|39895|sqft|m2|abbr=on, 1959 at convert|37425|sqft|m2|abbr=on, in 1964 at convert|56703|sqft|m2|abbr=on, 1969 at convert|4000|sqft|m2|abbr=on, 1975 at convert|35890|sqft|m2|abbr=on, 1976 at convert|8300|sqft|m2|abbr=on, and 1988 at convert|1938|sqft|m2|abbr=on. A new convert|311500|sqft|m2|abbr=on building, completed in December 2007, was built on the athletic fields. The old convert|233318|sqft|m2|abbr=on building is in the process of being demolished and new athletic fields will be created on the site of the old building. Until the 2008-2009 school year, all athletic practices and games will be held at other sites. The current campus is 26.2 acres (106,000 m²) in size. [ [ Richard Montgomery High School ] ]

On February 25, 1990, the school media center was vandalized, with an initial damage of $600,000; according to the Washington Post, the vandals ruined the school's television studio, smashed computers, burned books in the library and left antisemitic graffiti. On March 6, 1990, a march in Rockville attracted an estimated 2,000 individuals to protest the damage and the purported anti-semitism behind it. But the Montgomery County Police were already aware that the perpetrators were not a hate group but a former student who had dropped out the previous year, Jason Knight, and a current senior, Steve Bonner. Knight and Bonner were arrested the following day. According to records of the Montgomery County Circuit Court, Knight was later sentenced to three years in prison, with eighteen months suspended. Bonner was sentenced to three years in prison, with twenty-four months suspended.

In April 2008, the DC Examiner newspaper ran a series of four articles revealing that the school principal, Mr. Moreno Carrasco, had allegedly been running a private business on school time. The third article reported that Carrasco was using materials that appeared to be plagiarized from a seminar that he had attended at school district expense. [ [ Montgomery principal shuts down consulting side business - ] ] [ [ Officials probe Md. school principal’s side business - ] ] [ [ Principal in Montgomery County probe also faces plagiarism charges - ] ] [ [ Principal takes leave amid probe over side business - ] ] . Similar articles appeared in the Washington Post [ [ Principal's Side Business Raises Questions . . . - ] ] , the Montgomery County Gazette [ [ MCPS officials investigate possible ethics code violation ] ] ] , and the Montgomery Sentinel [ [ The Sentinel ] ] . Shortly after the third Examiner article was published, Carrasco went on extended sick leave.

On April 24, 2008, Carrasco returned to work and made a statement on the morning announcements that the accusations against him made him physically and mentally sick. Despite requests from parents, the comments that Carrasco made to the students and teachers have not been made available in printed form.

During Carrasco's absence, the RMHS newspaper, The Tide, requested that administrators approve publication of an article about the investigation into Carrasco's alleged ethics violations and business endeavors. Assistant Principal Veronica McCall denied permission for publication of the article, but was overridden by Community Superintendent Dr. Sherry Liebes after The Tide editors announced that they would go public with news of the denial. [ [ High school paper wins right to print principal probe story - ] ] [ [ Students win right to write ] ] The article was finally published online on April 24, 2008. [ [ The Tide Online- Richard Montgomery's Student Newspaper ] ]

Brief references to McCall's involvement in Carrasco's seminars have appeared in the DC Examiner and RMHS Tide articles, but McCall has not publicly stated whether or not she knew that Carrasco was running the seminars for personal profit or whether she was compensated by Carrasco for helping to present the seminars.

The Carrasco scandal triggered publication of an article by Wayne Goldstein, president of the Montgomery County Civic Federation. In the article, which was published in the April 22, 2008 issue of the Montgomery Sentinel and on the MCCF web site, Goldstein asserts that Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jerry Weast "has little concern about the ethical behavior of himself or others." [ [ MCCF - Sentinel Article April 22, 2008 ] ]

On June 10, 2008, Montgomery County Public Schools announced that Carrasco had been named the new director of secondary leadership training. The announcement also stated that the allegations about Carrasco's involvement in a private consulting were "thoroughly investigated" and "not substantiated." [ [ MCPS Public Announcements ] ]

On June 23, 2008, Nelson McLeod II was named the new principal of Richard Montgomery High School. [ [ New principal tapped for Richard Montgomery ] ]


Richard Montgomery opened its new, modernized building following the end of students' 2007 Winter Break. The new building features wireless internet, LCD projectors in every classroom, dozens of Promethean interactive whiteboards and learner response devices, and a professionally equipped auditorium, recording and TV studio. The new facilities, however, lack the capability to access older forms of media, such as material on VHS and photographic slides.

The school now has an artificial turf stadium and more fields under construction.

ID Policy

One of the new policies following students' move to the new building was the institution of a policy requiring students to have their Student IDs visible at all times. Fact|date=April 2008

As of the 2008-2009 school year, the ID policy has been changed. Students are no longer required to wear their ID in some fashion, but must be able to produce it if a staff member requests it.

Extracurricular activities


Several of RM's athletes advanced to the professional level, including Gordy Coleman (Class of '52?) with the Cincinnati Reds and Mike Curtis (Class of '61) with the All-Pro Baltimore Colts.

Richard Montgomery's Girls' Swimming and Diving Team has been undefeated in dual meets since 2003. The Girls' swimming and diving team is currently ranked 12th in the nation and holds the Division I title ('04, '05, '06) and County title ('05, '06, '07). The Girls' Swim Team has a record of 22-0 over the past 4 years.

The school also has a very established Golf Team. In the 2007-2008 school year they went undefeated for the first time in RM history. Two of their players also won the Athlete of the Month award for their performance.

Cross country and Track are in addition two of the school's esteemed sports. RM has won numerous boy's track state titles and has many upcoming athletes to watch out for.

Richard Montgomery's tennis team was at the top of Division I in 2006. However, in 2007 the team was taken on by a new coach, and it dropped back down to Division II.

Other Activities

"National Forensics League", Musicals, Plays, Choral and Instrumental ensembles have helped distinguish Richard Montgomery as a noted school for the arts. Its literary magazine "Fine Lines" and the Citizenship Law Related Education Program (CLREP) Mock Trial Team have won multiple national and statewide championships and honors.

Richard Montgomery is one of very few schools in the entire state of Maryland which has not only its own student newspaper, "The Tide" but also its own award winning student literary magazine "Fine Lines".

Richard Montgomery's Quizbowl team (known as "It's Academic") is one of the finest in the nation, and has won numerous awards and honors, including a victory at the National Scholastics Championship in 2002. As of 2007, they are the highest ranked team in the state of Maryland and the Maryland state quizbowl champions. In 2006, they won the NAQT High School National Championship Tournament, defeating State College Area High School in the final at Chicago.

Richard Montgomery's International Space Settlement Design Competition team won the 2008 cycle at Houston, Texas.


The musical program at Richard Montgomery is led by Ronald Frezzo who directs the choral music program and Peter Perry who directs the instrumental music program. Both departments have a number of different musical ensembles requiring various degrees of skill. All ensembles meet during the school day as scheduled classes with extra rehearsals and performances in the evenings. The most skilled ensembles such as the Madrigals, Richard Montgomery's chamber choir, often travel off campus to perform at various venues.

The school also has a long tradition of student led ensembles which rehearse on their own and perform both at official venues such as the choral concerts and unofficial venues such as coffee houses hosted by Fine Lines. Notable examples include, student led a cappella groups such as "The Testostertones" and "Resonance" which are similar in operation to the many collegiate groups found on college campuses today and bands such as "Stuck In The Mud" and "Vociferous".


The largest extracurricular club in the school is the Black Maskers Drama Club, boasting a membership of approximately 200. Members of Black Maskers may, upon participation in a sufficient number of shows in various capacities, become members of the International Thespian Society Troupe #1748. Richard Montgomery shows one drama in the fall and a musical in the spring. The Drama Club is led by Emily Krebs, Sara Liles and Denise Saladyga and music for the spring musicals is directed by Ronald Frezzo and Peter Perry.

Associated with, but not under the Drama Club are the Shakespeare Club and the Improv Club which meet regularly but in a more informal setting.

Honors Societies

The school also has six honors societies. These include the "National Honors Society", the Alejo Carpentier chapter of the "Spanish Honors Society", the "French Honors Society", the "Chinese Honors Society", the "English Honors Society", and the "Tri-M Music Honors Society".

tudent Government and Politics

RM's student body is represented through the Student Government Association (SGA), whose officers are elected each April. The student body at large is represented through a system of delegates who attend monthly General Assemblies. The SGA officers appoint an Executive Board to help in community service projects and special functions. Additionally, each grade elects four officers every April. Emily Tucker is the newly elected SGA President for the 2008-2009 school year. RM also has politically oriented clubs such as Young Democrats, Young Republicans, and Young Independents. The groups were led by Jake Rosner, Julie Chang and Sairam Nagulapalli respectively.


External links

* [ Richard Montgomery High School's website]
* [ Richard Montgomery High School location]
* [ Review on]
* [ Article on IB & AP exams at Richard Montgomery] from the "Washington Post"
* [ History of Richard Montgomery High School]
* [ RMHS Class of 1987 Reunion Site]

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