Richard Montgomery High School

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Richard Montgomery High School
Established 1892
Type Public Secondary
Principal Mr. Damon Monteleone
Students 2,121 (2009-10)
Grades 9–12
Location Rockville, Maryland, USA
District Montgomery County Public Schools
Campus Urban
Colors Black and Gold
Mascot Rockets
Rival Rockville High School
Newspaper The Tide
Website Richard Montgomery

Richard Montgomery High School (RMHS) (#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 city of Quebec City, Quebec during the American Revolutionary War. The school is usually referred to by either 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. Over the years, Richard Montgomery has won awards for being the number one school in Montgomery County and Maryland state.[citation needed] Intel Science Talent Search finalists, national essay competition winners, and multiple Presidential Scholars have been recent graduates of RM.


The school houses Montgomery County's first International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB). This competitive-entry magnet program draws students from all over Montgomery County and has an IB diploma rate of 99%, the highest in the United States of its kind.[1] 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.[2]

Richard Montgomery also offers students the Middle Years Programme (MYP) curriculum. This program is mandatory to all students who attend Julius West Middle School, which is the sole Middle School that feeds into the High School. The MYP program stresses "life long learning," "critical thinking," and "responsible global citizenship." It is a five-year program designed for students in grades 6–10. Upon completion, students can apply to enroll in the IB programme.

In 2007, Richard Montgomery was featured in Newsweek magazine as the 27th highest-rated high school in the nation.[3] 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. Richard Montgomery has also had multiple Marian Greenblatt Education Fund award winners teachers.[4]


Upon graduation, 79.2% of the class of 2008 planned for only post-secondary education,14.5% for post-secondary education and employment, 1.1% planned to go straight into the workforce and 1.4% into the military. There was a 92.1% attendance rate and a 2.0% drop out rate in 2002-2003.

The student body of 2008-2009 was 42.4% White, 24.5% Asian, 17% African American, 15.9% Hispanic, and 0.2% American Indian.[5] Currently 2,150 students are enrolled and approximately 15.6% of the student body is eligible for free/reduced lunches.

History and campus[edit]

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. Rockville Colored High School was opened in 1927.[6] The school for white children was renamed Richard Montgomery High School to distinguish between the two in 1935.[7]

The building was completed in 1942 at 49,167 sq ft (4,567.8 m2), after a fire destroyed the old high school in 1940. Additions to the school were made in 1952 at 39,895 sq ft (3,706.4 m2), 1959 at 37,425 sq ft (3,476.9 m2), in 1964 at 56,703 sq ft (5,267.9 m2), 1969 at 4,000 sq ft (370 m2), 1975 at 35,890 sq ft (3,334 m2), 1976 at 8,300 sq ft (770 m2), and 1988 at 1,938 sq ft (180.0 m2). A new 311,500 sq ft (28,940 m2) building, completed in December 2007, was built on the athletic fields. The old 233,318 sq ft (21,676.0 m2) building was demolished over the summer of 2008, and new athletic fields were created on the site of the old building. Until a few months into the 2008-2009 school year, all athletic practices and games were held at other sites. The current campus is 26.2 acres (106,000 m²) in size.[1][8]

In April 2008 stories appeared in the news in the Washington Post,[9] the Montgomery County Gazette,[10] and the Montgomery Sentinel.[11] alleging that the school principal, Mr. Moreno Carrasco, had been running a private business on school time and that he was using materials that appeared to be plagiarized from a seminar that he had attended at school district expense. Carrasco went on extended sick leave.

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.[12] The article was finally published online on April 24, 2008.[13]

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 private consulting were "thoroughly investigated" and "not substantiated".[14]

On June 23, 2008, Nelson McLeod II was named the new principal of Richard Montgomery High School.[15] He left the position in May 2014 after suffering a cardiac medical condition,[16] and was subsequently replaced by Damon Monteleone in July 2014.[17]


Richard Montgomery opened its new $71 million building following the end of students' 2007 Winter Break. The new building features wireless internet to the teachers, LCD projectors in every classroom, dozens of Promethean interactive whiteboards and learner response devices, a modern auditorium, and a good quality recording and TV studio. The new facilities lack the capability to access older forms of media, such as material on VHS and photographic slides; however, teachers sometimes bring in their own video players to rectify the problem.

The school has an artificial turf stadium next to tennis courts and a track. The location where the former school stood is the current location of the baseball fields.

Extracurricular activities[edit]


Several of RM's athletes advanced to the professional level, including Gordy Coleman with the Cincinnati Reds and Mike Curtis (Class of '61) with the Baltimore Colts & James David Riggleman (Class of '71) former manager of the Washington Nationals.

Other Activities[edit]

Richard Montgomery has its own student newspaper, "The Tide" and an award winning student literary magazine "Fine Lines". Among numerous other awards, "The Tide" received First Place with Special Merit from the America Scholastic Press Association in 2013[18] and a Gold Medal from Columbia Scholastic Press Association in 2012. Its literary magazine, Fine Lines, has won multiple awards.

Richard Montgomery's quizbowl team (known as It's Academic) has won numerous awards and honors, including a victory at the National Scholastics Championship in 2002.[19] In 2006, they won the NAQT High School National Championship Tournament in Chicago, defeating State College Area High School in the final.[20]

In 2011, Senior Raynell Cooper won the Teen Jeopardy! tournament. His total over the two day final was $45,200 and he received the $75,000 grand prize.[21]

Richard Montgomery's International Space Settlement Design Competition team won the 2008 cycle at Houston, Texas.[22]


The Richard Montgomery Robotics program operates two teams which compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge. In April 2014, Richard Montgomery Robotics qualified a team for the FIRST Championships in St. Louis, MO, where the team earned the second place Inspire Award- second place overall, and the best overall finish of any US team that year.[23]


The most skilled ensembles such as the Madrigals, a chamber choir, and the Jazz Band often travel off campus to perform at various venues. RMHS' marching band, the Marching Rockets, is also an integral part of the fall football season.

The school also has a long tradition of student-led a cappella groups which rehearse on their own and perform both at official venues such as the choral concerts and unofficial venues such as the coffeehouses hosted by Fine Lines, the school's award-winning literary magazine.


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.

Honor Societies[edit]

The school also has seven 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 Social Studies Honors Society (Rho Kappa), the "Science National Honors Society" and the Tri-M Music Honors Society. In fall 2008, a chapter of the Mu Alpha Theta Math National Honors Society was added, and in fall 2009 an "Art Honors Society" was formed.

Model United Nations[edit]

The school's Model United Nations team, with a membership of approximately 100, trains for, attends, and succeeds at conferences up and down the East Coast. RM delegates have won multiple Model UN awards and Best Delegate gavels.

Student Government and Politics[edit]

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 events. Additionally, each grade elects four officers every April. RM also has politically oriented clubs such as Young Democrats, Young Republicans, and Junior State of America.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b America's Best High Schools: Top International Baccalaureate Schools - US News and World Report
  2. ^ Richard Montgomery High School - #201
  3. ^ America's Top Public High Schools | Newsweek Best High Schools |
  4. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ PDF of Richard Montgomery student and teacher data from Montgomery County Public Schools
  6. ^ George Washington Carver High School
  7. ^
  8. ^ Richard Montgomery High School
  9. ^ de Vise, Daniel (April 10, 2008). "Principal's Side Business Raises Questions . .". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  10. ^ MCPS officials investigate possible ethics code violation
  11. ^ The Sentinel
  12. ^ Students win right to write
  13. ^ The Tide Online- Richard Montgomery's Student Newspaper
  14. ^ MCPS Public Announcements
  15. ^ New principal tapped for Richard Montgomery
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ [2]
  18. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ 2002 PACE NSC Results
  20. ^ National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC
  21. ^ Rockville's Raynell Cooper Wins Teen Jeopardy | Scene | Washingtonian
  22. ^ ISSDC: Previous Finalist Teams
  23. ^ [3]
  24. ^ Jacobs, Jay S. (2006). Pretty Good Years: A Biography of Tori Amos. Hal Leonard. p. 13. 
  25. ^ a b Simms, Brandy L. (July 22, 2010). "RM's Mike Curtis should be in the Hall of Fame". Montgomery Sentinel. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  26. ^ "B-CC training leaders". Montgomery Gazette. February 19, 1997. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  27. ^ Meyer, Eugene L. (May–June 2011). "Touching Base with Jim Riggleman". Bethesda Magazine. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°04′42″N 77°08′45″W / 39.078442°N 77.14583°W / 39.078442; -77.14583