Faculty Friday Spotlight: Mr. Richie Tice
Happy Faculty Friday! Today’s spotlight is one of our veteran teachers, Mr. Richie Tice! During Mr. Tice’s 40 years and counting in the classroom, he has taught a variety of engineering classes, including Computer-Aided Design (CAD). He joined the Saint Joseph Prep community as a part time CAD teacher in January of 2013.
While he has been teaching since the ’70s, Mr. Tice’s early career plan was to either be an electrical engineer or a professional baseball player! After attending high school in Waltham, he spent two years with the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league team. He grew up “eating, sleeping, and drinking sports,” but his parents taught him that education was always more important. So after his brief stint in the minor leagues, he started college at Wentworth Institute of Technology where he majored in Electrical Engineering, and was the the co-captain of the baseball team. During his time at WIT, he coached youth baseball and started a traveling team for high school students.
Mr. Tice began looking for employment opportunities after graduation but struggled to find a job. “When I started college, there was a huge demand for engineers,” stated Mr. Tice, “but by the time I graduated, it was in the middle of a huge depression for engineers, and many people were being laid off.” When a friend of the family mentioned an opening at Malden High School, and suggested Mr. Tice try teaching since he enjoyed working with kids as a coach, Mr. Tice pursued the opportunity hoping it would steer him into the engineering career he desired. At Malden, he taught classes on electricity and electronics to students who were not excelling in other classes. This challenging situation was amplified by the fact that Mr. Tice had no equipment in his classroom with which to teach. He persevered, however, and upon learning that the newly opened Melrose High School would have state-of-the-art engineering equipment on hand, he decided to continue teaching, and ended up spending the next thirty-six years at Melrose High.
Although he was teaching in public schools, he sent his four children to Catholic school, selecting Mount Saint Joseph Academy for his three daughters and Trinity Catholic for his son. As an active parent in the MSJA community, he got to know many of the teachers fairly well, including Mr. Ward, who taught Psychology at MSJA. In 2012, while Mr. Tice was enjoying being recently retired, he reconnected with Mr. Ward, who asked if he would consider teaching CAD at the newly established SJP. After a conversation with Mr. Nunan and Mr. Ward, Mr. Tice agreed to teach one class of CAD at SJP. Over the past five years, he has taught one to three classes a semester.
Having worked in both public and private schools, Mr. Tice says he has learned to embrace each individual student: “Each student is a unique individual and brings his or her own personality and way of thinking to the class. Every year is exciting; you get kids that are different than you’ve ever had before.” Mr. Tice enjoys helping students in his classes because “it teaches you about life.” He says, “I tell students all the time that life is about figuring things out, and in my class, you’re trying to figure out how to do a specific project.” Years after teaching, he is still connected with many former students who tell him, “Mr. Tice, you taught us about life!”
As an avid sports fan, Mr. Tice has been working part time at Fenway Park for twenty-two years! During his time at Fenway, he has worked in concessions, and even and helped redesign the concession stands in the late 2000s. Currently, he works right behind home plate for every home game and event!
Thank you, Mr. Tice, for helping to create future engineers and designers! We know some of your senior students are planning to go into engineering majors in college, and your classes have given them an excellent foundation!