The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide


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Gone but never forgotten: In loving memory of Ms. Teresa Boyd

Ms. Boyd was an educator in MCPS for 39 years, leaving her mark on RM as a special education teacher, volleyball coach, and Minority Scholars sponsor. (Photo permission granted by Richard Montgomery High School)

Special education teacher and beloved member of the RM community Teresa Boyd tragically passed away due to an illness on Oct. 22. Ms. Boyd was also a coach of the co-ed volleyball team and a sponsor of the Minority Scholars. She was an educator in MCPS for 39 years.

Those who knew Ms. Boyd describe her as caring, fun and charismatic. “She was just like the person who always put a smile on your face. You can never be mad at her,” junior and co-ed volleyball team co-captain Makhi Abraham said. 

Her colleagues remember her as an incredible teacher, especially when it came to algebra. “She could break things down into manageable parts for any student. She was very patient and willing to go the extra mile and meet with students before class, at lunch, on her break or after school,” special education teacher Zachary Etheridge said. “She was definitely a person that [the students] felt comfortable with asking questions and admitting that they didn’t understand.”

This selflessness to be there for her students left a large impact on those who worked with Ms. Boyd. “She just put others first and she let her joy and her positivity lead the way,” Mr. Etheridge said.

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Mr. Etheridge also recalls how Ms. Boyd was supportive to him when he was a new teacher at RM. “She acted as a grandma-like figure,” he said. “Even at my lowest moments here, thinking that I wasn’t making a difference, Ms. Boyd was there to reassure me that I’m doing the right thing and… she is proud of me.”

This supportive nature translated into Ms. Boyd’s coaching. “I think the biggest thing to her was not necessarily to be like the best coach or whatever, but it was more to be someone that we could trust, and that we could go to all the time,” junior and co-ed volleyball team co-captain Hadley Mongan said. 

Ms. Boyd coached the co-ed volleyball team for many years, but to her players, she was much more than just a coach. “She also taught us a lot outside the sport like with communication, getting along with people and stuff, like bonding,” senior and co-ed volleyball team co-captain Brianna Saulter said. “She saw more than just volleyball.”

Ms. Boyd’s husband, who she had been with since high school, left retirement to coach the team alongside his wife. He also worked in the special education department. Their bond was strongly felt by those around them. “I would see him come in every day and be excited about bringing his wife lunch or just seeing her at the end of the day [to] walk her to the car,” Mr. Etheridge said.

In addition to coaching volleyball alongside her husband, Ms. Boyd sponsored RM’s Minority Scholars Program starting in 2014, giving her another way to support and encourage her students. The MSP focuses on closing the opportunity gap at RM and in MCPS. As sponsor, Ms. Boyd helped them schedule tutoring with elementary and middle schools, plan retreats, and handle their finances.

It doesn’t always matter what the student learns in a day of class. It matters how you make them feel.

— Mr. Etheridge

Senior and MSP co-president Meilani Wilson recalls that when she performed spoken word at an MSP retreat for the first time, Ms. Boyd was the first person to listen to her practice. “I was really nervous about it… I was really scared that I wasn’t good enough,” Wilson said. “She just gave me the affirmations that I needed at the time. And, it felt real. It didn’t feel like she was just saying this because.”

Students and staff not only remember how Ms. Boyd encouraged them during struggles but also the playful moments they shared with her. “We were doing a covering drill and I was covering and then I dove for the ball like I always do. And then Ms. Boyd, she just looked at Hadley and she was like, ‘Hadley you just stood there and let him slide on the floor like a Dove bar of soap,’” Abraham said.

Ms. Boyd’s service was held on Oct. 28 at Church of Christ in Rockville. The information about the service was publicized by administration to students for those who wished to attend. The co-ed volleyball captains attended the service, and the girls volleyball team supported the family by creating a fund for Mr. Boyd.

The Minority Scholars also honored Ms. Boyd following her passing. “We had a moment of silence and we gave a little biography about [her], just in case the members weren’t super familiar with her,” senior and MSP co-president Udy Mbanaso said. 

Ms. Boyd left a legacy of compassion and selflessness on the RM community. “I think the biggest legacy that she leaves behind is how charismatic she was and how much she cared about everyone and how you could just go up to her and talk to her about absolutely anything and she would be there for you,” Mongan said.

Mr. Etheridge believes that Ms. Boyd had a powerful lesson for teachers about the goal of student-teacher relationships. “It doesn’t always matter what the student learns in a day of class. It matters how you make them feel,” he said. “Ms. Boyd is one of those people who motivated kids to come back to school, who made them feel heard and made them feel like they were important.”

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About the Contributors
Elena Parisi
Elena Parisi, Features Editor
Elena Parisi is a senior and is so excited to be back as a Features Editor. This is her third year with The Tide, after being a Features writer and a Features asistant editor. Besides The Tide, her passions include dancing, practicing Spanish and listening to music.
Cindy Jin
Cindy Jin, Features Editor
Sophomore Cindy Jin is in their second year on The Tide and they're excited to be back as a Features Editor! They previously wrote for the News section. Outside of working for The Tide, they enjoy watching video essays and eating sour candy. Their favorite food is lasagna because of their immense love for Garfield.