Skip Navigation

2005 CEA, Region II
Teacher of The Year

(Pictured left Frank Andrews and Jeff Richard)

Jeff Richard
Special Needs Instructor, St. Marys Correctional Center

Jeff Richard supports a vital component of the educational programming at St. Marys Correctional Center (SMCC). He came to the SMCC Education Department in 2000 with nineteen (19) years of institutional education experience and the following permanent certifications:

  • Health Education K-12
  • Physical Education K-12
  • Severe/Profoundly Handicapped


Since his arrival at SMCC in September 2000, Jeff has developed and implemented a very successful, age appropriate adult Special Needs curriculum. The curriculum consists of diagnostics, ABE Content Standard activities, and OIEP adopted computer assisted instruction such as Destinations, Aztec Learning, KeyTrain, Ultimate Phonics, Milliken Math and Rogers Reading.

Early on, Jeff saw a need for age appropriate curricula to assist his extremely low functioning and non-reading students (FFL 0 – 2.9). Utilizing his years of experience in Special Education and technological creativity, he developed and successfully implemented a unique basic skill power point program to assure a measure of success for his students. Jeff's “Reading Readiness” power point program encompasses the following components:

•  Phonics: (Letter Sound Identification) provides practice opportunities to learn individual and combined letter sounds.
•  Sight Words: 300 of the most commonly used words in the English Language; provides phonemic sounds and spelling of words.
•  Survival Signs: 106 of the most commonly seen signs in the community.
•  SRA Reading: age appropriate interactive short stories. 

Additional curriculum developments authored and implemented by Jeff were:

  • Short Story Reading Program: provides all students the opportunity to improve their reading skills while reading for pleasure, build vocabulary and improve retention/recall skills. Criteria was developed to honor student achievement through the “Reading Hall of Fame”.
  • Map Reading: provides students opportunities to learn about the geographical areas of our country, promotes charting/graphing and directional skills.

Special Needs classroom technology also includes two (2) large screen TV's to enhance learning for visually impaired students. Page and pocket magnifiers, Erlin overlays, tape recorders and Franklin speaking dictionaries are incorporated into the learning scheme.


The success of Jeff's Special Needs curriculum innovations is evident through student learning/progress:

  • 2001-2002: 100% mastery of three (3) Essential IGO's; 53% completed entry FFL and moved to higher FFL
  • 2002-2003: Average grade level increase was Reading +1.9 and Math +2.9. 100% mastery of three (3) Essential IGO's.
  • 2003-2004: Increase of 1.0 grade equivalency or more for 83% of the Special Needs Students and 73% moved to the next Federal Functioning Level. 95% mastery of three (3) Essential Content Standards.
  • Eight (8) Special Needs students have earned their GED since Mr. Richard's arrival at SMCC.

Mr. Richard is very pro-active with his specific curriculum and also SMCC programming as a whole. He developed a database that tracks his student TABE results and progress along with individual movement to the community or other facilities. This information is then compiled and forwarded to other OIEP education departments as needed.


The SMCC student in-take/orientation process is also one of Mr. Richard's creations. He developed an in-take packet and assumed responsibility for all new student TABE testing, Learning Style Inventories and the education department orientation.


Jeff is currently pursuing a Special Learning Disability Certification K-12 through West Virginia University and Marshall University.

Jeff's GED Prep/Special Needs curriculum was honored as the 2003 West Virginia Adult Basic Education Program of the Year for his innovative integration of technology in the classroom.


Mr. Richard is truly an educator! He is consistently exploring creative methods of instruction to challenge student learning and increase his professional field of expertise.