Warriors of Jupiter: Richard Emery

Mr. Emery teaching his students in action.

After an influential and inspiring 31 years of teaching at Jupiter High School, cherished math teacher Richard Emery will retire in summer of 2023. Emery’s legacy on Jupiter High’s staff and students is one to always be remembered. 

Emery started teaching at Jupiter High in 1987 after graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in Mathematics and a Masters in Math Education. 

Throughout his teaching career, Emery has taught Consumer Math, Fundamentals of Math, General Math 1, Liberal Arts, Trigonometry, Algebra 1. He is currently teaching Algebra 2, Regular and Honors.

Mr. Emery is a favorite amongst students for his kindness and charismatic personality in class. Caden Zoratti, junior, explained Emery goes the extra mile to give students one on one time when they need extra help.

“If people had questions, he would take the lesson slower for them and make it more simple by breaking down the problems so that each question was easier for them,” Daniel Velez, sophomore, said. 

As math tends to be a more difficult subject to learn, Emery’s goal is not only to help kids learn, but help them enjoy it like he does. 

“I try to get other kids to like math like I do, or to maybe not hate it as much because a lot of kids don’t like math. I think it’s fun, it’s like a challenge,” Emery said. 

Students described the educational, humorous and light-hearted atmosphere Emery creates in his classroom. Grace Lavallee, senior, had Emery her sophomore year.

“He’s really sarcastic so when he’s teaching he’s telling jokes, making the class more entertaining,” Lavallee said.

Emery wrote Lavallee her college letter of recommendation as she maintained a relationship with him throughout her junior and senior year.

“Out of all my teachers, he was one that would always say hi to me even just passing in the hallway,” Lavallee said.

Emery’s undivided attention and deep care for his students does not go unnoticed.

“Mr. Emery was definitely my favorite math teacher. He influenced me to pay attention in school more and to really care about my grades,” Zoratti said. 

While playing such an influential role for his students, he is also well-respected and adored by his colleagues. Joe Lang, assistant principal, remembers his favorite memory with Emery.

“I took him on my pontoon boat and we went fishing in the middle of the night and our boat broke down. We were in a huge pond and I had to swim to shore and knock on some guys door at 3 a.m. It was so funny,” Joe Lang, assistant principal, said. 

Lang had Emery as his Algebra ll teacher in 1988, shortly after Emery graduated from the University of Florida. 

“He was young and energetic and because of that, he better understood me and other kids at our level,” Lang said. 

After Emery retires, he plans on traveling, relaxing, fishing, riding his bike and playing pickleball. One of his goals is to travel around the country.

He wants to travel to places such as “the Grand Canyon, Alaska, Yellowstone National Park, Maine, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and to try snow-skiing,” Emery said. 

After a successful career, Emery’s most important lesson to students is to work hard.

“Don’t expect success to come to you. You need to put in the work, you might fail or make mistakes, but don’t give up when things get difficult,” Emery said.

Emery encourages his students to follow their passions and interests.

“I really like math and I really enjoyed teaching math. Whatever you do for a career, like what you do and you won’t hate getting up in the morning,” Emery said.