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Max Ruehrmund

Class of '05

Max Ruehrmund

When did you start at RCS? Was there a specific reason you came, and how many years were you here?

I enrolled in Radcliffe Creek when I was in the second grade after attending Kent School where I was diagnosed with dyslexia. At the time, only 60 students enrolled.

What is your favorite memory of Radcliffe Creek? Did you have a favorite class or a favorite teacher?

Picking a favorite teacher is rather hard, I vividly remember Mr. Joiner attending my birthday party and Mrs. Holmes and Mrs. Bushby as my homeroom teachers. But Mrs. Diggs, who was my Orton Gillingham (reading) teacher, being rather exemplary. I was fortunate enough to have this class as a one-on-one experience as I needed the additional help mastering “outlaw words” and reading comprehension.

What did you learn about yourself as a student (and a person) while at Radcliffe?

Radcliffe introduced me to the idea that everyone learns differently and there were other ways of learning besides a teacher standing in front of the class lecturing. Most importantly, Radcliffe taught me how to embrace my strengths and weaknesses while building confidence in accomplishing my goals.

How did Radcliffe Creek prepare you for the future?

Radcliffe did more than teach me how to read and write, Radcliffe taught me how to challenge myself, to do more than get good grades, to do more than play a prescribed role that was written by others, to do more than succeed, Radcliffe taught me how to flourish. I still to this day use spelling strategies such as letter associated acronyms for words I struggled to spell at RCS. For example: “Because” Betty Eats Cake And Uses Six Eggs.

Where did you go after Radcliffe?

I attended the Blue Ridge School in Charlottesville, Virginia, from there I attended Washington College in Chestertown where I played lacrosse and studied chemistry and environmental studies.   

What are you up to now and what are your plans for the future?

After graduating, I was presented with an incredible opportunity to work in the Environmental Chemistry Laboratory within the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland. We have several research projects that look into anthropogenic influences impacting water quality in many watersheds around Maryland.

As for the future, in July 2016 I moved to Townsville Australia to attend graduate school at James Cook University, where I will be earning a Master’s of Philosophy in Geoscience. My hope is to return to Maryland and help implement practical environmental policy solutions to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

What would you tell a family about Radcliffe if they were considering it for their child?

RCS and the amazing teachers who work there without a doubt set the foundation for me to be where I am today. The individualized planning and care for the students is an intangible asset that any child can take advantage of. Because of their nurturing learning environment, many doors were opened in my life that I may not of had the opportunity to take advantage of.

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