Beloved Latin Teacher of 15 Years at West Potomac Retires


Mr. Rigby with his very first Latin professor, Dr. Amy Richlin, who taught him in 1981 at Dartmouth College.

On March 31st, 2022, West Potomac lost a beloved teacher to retirement, Mr. Rigby. Rigby was a Latin teacher at West Potomac and has taught for 39 years. During some of those years, he has even been a farmer, a medical school student, and a lumberjack. Rigby has taught Latin at West Potomac since 2007.


Rigby has enjoyed teaching Latin and spreading his knowledge on it. He proposes Latin as an intellectual, written language that is a good alternative to other languages. “I’ve given a way for students to access a second language which might be a better choice than other languages,” he said. 


Rigby has served as a face for the West Potomac Latin program for many years, but he has also been a prominent figure in FCPS LQBTQIA activism. He’s currently focused on his family, financial, and personal thinking, but LGBTQIA activism has always been a part of his life. “I’ve kept the fire burning and am now able to pass the torch to someone,” Rigby said about his advocacy. “The most gratifying thing to see is voices being raised and my task is to amplify and give way to this,” he added. 


For his future plans, Rigby hopes to continue his dedication to LGBTQIA activism as well as join a movement that brings muted voices and outbreak groups into classics and raises them from the ancient world. “I would like to help bring that to the middle and high school level so that students see what the ancient world is really like and see a connection between the ancient world and the real world,” Rigby said. 


Rigby has been grateful for all the gifts and messages he received following his retirement. The most substantial gift he received was a large quantity of Dr. Pepper—a staple of Mr. Rigby’s classroom. “I counted out 14 gallons of Diet Dr. Pepper from students and staff,” he said. 


Not only has his love for soda made him a well-known teacher, but his ability to establish thoughtful relationships with others. Many students and staff at West Potomac are grateful for Rigby and have shown their appreciation for him. “I’ve been reading the cards and they’re all so heartwarming and lovely,” he said. 


Ultimately, Rigby has learned a lot from West Potomac and has been able to have a positive reflection on his career. On what his most important lesson was, he said kindness and patience have been the most impactful.  “I’ve learned kindness and patience and guiding rather than telling so I can let folks find their own way,” he said. 


As Rigby moves on with his life, he won’t forget West Potomac and will always have West Potomac’s community’s best interest in mind. “Courage comes from your heart. Like the ancient Latin word courage comes from the Latin word heart. Use your heart and your courage,” he advised.