About Us

What is RTR?

RTR is a school-based teacher preparation program that integrates research and practice to equip residents with the knowledge, skills, and experience to be effective in high-needs and hard-to-staff classrooms. Despite overwhelming research that teacher quality is the most important school-based factor in student achievement — and that teacher impact on student learning is cumulative and long-lasting — some students are taught by the least prepared, least experienced, and least effective teachers. RTR addresses this issue by preparing and retaining high-quality teachers to ensure that every student gets a quality education.

RTR History

In 2011-2012, we started out as the Richmond Teacher Residency Program, preparing only secondary teachers and serving only Richmond City Public Schools. Over the years of the program, we expanded our teacher preparation pathways and now prepare secondary, elementary, early childhood, and special education teachers. We also expanded our school district partnerships beyond the Richmond-metro area. RTR currently serves 16 school districts across Virginia.

Why RTR?

RTR prepares teachers in a different way than the traditional model. Residents in our program spend an entire school year with a mentor teacher, working alongside them in a high-needs school. As the school year progresses, the resident gradually takes on more teaching responsibility. Over the course of the year, residents also complete their VCU degree in education.

The outcome? Residents who are ready to step into the classroom as impactful teachers from day 1. Residents who are ready to take student learning to the next level. Residents who are ready to lift up communities — one classroom at a time.

RTR Values


RTR recruits, prepares, and supports the retention of extraordinary, inspiring teachers and teacher leaders who are committed to meeting the needs of every student they serve. RTR and its community partners are committed to strong collaboration that result in positive contributions to the collective culture and success of the public schools they serve.


Our vision is that every student is taught by well-prepared, effective teacher leaders who contribute positively to school culture and student achievement and empower their students to reach their full potential.


“Because of my work with RTR, I’ve gotten to experience professional growth and serve as an educational leader while continuing to be a teacher and work directly with kids in my classroom…the reason that I started this profession in the first place.”

Matt Wester, RTR 7-Year Mentor

“I’ve visited all of the schools in RPS. The residents are fantastic! They are dynamic, energetic, skilled, passionate,  and have a mindset of high expectations for all of their students. They are the kind of individuals we want in RPS.”

Jason Kamras, Richmond Public Schools Superintendent

“I was really drawn to it because it provided a master’s degree that would be free for me as a mom, having a family. I just don’t know how I would be able to pay for a master’s program at this time or ever, particularly as somebody who’s career switching. The cost of an education would be a huge burden and the fact that RTR was providing that was a huge incentive.” – Anonymous

Blaine Boaz, Megan Ibarra and Tiara Banks, RTR Alumni

One word I would use to describe RTR would be impactful.