Ronald Collins, former teacher at Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men, died in October. After teaching math for 30 years, Collins retired at 54.

Collins attended DPS as a student, graduating from Cooley High School in 1979. He then went on to attend Langston University where he received his bachelor's degree in Math. Outside of teaching, Collins liked to ride his motorcycle, tell stories about his life, and he even owned his own landscaping business.

Like many teachers, he did not just teach math, but taught his students to be better men and chase their dreams.

“I learned so much when I had him for 10th grade Geometry,” said Larry Johnson. “He always took the time to share life lessons, stories of fishing trips with his son and Chicago’s Jazz Festival,” Johnson said.

 “I can personally say that he was always there for me if I needed someone to talk to,” said Tarae’ Harris, former student of Collins.

Mr. Collins did not only impact the students’ lives, but his co-workers too. 

"What I have learned from Collins if you work hard and save your money then one day you can retire,” said Dexter Hicks, a former co-worker.

“What he demonstrated to us, is that you can have a good life and educate your kids and take care of your family and everything will pay off in the end," Hicks said.

Germaine Clinkscales, another former co-worker said she remembers Collins as a comical person.

Although he is no longer alive, Collins’ legacy lives in those at Frederick Douglass Academy.