In the crowed Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Chambers, in Martinez, Lieutenant Brian Kalinowski, who originally nominated Boughton for the award, introduced him to the numerous attendees. During his introduction, Lieutenant Kalinowski said, “Thanks to the partnership of the Sheriff’s Office and the County Office of Education, we are able to deliver services, such as Rick’s woodshop class, to the inmates that make them more productive during their stay, as well as being more productive when they re-enter society.”
For the past 20 years, the Sheriff’s Office and the County Office of Education collaboration have produced the annual Holiday Toy Distribution. Lieutenant Kalinowski continued, “Because Rick’s ability to lead the inmates, they annually build between 1,000-1,200 hand-made toys and refurbish about 300 bicycles, which are then distributed to our county’s at-risk youth, through local non-profit organizations.” These county organizations include The Salvation Army, Friends Outside, George Miller Center, Solomon Temple Mission, Contra Costa Crisis Center, Bay Area Rescue Mission, La Casa Ujima, and a number of others.
Boughton is known for his “low-key” teaching style and his positive attitude. It’s obvious that he loves his job as a teacher and mentor. He treats everyone fairly and with the respect each person deserves, including his inmate students. This may be the reason why in 2010 he did not have one discipline or safety/accident issue reported to the school or custody staff.
According to the Office of the Sheriff, the application process for this award includes the bureau commanders submitting their choices to the departmental selection committee. A number of criteria are evaluated by the committee, including performance, job knowledge, judgment, relations, communications, initiative, dependability, attitude, and demeanor.
Boughton’s woodshop class is part of the Contra Costa Adult School. This educational program is a partnership between the CCCOE and the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff, and is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. More than 4,000 students participate in educational opportunities each year at one of the three jail facilities:
- Marsh Creek Detention Facility - Clayton
- West County Detention Facility - Richmond
- Martinez Detention Facility - Martinez
CCCOE Adult Education Principal Tom Scruggs reports, “Rick is a talented teacher, providing instruction in safety, woodworking, and bicycle repair, while he fosters a sense of commitment, dedication, and community in his students. He has a natural way of inspiring these men to learn something new, to be responsible, and to feel what it is like to give back to the community. We are grateful for his services!”