Rich Kitchens graduated from El Cerrito High (1969) and U.C. Santa Cruz (1974), majoring in politics. He received his teaching credential from San Francisco State University. Rich Kitchens also has a master's degree in educational leadership (M.S., C.S.U., Hayward) and a law degree (J.D.) from John F. Kennedy University.
He has taught mostly social studies at Oakland High School, Vacaville Adult School, Vanden High School (Travis Air Force Base), Fall River Jr.-Sr. High School, and at Piedmont High School. He coached basketball for more than 20 years, as well as, from time to time, baseball, track, and cross country. He has been chosen “Coach of the Year” on multiple occasions and has been named a “Lois Blair Rawlings Inspirational Teacher.” He has been at various times the athletic director, the student activities director, President of the teacher’s union, a contract negotiator, summer school principal, Assistant Principal, and Principal at Piedmont High. He has also been an Adjunct Professor of Law at Golden Gate University and taught “Special Problems in Constitutional Law” at GGU. He has also taught “Education Law” there. As an adjunct at John F. Kennedy University Law School he taught “Education Law.” He is a trained facilitator using the “Interest-Based” model and a mediator of education-related issues.
For the past fifteen years, he has simultaneously practiced law in Concord, California (http://teacherlaw.com) and focuses on school-related legal issues and estate planning. He has worked with students, parents, teachers, administrators, and school district officials on a variety of disputes and sensitive issues. Recently he wrote and published California Public School Law. He has also written and published a textbook, Constitutional Law, now in its 5th edition, which is used in Con Law and government courses in many high schools throughout the country. He is Director of the Constitutional Law Education Project (http://conlawed.com) and publishes a weekly free newsletter to teachers who teach law-related issues. His teaching has won awards from the Lois Blair Rawlings Foundation, Johns Hopkins University, and his award-winning unit about the law of “Sexual Harassment” was recognized by Court TV. In 2013 he was named the John F. Kennedy University Law School “Alumnus of the Year.”
He is an engaging speaker and has given lectures, presentations, and workshops around the state of California and Arizona on the following topics (most recent presentations listed first, partial listing)
- AB 1825 Harassment Prevention Training for Administrators and Supervisors
- “We Are All in This Together” (for elementary school staff regarding harassment/bullying)
- What Teachers (and others) Need (and Want) to Know about the Law
- Teaching Civics as a Course in Constitutional Law
- Teaching About the Fourth Amendment
- Teaching about Sexual Harassment and Privacy in the Secondary School Classroom
- The Constitution and the Public Schools
- Teaching About the First Amendment
- Using Interest-Based Problem Solving in the Public Schools
- Sexual Harassment, Schools, and the Law
- Classroom Management, Organization and Techniques
He is married to former Campolindo High School Principal Carol Kitchens and has two adult daughters. He likes to cook Cajun food and makes his own tasty hot sauce.
Membership: Education Law Association, National Council for the Social Studies, California Council for the Social Studies, Contra Costa Bar Association, State Bar of California Bar, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) among other organizations.