From 2017 through 2020, Patrick Riccards served on the coaching staff for the West Windsor-Plainsboro (NJ) Wildcats Cheer team, working with WWP’s Junior Pee Wee, Pee Wee, and Junior Varsity squads. His PW squad took second place at YCADA Globals and his JV squad earned a top 10 finish at Pop Warner Nationals.
The founder of the Driving Force Institute for Public Engagement and its Untold History initiative, Pat is author of the Indie Book Award-winning Dadprovement: A Journey from Careerist to Adoptive Father to a Real Husband and Dad and the lead editor and contributing author of Why Kids Still Can’t Read: Continuing to Challenge the Status Quo in Education. He also writes and engages on social media as Eduflack.
Pat lives in Florence, South Carolina with his wife, Jennifer, and children, Michael and Anna.
Patrick Riccards is the chief executive officer of the Driving Force Institute for Public Engagement, a national effort transforming the teaching and learning of American history and civics through provocative, relevant video content
Building off his work as chief of staff and external relations lead to the National Reading Panel, executive director of the Pennsylvania STEM Initiative, and as a senior advisor and communications lead to a wide range of national education organizations
Previously, Patrick served as the chief communications and strategy officer at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, helping build many of its signature initiatives, including the High Meadows Graduate School of Teaching and Learning. He also was CEO of the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, executive director for communications and public affairs at the American Institutes for Research, and vice president of Higher Ed Holdings LLC and led communications and public affairs divisions for Widmeyer Communications and Lipman Hearne. Patrick began his career working on Capitol Hill and on political campaigns.
Currently on the Board of Directors for the Center for the Collaborative Classroom and Project Tomorrow and the advisory board for the Education Writers Association, Patrick was the former chairman of the school board in Falls Church City, Virginia.
An award-winning author, he writes and tweets under the handle Eduflack. He is the author of the nationally recognized book, Dadprovement, that chronicles his experiences building a family through adoption. He is also the editor and contributing author of Why Kids Can’t Read: Continuing to Challenge the Status Quo in Education. Patrick regularly speaks on the intersections of education policy, research, and engagement and is the author or ghost author of work that has appeared in hundreds of publications, including USA Today, Washington Post, New York Times, and Education Week.
PR News named Patrick its Not-for-Profit Public Relations Professional of the Year and its Public Affairs Professional of the Year. He recently received a SPOKIE award from DS Simon as the top voice in Non-Profit Education and has been regularly recognized by Education Next as one of the leading names in education social media. Patrick is also the proud recipient of the Dr. Dorothy Height Education Award from the Stamford (CT) NAACP for his advocacy for education equity.
Patrick lives in Florence, SC with his wife, Jennifer, and children, Michael and Anna. For the past four years, he has volunteered his time as a coach for his daughter's competitive cheer team, helping lead a squad of 19 tween girls to Nationals (and a top 10 finish) in December 2019. That experience is the foundation for his latest book, Dad in a Cheer Bow.