Did you know that Richardson Middle School turns twenty this year?
Sixth Grade Teacher Alison Newman recalls the first days at Richardson.
“Twenty years ago Newton Middle School reopened to fanfare. They renamed the school after a retired superintendent, and it became Richardson Middle School. That first year was a year to remember for both students and staff. Half the campus was still used by the Adult School. Wings A and B were used by six Sixth Grade teachers; Gail Nowak, Lisa Vaona (Case), Kathy Fennell, Jennifer Hankins, Louise Shimizu, and Alison Newman. Shelley Stallings was the Secretary [Sonny was the Night Custodian] and we did not have an Attendance Clerk, Health Assistant, or a full time Principal. We shared the Principal who was in charge of Calle Mayor Middle School. We saw her occasionally.
There were no bells so we used our voices and bull horns to bring the students in from lunch and recess. It was a strong year for the staff, because we had to swim hard so we wouldn’t drown. The strength of the Sixth Grade team was powerful. We were not only teachers, but administrators and security all rolled into one. The students (all Sixth Grade) were also powerful. They were opinionated, vocal, crafty and smart. Our first school President was Devin Darling. Our school mascot and school colors were decided by the students.
It was not easy, but it was an experience that brought the school together as a whole and as Seventh and Eighth Grade were added, the unity continued,” said Newman.
Sixth Grade Teacher Lisa Vaona-Case was also among the original Sixth Grade teachers that opened Richardson.
“We started from scratch in September of 1993 with 200 students (Sixth Grade only). RMS has grown so much in twenty years. It has been a privilege to be a part of the process and this community. I look forward to many more years…probably in Room 8,” said Case.
Richardson has gone through a lot of changes. She has received a recent “facelift” during the weekend of the Sharefest. She has received more plugs and technical gadgets that were not even heard of or invented the years she first opened. She has been given new beauty in the ways of a garden and murals. She is truly looking magnificent.
Just think, we could have been the Roosters or the Rinos. Thank goodness for that first class of voters.
Happy Birthday Richardson Middle School. You don’t look a day over 19!