Happy Birthday to Richardson Middle School Who Turns 25

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Mrs. Lisa Vaona-Case is the last of the original teachers from 1993 pictured above.  Can you find her?

By Sally M.

In 1955, Torrance Unified School District (TUSD) opened our school. It was originally called Newton School, named after Newton Street, but the name isn’t the only thing that has changed over the years.

Richardson is currently a middle school, but it wasn’t always that way. When it first opened in 1955, it was a K-8 school. In 1972, it became a middle school. It was closed and turned into an adult school in 1986 due to a declining enrollment. It was reopened twenty-five years ago and renamed Edward J. Richardson Middle School.

You might be wondering, ‘Who is Edward J. Richardson?’  Well, Dr. Richardson was the superintendent of TUSD and was retiring in June of 1993 and so the school was named after him when it reopened.

Did you know that we might have been called the Richardson Raptors? Or maybe even the Richardson Rocketships? In the first year, the students chose our school colors and mascot. The principal got some complaints from parents because they did not like that students chose the Rattlesnakes, but she supported the students’ choice.

Many things have changed about RMS over the years. In fact, in the first year, there were only six homerooms of sixth graders and the campus was shared with adult education.

However, the biggest change would be the actual campus and buildings. We are currently under construction, but this is actually the second remodel. Over the years, rooms have been added, the Sixth Graders got lockers, and we will be having a gym soon.

I asked Richardson’s very own Math and Science Teacher Mrs. Lisa Vaona-Case what she thought was the best thing about working at our school.

“The relationships I have formed in our community. I have taught younger siblings, and now children of former students. I have formed lifelong friendships with some of my coworkers. We have shared good and bad life experiences together, and we are a strong group,” said Case.

I also asked Case what our teachers and principal hope to see more or less of from students.

“I can only speak for myself, but I want RMS students to be kind, involved, productive members of society. I want them to have a love of learning, and a strong desire for a better world. Then, I want them to go out and make it better!” said Case.

It sounds like Richardson has had a really good twenty-five years full of great memories. I hope we can make even more memories in the future!

*Editor’s Note-A special thank you to Mrs. Lisa Vaona-Case for supplying all of the information for this article. No one else would know it but her.  

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