Kean instructor Faye Richardson is honored as St. Thomas-St. John Teacher of the Year
Published: October 31, 2012
Font size: [A] [A] [A]
ST. THOMAS - Faye Richardson insists on a classroom experience that encourages students to maximize their potential and intensify their love of learning.
Her reputation for hard work, emphasis on discipline and ability to motivate students came with a new reward: She was named the St. Thomas-St. John District's 2013 Teacher of the Year.
"To be honest, I was really shocked. I really was," Richardson said. "What I do on a daily basis is just be a teacher."
The St. Croix District's 2013 Teacher of the Year will be announced today, according to V.I. Education spokeswoman Ananta Pancham.
During the last 26 years, Richardson has been at Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, where she teaches Virgin Islands history and advanced placement psychology. She's also the ninth-grade team leader.
She also is a Kean graduate.
Richardson said her teaching philosophy is centered on three beliefs: promoting a rigorous classroom experience that stresses academics and creativity; motivating students to strive and excel; and maintaining a well-structured classroom that is physically and emotionally pleasing.
"I think that I have been teaching all my life," Richardson said during a luncheon Sunday on St. Thomas. "And at Eudora Kean, my goal is to see the school shine, and shine through the successes of the students."
Richardson was honored Sunday, along with fellow finalists Kisha Corbett, CTE teacher at Addelita Cancryn Junior High; Kalisha Mathurin, reading teacher at Julius E. Sprauve School; Lillian Moolenaar, fourth-grade teacher at E. Benjamin Oliver Elementary; and U.S. Army Maj. Gregory Cochrane, senior Army instructor and JROTC battalion leader at Charlotte Amalie High School.
Each finalist was selected by his or her principal and colleagues and evaluated by a panel of judges made up of school-level and district-level administrators.
"We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to recognize five of our District's outstanding teachers," St. Thomas-St. John School Superintendent Jeanette Smith-Barry said in a media release issued Monday. "We believe that Mrs. Richardson is an excellent selection, who truly represents the best the teaching profession has to offer. With her years of exemplary service to the District, she is definitely a worthy candidate."
Smith-Barry said Richardson earned the highest score from the panel of judges, who noted her vast experiences and teaching philosophy as well as her opinions on "current issues and trends in education."
For Richardson, college prep is a priority and she has exposed her team - dubbed the Brilliant Bonitos - to activities that give her students an early familiarity with college life. She teaches students about the types of credits they need to move on from high school to college and then on to their professional lives. She said she takes advantage of the proximity of the University of the Virgin Islands and its resources.
"I've tried to be a facilitator in the classroom," said Richardson. "I have my classes more student-oriented. I want to push them and urge them to seek things on their own.
"My ultimate goal for them is for them to become great learners," she continued. "I want to set that spark in their mind, and you hope they go down the path you want them to go."
Kean Principal Sharon McCollum described Richardson as an "eternal flame" who works tirelessly with "any and every child."
Richardson said she makes sure to connect with every student. She wants them to prioritize and aim higher than they ever did before they enrolled in the ninth grade.
"One of the things we do with them is ask them what type of career path do they want to go down," she said. "We ask them, 'How would you use your training to contribute to Virgin Islands society?' Even though they are only 14 and 15 years old, we want them to dream a little."
- Contact Tony Holt at 714-9104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.