A varied career for her

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 29, 2007

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of stories about each of the four interviews of the finalists for Selma City Schools superintendent.



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From runny noses to janitorial work, Dr. Yvette Richardson says she has done it all in her career as an educator.

Richardson was the first of the four candidates interviewed for the post of Selma City Schools superintendent.

“I have done everything you and do within a school system,” she told board members and city residents Wednesday afternoon.

Richardson began her career as a teacher, and has held a number of positions, including principal and assistant principal, adjunct professor, and educational advisor. She also worked as a consultant for Selma High School’s Early College program through Wallace Community College.

Richardson spoke frankly, which, at times, had school board members and people in the audience laughing.

“I believe in the two A’s: accountability and accessibility,” Richardson said as she outlined a five-year plan for Selma City Schools, which included facility improvements, seeking additional funding through grants and partnerships for the system, expanding the career technology program, and boosting all students’ test scores above minimum requirements.

Richardson wants the system to score 100 percent in the Alabama Direct Assessment of Writing.

She sees the relationship between the system’s superintendent and it’s board members as a marriage.

“We should be able to agree to disagree,” Richardson said, explaining that while everyone may not always think the same way about things, they are unified by the overarching priority to put the children first. Reports would be made to the school board as often as needed, beyond a monthly basis.

When instituting curriculum changes, Richardson said she would closely review students’ test scores and performance records and visit classrooms.

“When you visit a teacher’s classroom, the objective should be written on the board, so anyone could walk in and know what is going on in that classroom,” she said.

Richardson earned her doctorate at the age of 29 from the University of Alabama. She described the years since then as “good years” and said she plans to have more.

” I know good instruction when I see it, I know how to enhance it, I know how to improve it, and most importantly, I know how to take it to the next level,” Richardson said.