We Congratulate Leah Richardson!
Ellis Parker Elementary School
The 2020-21 school year picked up right where last school year ended – in the middle of an ongoing pandemic. Teachers and students are facing new challenges as we all try to find balance in this new normal.
Leah Richardson is Allie Kelley’s daughter’s second grade teacher at Ellis Parker Elementary School on Fort Rucker. Kelley says Mrs. Richardson “has been amazing thus far. [She is] super patient and understanding, tries to be engaging and get to know the kids online.”
Richardson says they don’t have a lot of time for extras in online learning, so she and her fellow teachers are “tackling the must-knows while at the same time trying to keep it low stress for learners and parents.”
She says unless a family has considered home-schooling before, online learning wasn’t on their radar. She encourages parents not to demand perfection but also to not accept apathy.
“Do your best, expect your child to work and make mistakes, and don’t be so hard on yourself.”
Richardson has been teaching for 31 years, 30 of those with the Department of Defense Educational system.
“I still love being a part of their “aha” moments. Smiles, hugs, and sweet notes are a great bonus, too!”
In addition to second grade, Richardson has also taught Pre-K, first, third, and sixth grade, as well as art.
As a military child, Richardson says she experienced many different school settings. She says she wanted to make a difference, especially for overlooked students who might not know how to advocate for themselves.
“We all live hurried lives and oftentimes adults don’t have time, energy, or sometimes even the background that allows for object lessons, explaining natural consequences, or giving tips on how to deal with let-downs and difficult people, with their children,” Richardson says. “My parents were great in that area, and I need to pass it on. I know I have been tasked with this purpose, and it keeps me going.”
Richardson says she’s real with her students and regularly shares her own experiences. She wants her students to know that making mistakes is okay, that those mistakes can result in masterpieces or just good lessons for the future.
“Every day is a new day. Personally, I am praying my way through every hour.”
Leah Richardson received her Bachelor’s with Certifications in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Auburn University Montgomery and later earned her certification for Art Education through classes at our surrounding schools, to include Troy University, Troy Dothan, Enterprise State, and Wallace. She and her husband, Lewe Keith Richardson, have two daughters, Jeri Richardon and Casey Robinson, and four granddaughters.