Mrs. Richards Leaves Belmont Hill After 27 years of service

Having joined the Belmont Hill community in 1996, Mrs. Richards, Director of the Office of Academic Support Services (OASS), will depart at the school year’s end. She was initially drawn to the school through her own private tutoring program. When she tutored a Belmont Hill student, the Director of OASS at the time, Mrs. Hundley, reached out to her, saying that his parents found her incredibly helpful and wished that she join the school. At the time, she tutored all around the greater Boston area, including at Needham High, St. Sebastians, and from her own home. At first, Mrs. Richards was hesitant: “I did not want to drive up 128.” Furthermore, she was a little overwhelmed by the athletic culture at Belmont Hill. She can vividly remember that when she asked a teacher how a student was doing in her first year, she heard his running time, not his grades. In addition, she worked in the old Howe Building, which did not even have a ladies’ room at the time. However, upon meeting Mr. Goodband, Dr. Melvoin, Mr. Richards, and other teachers, Mrs. Richards soon found a great community and faculty in her part-time position.

When Mrs. Hundley retired, Mrs. Richards stepped into a full-time role coming to appreciate the school’s connection between academics and athletics. When a student struggles in the classroom, Mrs. Richards will often reach out to a coach or teacher to get a complete picture of the student’s needs. She remarks, “I used to think athletics took away from the boys’ time, but it actually keeps them more structured.” Over her time here, Mrs. Richards has come to greatly appreciate the faculty she works with, especially the daily interactions with her neighbors, Mr. McAlpin and Mr. Trautz, along with other incredible faculty and staff.

As an admissions committee member, she has always been impressed with students’ academic growth throughout their middle and high school years. She has facilitated tutoring, peer tutoring, and other educational programs to help struggling students get caught up and stay on track. Her favorite memories have been when she hesitatingly accepted students who eventually thrived and graduated. She continues to work with Mr. Bradley and Mrs. Hamilton to see which students need help. Mrs. Richards also interprets neuropsychological testing; if needed, she helps facilitate learning accommodations, like extra time or laptop use.

During her time, Mrs. Richards has come to appreciate the community, primarily through the willingness of boys to peer tutor each other. She plans to spend her falls in Maine with her husband and continue to tutor at home. Mrs. Richards finally reminisces, “I won’t miss the paperwork but will miss the faculty, boys, and the beautiful campus!” The Panel wishes Mrs. Richards luck in her future endeavors.

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