Oyster River Educator Named Middle School Principal of the Year by New Hampshire Association of School Principals

Oyster River Cooperative School District
SAU No. 5
Superintendent James Morse
36 Coe Drive
Durham, NH 03824

For Immediate Release

Monday, Feb. 11, 2019

Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: [email protected]

Oyster River Educator Named Middle School Principal of the Year by New Hampshire Association of School Principals

DURHAM –Superintendent James Morse is pleased to announce that Oyster River Middle School Principal Jay Richard has been named the Middle School Principal of the Year by the New Hampshire Association of School Principals (NHASP).

Richard was nominated for the award by Oyster River Assistant Superintendent Todd Allen.

“He has been so committed to middle school education for his whole career,” Assistant Superintendent Allen said. “He’s just a really good, honest guy who really cares about his kids. He’s always doing what he can to make kid’s experiences at the middle school better. That really stands out.”

Richard has worked at Oyster River Cooperative School District for 20 years, and has been the principal at Oyster River Middle for the past 10 years. He began his career in the district as a special education teacher, and also worked as an assistant principal for five years.

In his nomination application on Richard’s behalf, Assistant Superintendent Allen highlighted the principal’s contributions the Oyster River Middle School math and advisory programs, as well as his support of after school activities.

Richard collaborated with the math department at Oyster River to lower the requirements students must meet to take Algebra in the eighth grade, and created a voluntary summer math enrichment program to support students looking to strengthen their math skills. In summer 2018, more than 200 students participated in the voluntary math program. As a result of these initiatives, Oyster River Middle has consistently seen 95 percent of students have met the competencies of the Algebra I course and are able to start high school with math credit.

He also supported changes to the advisory program at the school to put students in small groups with one teacher during advisory periods. The advisory groups develop close relationships among the students and their advisory teacher, and together they participate in volunteer, fundraising, and school spirit events.

In an effort to foster a welcoming environment for all students at Oyster River Middle, Richard has also fostered a thriving array of after school activities for students to participate in, often run by parent and community volunteers. A few examples of student groups he has supported include the ski club, chess club, bridge club, Mind-Craft club, Robotics club, and the outing club.

“It’s wonderful to see Jay recognized by the New Hampshire Association of School Principals for his efforts to make Oyster River Middle School a welcoming environment for students to flourish and grow as they explore their interests,” Superintendent Morse said.

The New Hampshire Association of School Principals will honor Richard, as well as Salem High School Principal Tracy Collyer, Riddle Brook School Principal Molly McCarthy, and Windham High School Assistant Principal Matthew Malila, at its first Leadership Academy from June 26 to June 28 at the Omni Mt. Washington Resort in Bretton Woods.

The four educators will also be recognized at the New Hampshire Excellence in Education Awards Celebration, also known as the EDies awards, on June 8 at the DoubleTree Hilton Manchester Downtown Hotel in Manchester.