Washington Primary School Principal Michelle J. Richards was busy on Dr. Martin Luther Day this past Monday. The first year Huntington UFSD building leader and her fellow members of the Sigma Psi Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority prepared chicken soup and grilled cheese sandwiches to feed 200 children who reside in shelters.
Dr. Richards is the Sigma Psi Omega chapter president. She said there is a correlation between children who receive free and reduced meals in school and food security. She pointed out that many families rely on the well-balanced meal provided in school to meet the nutritional needs of their children.
“When these children are not in school they run the risk of barely having one well-balanced home-cooked meal,” Dr. Richards said. “It is our goal to provide children who are residing in shelters with a warm home-cooked lunch to ensure they receive at least one well-balanced meal on this day off from school.”
The food was donated by the chapter and prepared at a Wyandanch church, which donated its facilities. The food was later delivered to a shelter in the Town of Huntington.
“Dr. King left us with this quote to ponder: ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?’ So on this day we celebrate the gifts that Dr. King gave to mankind through our service to our children in need,” Dr. Richards said.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is the nation’s oldest Greek letter sorority founded by black college-educated women. It was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington D.C. on Jan. 15, 1908. Since then, the sorority has flourished into a globally-impactful organization of nearly 300,000 college-trained members. Sigma Psi Omega chapter was founded June 23, 1990 in Hauppauge and is based in Bay Shore.
Dr. Michelle J. Richards Profile
Dr. Michelle J. Richards is Washington Primary School's first year principal
Dr. Michelle J. Richards has been principal of Washington Primary School since July 1, 2018.
Dr. Richards obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology at SUNY Albany and a Master of Science degree in childhood education at City University of New York-Lehman College. She earned a Doctor of Education degree in educational administration and supervision at St. John’s University. She studied for her state administrative certification at CUNY-Queens College.
At the time of her appointment in Huntington, Dr. Richards was an assistant principal in the Elmont School District since 2013 and an administrator there since 2009.
Dr. Richards began her career as a general education teacher in New York City. She worked at Public School 107x (2001-03) and Lewis H. Latimer School-PS 56K (2003-06). She later taught in Elmont at Gotham Avenue School from 2006-09.
In 2009, Dr. Richards moved into Elmont’s administrative ranks after being named assistant to the principal. She was the principal of Elmont’s summer enrichment program in 2009 and 2010. She also served as a district professional development facilitator, curriculum map developer for English Language Arts and as a district testing leader, creating the scoring schedule, selecting and training district scorers, facilitating the scoring process and ensuring testing documents are securely maintained.
Dr. Richards maintains memberships in the International Literacy Association, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.