Venicia N. Richardson teaches multiple grade levels and subjects in the Adaptive Curriculum Classroom at Southwest Middle School. She has been a teacher for 11 years, and has been at Southwest since October 2013. Prior to working at Southwest, she was a Child Advocate at SAFE Shelter of Savannah and a Pre-K teacher at the Economic Opportunity Head Start program in Savannah. Ms. Richardson has a Master’s Degree in Education, specializing in teaching students with moderate disabilities, and understands the importance of providing a high quality education to all students. It is her passion to help every child reach their developmental milestones, to advocate for each student, and to mentor her peers with strategies in servicing students with disabilities. While serving at SAFE Shelter, Ms. Richardson was able to observe the sociological, economical, and psychological part of education which contributes to her holistic approach to education, and she believes that it’s important to provide learning experiences and strengthen students’ skills that will prepare them for life beyond high school.
Ms. Richardson currently teaches students with severe disabilities, some of whom have moderate to significant cognitive delays. In an effort to build the morale of her students and include them as part of the school’s community, she created an in-school, community-based instruction program called “Coffee on the Go.” This program helps Ms. Richardson’s students build relationships with the school community by serving a variety of coffee, refreshments, and snacks to teachers and supportive staff. Students from the general education classrooms are able to assist their peers with disabilities on the coffee cart, and with other classroom activities. This helps strengthen the life, communication, and math skills for each student who serves on the coffee cart. In addition, Ms. Richardson has collaborated with other teachers to implement a peer assistance program for her students, and was featured as an “Innovative Educator” by the Instructional Technology department for integrating technology into her classroom.
In the future, Ms. Richardson hopes to pursue a Doctoral Degree in Curriculum & Instruction and Special Education. She is a motivated individual who’s always eager to be a team player and to assist her Eagle family. She is thrilled to represent Southwest Middle School as the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year.