The Huntington School Board has appointed Michelle J. Richards to assume educational leadership of the Washington Primary building, effective July 1.
Washington’s new principal 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.
Richards will be taking over from the retiring Marsha Neville, who has served as principal for the past 12 years. She has been an assistant principal in the Elmont School District since 2013 and an administrator there since 2009.
“We are beyond excited to welcome Dr. Richards to the district,” Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “She comes to us with years of relevant experience as an assistant principal in the Elmont School District, tremendous talent as an educator and leader and a strong desire to become an integral part of the Huntington school community. We look forward to introducing her to Washington staff and families in the weeks to come.”
She 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, 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 has 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.
Richards maintains memberships in the International Literacy Association, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Huntington trustees approved Richards’ appointment as principal in a vote of 7-0. Her probationary period runs through June 30, 2022 at which time she will be eligible for tenure.