Position: CSR Teacher/Parent Coordinator
School: West Lowndes Elementary School
School District: Lowndes County School District
City, State: Columbus, Mississippi
About the Nominee: Shondolyn Richardson was nominated by her spouse, Michael Richardson. She earned her National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification (Literacy: Reading-Language Arts / Early and Middle Childhood) in November 2013. Even though her primary role is to provide additional assistance to struggling readers in grades 2-6, Mrs. Richardson does so much more. During the 2015-2016 school year, Mrs. Richardson spearheaded the creation of a school volunteer program. She helped provide the volunteers with official training and rewarded active participants by inviting them to a Volunteer Luncheon that was paid for with her personal funds. She also wrote a grant that could maximize readily available school resources to provide valuable information for teachers to better differentiate instruction. As a result, she was awarded an “Ecolab’s Visions for Learning Educator Grant." This grant gave West Lowndes Elementary the opportunity to test the NWEA MAP program with no added cost to the school or district.
During the 2016-2017 school year, Mrs. Richardson continued her volunteer program, spearheading a school wide Family Game Night to encourage parental involvement. She also played a major role with the implementation of NWEA MAP by researching the capability of the overall system, submitting the necessary student data, distributing user names and passwords, providing presentations, coordinating the testing schedules and proctoring the tests.
Every year, Mrs. Richardson volunteers by helping to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the inmates of the West Point correctional facility in West Point, MS. She also recently served as a volunteer to help with a mobile food distribution program based in Montgomery, AL. During her 18 years of teaching, Mrs. Richardson has spent countless hours tutoring students free of charge, routinely visiting parents out of concern for their children and researching the most effective ways to help students master new skills. When all of this is taken into consideration, it is easy to see why Mrs. Richardson is a LifeChanger!