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Jessica Richardson ’15, ’22MSA: ‘I Chose Education Because I Believe That Each Student Deserves an Exceptional Education from Champion Teachers Who Advocate for Them’

Jessica Richardson

After completing her undergraduate degree in the College of Education, Jessica Richardson ’15, ’22MSA felt that NC State was “home.” So, when she decided she wanted to grow more as an educator, she enrolled in the Master of School Administration program.

Now, as she graduates with her Master of School Administration, Richardson– a former Nash County Teacher of the Year– feels that the College of Education has prepared her for the next step in her career, where she will serve as an assistant principal.

Learn more about Jessica Richardson

Hometown: Hollister, N.C.

Degree: Master of School Administration

Activities (Research or Extracurricular): NELA Cohort

Why did you choose the NC State College of Education?

I chose NC State College of Education because it is where I earned my undergraduate degree. I knew that the education and experience I would receive from NC State would be unmatched. NC State is home. 

Why did you choose your area of study?

I chose my area of study because I knew I needed to grow as an educator. As a teacher leader, I wanted to make an impact beyond my classroom. I applied to NC State’s Educational Leadership Academy (NELA) and was accepted. It was the right time. 

What do you hope to accomplish in your field after graduation?

I hope to build a school culture of connectedness and advocacy by cultivating positive, authentic relationships, implementing equitable policies and practices and inclusivity. 

What’s your next step? What do you have planned after graduation?

I will serve as the assistant principal of MB Hubbard Elementary School. 

How has the College of Education prepared you for that next step?

The College of Education, specifically, the NELA program, has prepared me for the next steps in my career through leadership experiences, self-reflection and relationship building. I have learned so much throughout my NELA residency that I will certainly take into my future leadership practices. 

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in the College of Education?

My favorite memory during my time with the College of Education was being able to gather with my cohort members in person. Prior to that, we had only met online due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Tell us about an experience you had with the College of Education that had the biggest impact on you or your career.

The experience that I had with the College of Education that will forever impact me and my career is what [Executive Director of Leadership Academies and Assistant Teaching Professor] Brenda Champion stated in one of our classes. She said that the goal is not perfection, the goal is excellence. I can be overly critical of myself at times and I always have to remind myself that if I am giving excellence, that’s all that anyone can ask for. I am human, not perfect. 

Why did you choose education? 

I chose education because I believe that each student deserves an exceptional education from champion teachers who advocate for them and prepare them beyond the four walls of their classrooms. I chose education because I wanted to be the champion I needed for students and now I hope to fulfill that same vision, just in this new capacity as assistant principal.