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Emma Richardson Announces Retirement From MSMS, Teaching

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Emma Richardson Announces Retirement From MSMS, Teaching

Courtesy of Emma Richardson

Courtesy of Emma Richardson

Courtesy of Emma Richardson

Aiden Leise, Staff Writer

On Monday, March 25, Emma Richardson, a founding member of the MSMS faculty, announced her retirement after 45 years of teaching. Included in an email sent to students, parents and faculty from Executive Director Germain McConnell was the following statement from Richardson:

As many of you know, I began teaching at MSMS in the fall of 1988 as one of the founding faculty members. When the twelve of us gathered around a table on July 5, 1988, we had no curriculum, no course catalog, no student or faculty handbook, no schedule, no textbooks, no classrooms. Over the course of that summer, and working with gifted administrators and staff, we made something from nothing. 

What a privilege it has been to be a part of this experiment in public education. What a privilege it has been over the years to teach so many talented, hard-working students. What a privilege it has been to learn from so many dedicated and visionary colleagues.

A poet friend of mine writes that retirement is “a large room with not much furniture.”  In December, I will step out of Room 107 in Hooper Science Building with happy memories and a sense of deep satisfaction, and step into that new, large room—ready, with joyful expectation, to furnish it.

-Emma

Richardson will finish her classes for the 2018-2019 school year and continue to teach through the end of December 2019. School administration has already announced its search for a new English faculty member, though at the time of this writing, the MSMS website does not have the job opening listed.

Members of the MSMS community have demonstrated mixed feelings about the announcement, respecting Richardson’s decision, but also wondering how the school will be affected by the loss of its most consistent feature.

“How do you fill the shoes of a legend?” said Dawn Barham, who will ascend to the title of current longest serving teacher at MSMS, having taught music since 1993. “I’m of course sad for us, the school, but also happy for her.”

MSMS counselor Dr. Heath Stevens harbors similar feelings. “She will be greatly missed. We won’t find anyone to replace her, even when the position is filled. I don’t know that it’s hit me just yet because she was one of my teachers, too.”

Richardson’s students also expressed uncertainty at her retirement announcement and positive testimony to her teaching skill.

“To be honest, I was really sad; I don’t really know how I feel,” said Edith Marie Green, one of Richardson’s students. “Mrs. Richardson has been teaching for a very long time, but it’s still hard to let go of such an excellent teacher.”

Powers Lamb, another of Richardson’s University English students, feels “really sad” at Richardson’s leaving. “Mrs. Richardson was one of the hardest-working teachers I’ve ever had, and it’s hard to see her go.”

More details on what Richardson’s role at MSMS during the 2019-2020 school year will be are expected to be announced.

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About the Writer
Aiden Leise, Staff Writer

Aiden Leise is a junior hailing from Lake Cormorant, Desoto County, or as he often refers to it at MSMS, "Memphis South." Aside from his role as a peon...

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Emma Richardson Announces Retirement From MSMS, Teaching”

  1. Marlies Bearden on March 27th, 2019 4:54 am

    Hard to believe that MSMS will be without this fabulous lady Ms “Emma”. She has planted so many seeds in the lives of so many students. Her teachings will forever have an impact on anyone fortunate enough to have spent time under her guidance. MSMS is a great school because of her.
    She will be missed immensely, however her spirit will always remain.

  2. Shannon Outlaw-Kimsey c/o 1990 on April 4th, 2019 1:33 pm

    I was just speaking to Marcus Moseley last night about how Ms. Richardson would never retire. Happy for her, but so much will be missing as the last original teacher, creator, and visionary of MSMS leaves. I am forever grateful to you and all of the other teachers/mentors/second parents who helped us make it through the first 2 years and graduate as the inaugural class. Thanks a million Ms. Richardson!

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