This phrase echoed through Shea Richardson’s mind since she entered the office of the Director of Puerto Rican Institute, Dr Frank Morales, where she was a freshman beginning her undergraduate study at Seton Hall University. This provided the motivation that started her career to become an educator, leader and mentor in the local community.

As the Director of Social Studies for the East Orange School District’s Division of Curriculum and Instruction, Richardson’s goal is to encourage, educate and encourage students to be productive and develop their abilities to do great things.

Richardson was recognized as an inspirational and committed teacher on the 25th of April when she was presented with the Hanbury Alumni Mission Award from Seton Hall. The award is given annually by the College of Education and Human Services to acknowledge the work of alumni who dedicate themselves to helping others to assist and nurture people who are struggling and in need. Richardson was recognized during the college’s reception for alumni held at the McLoone’s Boathouse in West Orange, New Jersey.

CEHS Interim Dean Joseph Martinelli, Ed.D. The CEHS Interim Dean, Joseph Martinelli, Ed.D., spoke to the students, alumni staff, and other college friends, discussing Richardson’s achievements in her home town in East Orange, New Jersey and the school district in East Orange. “Ms Richardson believes that each scholar is destined for greatness, and her ultimate mission is to encourage every scholar to use the power in their voice combined with their special gifts to be upstanders for justice that work to make our communities, nation, and the world a better place,” Martinelli declared.

At four, Richardson began her education in the East Orange School District and finished high school with a passion for history and education. Shea is enrolled in Seton Hall University as a prestigious student from the Reverend the Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Association (MLKSA). She graduated with a B.S.E. with a major in History and Secondary Education and an M.A. in Education. It also includes certification as a School Library Media Specialist.

With her degree, Richardson was eager to get her start in the field of education and became an instructor in Social Studies for East Orange Campus High School. She was three times a finalist for the New Jersey State Teacher of the Year Award and was awarded the award in the academic year 2010-2011. After a long and successful 11 years as a teacher, Richardson became Department Chair for Social Studies. She supervised the Social Studies, World Language and ESL Departments in East Orange Campus High School.

“My experiences as an educator have been rich,” Shea Richardson explains. “My students taught me many important lessons, and it gives me pleasure, honour and humility serving my former scholars as well as current scholars, future scholars, colleagues and family members. Together, we’re all people who must cooperate to create our communities, our country, and the world an even better place.” Richardson recognizes that the current generation of scholars must be connected to the world, which is why she has developed various programs that allow faculty and students to be connected nationally and internationally, in addition to incorporating the richness of history and diversity into her everyday activities.

In the speech she gave to her fellow students, Richardson expressed gratitude for the passing of Father Kevin Hanbury, Dean Martinelli, James Daly, Daniel Katz, and William McCartan. They were her teachers during her college years at Seton Hall. She also offered a special thank you to Associate Dean Omayra Arocho for her “unwavering support and ultimately being an advocate and a voice of feminine power during your leadership with the MLKSA.”

Richardson ended her talk by concluding her speech with an excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr. to consider: “Everybody can be great because everyone has the capacity to serve. You don’t need an undergraduate degree to be able to be a servant. You don’t need to make your subject and verbs consent to serve. All you need is an open heart and a spirit infused with love.”

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