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NC State University Congratulates Melissa Richardson, Halifax County Schools’ Principal of the Year!


We are delighted to share the news that Melissa Richardson, a Northeast Leadership Academy (NELA) Cohort 1 graduate, was recently named Halifax County Schools’ Principal of the Year!

Great schools have great leaders, and Melissa is certainly a great leader! Last year, in an interview for a follow-up study of NELA graduates, Melissa explained her impact as a school leader:

“When I came into the school the composite was 25.1. In my first year we grew 7.7 points. We started last year [2014] with a 32.8 composite. Lots of instructional growth for the teachers. Last year we had a very successful year and grew 16 points. We have a 48.6 [2015] composite now. We went from an F school and now have a C rating. Which is so exciting. Not just for me, but for NELA. The training that we got through NELA was so important; building the school culture and the belief that we need to have a focus on student data.”

Hollister Elementary School’s composite is now 59. That’s a 33.7-point increase over the three years Melissa has been principal at Hollister!

We congratulate Melissa on her well-deserved recognition!

NC State also sends our sincere appreciation for the teachers and staff at Hollister, and all the dedicated teachers and school leaders in NC, who work very hard every day to make a difference in the lives of students in their care. Your diligent work helps improve our schools, our communities, and our state. Thank you!


About Melissa…


Melissa Harris Richardson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Shaw University and teaching certification from East Carolina University. She was honored as Teacher of the Year for Enfield Middle School in 2011. She represented Halifax County Schools in the North Carolina Regional Teacher of the Year competition in 2011 as well. She has been a general education teacher, a middle school teacher, and an AVID Elective teacher/coordinator. Melissa completed her principal residency at Roanoke Rapids High School and earned her MSA degree from NC State University as a Fellow in the Northeast Leadership Academy (NELA). She is currently serving as Principal at Hollister Elementary School.