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Mr. Richardson

March 16, 2010

Clarkton High School closed in 1992, forcing the classes of ’93, ’94 and ‘95 to attend one of three area high schools. I ended up at East Bladen, while most of the teachers, classmates and friends I had known since Kindergarten went to another school. So here I was in a new school, my senior year, and having to make new friends, learn new teachers and maintain a decent class ranking (I was number 5 at Clarkton).

I walked into my Business Law class and there was this big, deep-voiced teacher, Mr. Richardson. He looked serious and I thought, “Lord, just get me through this class.” But, he was the opposite of my first impression and by the end of the year he had become one of my favorite teachers. He not only covered his subject matter, but he did his best to prepare us for life after High School.

I first experienced this when we had to announce our post-graduation plans. I knew I was going to college, and I had been accepted to many, but I had not made a decision. Mr. Richardson made it his mission to make sure I went to a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). He would ask me EVERY week if I had decided and he would whisper “Central” as I walked past his desk.

See, he graduated from North Carolina Central University so that was his number one choice. When I told him Central wasn’t on my short list (I just didn’t care for the campus), but A&T was on the list he said he could “deal” with me going to North Carolina A&T. He touted the experience of an HBCU and the fact that he had gone to both an HBCU and East Carolina University so he knew what he was talking about. And I’ll admit, that is a major reason I went to A&T.

He did other things, too. He spent a month teaching us how to do taxes so that we would have a “marketable skill” when we graduated. He knew the guy I was dating was not a good choice and he told me so. Then he moved me to the other side of the class so that we couldn’t sit near each other. 

He was a great teacher of both Business Law and of life lessons.  Most recently he was appointed Commissioner for Bladen County and was set to be sworn in to that seat in April.

Mr. Richardson was killed in a car accident last week. I found out while reading status updates on Facebook and it instantly took me back to 1993 when I was a graduating senior and he looked so proud as I told him I had chosen A&T. Rest In Peace Dr. Stanley Richardson. You are truly missed.

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