A dozen years of Great Expectations: Richmond Elementary recognized as model school

Great expecations model school

Betty Flurry, Great Expectations, gives a presentation before presenting Richmond Elementary the award for being a model school.

By Timothy Cole/Stillwater News Press

Richmond Elementary School has been named a model school by Great Expectations, a professional development program that provides teachers and administrators with the skills needed to create harmony and excitement within the school atmosphere.


This is the 12th consecutive year the school has achieved this honor.

Betty Flurry, a Great Expectations coach and mentor, presented Kendra Rider, Richmond Elementary principal, with the award during an assembly with the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders.

“Great Expectations brings about a culture of respect to teachers, administrators and parents all while generating superior academic excellence,” Flurry said.

Great Expectations has three levels of excellence, model school, progressive school and transitional school, with model school being the highest achievement a school can attain.

To qualify as a model school 90 to 100 percent of teachers need to be trained and implementing the practices set forth by Great Expectations. There are 17 practices in total and a few listed on the Great Expectations website are:

• Students and teachers speak in complete sentences and address one another by name demonstrating mutual respect and courtesy, Students are taught as a whole group thoroughly and to mastery, memory work, recitations and/or writing occur daily.

Before Flurry presented the award, the students sang the Richmond Rockets song, shouted class mottoes, delivered the pledge of allegiance and overall had fun and demonstrated the culture of respect.

When Flurry took the stage she started by reciting her class motto from when she was a young girl. “I am a winner, I was born to be a winner, I will not allow myself to think of failure.”

She encouraged the students to remember that saying for themselves the rest of their lives.

Parents were invited to attend the event in recognition that parents are a major part of learning as well. Superintendent Ann Caine was also in attendance, beaming at the excellence of the school and students. Also in attendance was the previous Richmond Elementary principal, Gay Washington, who started the program with Great Expectations.

“I’m just so proud of this staff and students. It’s ingrained in this school to make sure kids stay positive. You can really see the relationships being built between teacher and student.” Washinton said.

After the event,  Rider couldn’t contain the  joy on her face. This is Rider’s second year as principal and so far she is two-for-two with the Great Expectations program.

“I’m very proud that we have been able to maintain this tradition. Our teachers work very hard. It really is embedded into the school.”