Lisa Richards, an English literature, literacy, and leadership teacher at Renton High School was recently interviewed about her experiences and her journey to becoming a teacher. Mrs. Richards graduated from high school in 1992 and started working as a teacher’s assistant while completing college night classes. She graduated from the University of Washington with a master’s degree in teaching in 2002. Richards also worked as a teacher’s assistant for about 10 years and worked in the Seattle School District for about a year. In that year, she worked at Bailey Gatzert Elementary and Garfield High School. Richards was then hired by the Renton School District and from there, worked 5 years at Dimmitt Middle School.
She then took an 8-year break as a stay-at-home mom to take care of her children while doing volunteer work at a Preschool with her kids. During the time of her break, Richards also was PTA president for Lakeridge Elementary. She started substituting for 2 years and found her love for working at Renton High School. She took a gamble and only applied to Renton High School. She was then hired at Renton High in 2018.
When asked what her biggest challenge was, she said, “The biggest challenge was putting myself through school. I had no help at all… I had to support myself which was why I had to take night classes for my teaching degree… and taking care of myself while putting myself through school.” Richard’s dream was to dance but realized that dancing was an unstable career to take care of herself with, so she continued with teaching since she always knew that school has always been there for her. When asked about her future career goals, she said she wanted to “Continue being an inspirational teacher to encourage my students to make good choices in their life and to help make the world a better place.”