• A Message from Mr. McCain

  • Greetings Richards Middle Students, Families, and Staff!

    I hope you are all doing well as we prepare to kick off the start of the 2023-2024 school year!

    As I reflect on the close of the 2022-2023 school year, we experienced great satisfaction witnessing several hundred students provide outstanding performances in our Fine Arts Band, Chorus, and Orchestra end-of-year concerts! Our 8th-grade students should be especially commended, considering they learned to play their instruments during the 2020-2021 Covid-19 hybrid learning school year. Many of them learned to play instruments as 6th graders through Zoom class sessions. Yet, one would never know that from their recent outstanding 8th-grade musical performances. This type of resiliency and resolve serves as an inspiration for us all and is the fulfillment of our purpose as a school.

    It can be easy sometimes to fall into life’s “negativity trap”, where we see everything through a lens of pessimism, skepticism, and negativity. This trap is sometimes illustrated by how we interpret a glass with water filled at the midway mark. One person sees the glass as “half-empty”. But a different person will look at the same glass and see it as “half-full”. How about you? Do you look for positive things about your life, school, family, friends, teachers, work, and your future? There is a large body of research that speaks to the greater success and happiness of those who see the glass as HALF FULL. Richards’ 8th-grade music students certainly possessed a “Glass Half Full” mentality for the last three years, and they served as a great example for us all!  

    Each school year is distinct from the others. School years develop their own unique qualities and personalities. But one constant remains each year…there are multiple peaks and valleys. There will be both celebrations and disappointments. We will experience excitement, and we will experience the mundane. Students will feel immense pride in their school but may also have questions and concerns about the school. This is to be expected, and is a normal part of school, family, work, civic, social, religious, or political organizations.  Simply stated, life has its ups and downs! Whether you are a 12-year-old student or a 35-year-old teacher, your life will have some highs and some lows. How we choose to respond will determine who we become and the future pathway of our lives. Remember…choose the “Glass Half Full”!

    But it is also helpful to know you are not alone in the journey. I’ve always remembered one specific college professor who used to tell us frequently, “I am for you”. Those four words stuck with me, and I remember him to this day more than my other professors. I remember him because he cared about us and wanted what was best for us. He wanted to help us (students) through the difficult process of completing college classes and ultimately graduating from college.

    Richards Middle students, please know that I am for You! And your teachers are for You! We care about you on the bright sunny days, and we care about you on the dark and gloomy days. You are not alone. Together we will journey through the ups and downs of a long school year and come out on the other end more mature and better prepared for the next grade level, and the next phases of life.

    Wishing you all a happy and successful school year!



    Mark McCain