Mr. Richardson: Once a Pirate, Always a Pirate

Although he is pursuing new opportunities, the longtime teacher’s impact will be remembered


Lauren Molenda

Mr. Chris Richardson’s final day at MHS was Thursday.

Lauren Molenda, Editor

After 15 years of dedication to MHS through teaching, Mr. Christopher Richardson has decided to travel a new path, bringing his Pirate journey to an end.

Over the years, Mr. Richardson has taught numerous classes including World Civilizations, World History, Government, Economics, and in 2010 began teaching AP Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. He also dove into extracurriculars through coaching football, wrestling, track, and unified track, giving him a large influence in the Pirate community.

Richardson began his career at MHS back in 2006 after previously working in many different job settings, ranging from bartending to labor work to even working at UPS. After discovering his love for the field of education, he ran with it, and has since come to educate thousands of students over his career. 

“I became a teacher by coaching youth sports and because of my love of learning,” Richardson said. “It was suggested to me that I use my skills at building relationships with athletes and apply it to the classroom setting.”

While Richardson has taught countless lessons over his career, he too has learned valuable skills that he will carry with him for years to come. 

“Students have taught me to be empathetic, to look at problems and scenarios from a different point of view … to be engaging, strong-willed, and to use perseverance to build oneself to a higher purpose,” Richardson said. 

The experiences he has gone through as a teacher and mentor have shaped his mindset of not only education, but life as a whole.

“Every student is capable of success,” Richardson said. “I have experienced how interactions impacted myself in creating meaningful relationships that are based in integrity, trustworthiness, wisdom, respect, compassion, excellence, and honor.”

2020 MHS Alum Aaliyah Perry had Richardson as both her Economics and homeroom teacher during her senior year. Perry believes that his love for teaching influenced students beyond his knowledge.

“He was always so funny and corny, but also enthusiastic about what he was teaching, which made learning much more interesting for me,” Perry said. 

Perry is now a sophomore at Tennessee State University, majoring in Visual Communications to pursue her dream career in typography or graphic design.

“He inspired me to not only further my education, but to also have fun while doing it,” Perry said.

Recently, Richardson began exploring career opportunities outside of MHS, and after using the very cost vs. benefit analysis he preaches to his Econ students, he decided that making a career transition was the best choice for him.

“I had to look out for my family and myself, in which my retirement would be substantially greater with the new job,” Richardson said. “It was a very tough choice to leave the family that I have been a part of for 15 years, but I have faith that when one door closes, another opens.”

Richardson will continue his education pathway through teaching at a juvenile correctional facility in hopes to bring success and motivation into the lives of younger people who may just need guidance and support to get themselves back on their feet.

“[I will be] helping at-risk students achieve or realize their value, worth, and potential to society and teaching them that learning is an ever-long process that can take you anywhere you want to go,” Richardson said. “I want to be a part of change . . . helping individuals change their lives for the better.”

In sharing his final parting words with the students and faculty of MHS, Richardson referenced one of his favorite quotes that holds great significance to him as an educator, Pirate, and person: 

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” – Bruce Lee.  

“To me, this means taking the invisible in the world and making it visible,” Richardson said. “It means cherishing the milestones created in working towards your goals…and this is where we learn.”

“I would like to thank you all at MHS for making my time here one of the best stages in my life, from the past and current students, faculty, administrators, coaches and support staff. I could not be the person I am today without all of you. As we all know, once a Pirate, always a Pirate.”