Richards back at Home, sweet Fleeta

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fleeta Junior High School principal Seth Richards was once at student at the school.

Fleeta Junior High School principal Seth Richards was once at student at the school.

As a former student of Fleeta Junior High School, Seth Richards is familiar with the school and community, and he is excited to be the new principal there.

“I’m blessed to be here,” Richards said. “I was one of the rare kids that went to school here kindergarten through eighth grade. Now, I’m back where I started, and much of is still the same school as when I started.”

Richards began his school years at Fleeta Junior High School in 1980, and his mother was a teacher there for many years.

After finishing eighth grade, Richards then attended and graduated from Opp High School.

Richards went on to graduate from Troy State University.

His first teaching job after graduation came at Fleeta.

“The principal called me and said they had an aide job available, and I would also be basketball coach,” Richards said. “Well, I’m fresh out of college and I knew I wanted to get into coaching. I came back here, and it was great time.”

Richards was an aide and coach at Fleeta for two years before taking a job teaching history as Straughn, where he has spent the past 14 years. His time at Straughn led him to pursue a career in administration.

“I taught history at Straughn for 12 years, and the past two years I have been the assistant principal at the elementary and middle school,” Richards said. “I knew early on from the great people that I worked with that I wanted to get into administration some day.”

Richards said he is lucky to for the chance to be back in Fleeta.

“I knew I wanted to go into administration and I knew I wanted it to be here in Covington County,” Fleeta said. “I’m fortunate that it’s here at Fleeta. I have a true love for this school. Some of the teachers who are here were here when I was an aide.”

One goal of Richards is helping the kids transition to a new school after leaving Fleeta.

“A lot of these kids will go to Straughn after they finish here,” Richards said. “From being there for so many years, I know all the administration and all the teachers. I will be able to bridge that transition. I want to prepare them to be Straughn Tigers when they reach ninth grade. I think that it’s important to make them feel like they are a part of something bigger.”

Other goals of Richards are unity among students and community involvement.

“I really want the kids here to feel united,” Richards said. “I also want Fleeta to be a school that the community feels involved in. Small schools like ours rely heavily on community support to get things done.”

Richards said that they have also started introductory foreign language classes, a school newsletter and journalism classes for interested students.

“We have started a newsletter that the kids will run,” Richards said. “They will go around and interview teachers and students, and they will promote what’s going on at the school.”

Richards said that they foreign language classes are being offered so that students get a leg up for when they are required to take them in high school.

Richards said that one benefit of a small school is being able to get more one-on-one time with kids who may be struggling in one subject or another.

“We are really putting a focus on getting more individual attention to students that need it,” Richards said. “We want to put a lot of effort into each individual, and with a small school we can do that.”

Richards stressed that his job has been an easy one to step into because of his predecessor.

“It has been a good transition,” Richards said of his move to Fleeta. “Randy McGlaun did a great job of getting everything in order to help me slide on in with ease. Mr. Driver has been very helpful as well. He has been open to helping me any way that I need. I feel very supported here between them and the very welcoming staff that I have here at Fleeta. It’s important to have good people around like them to help you out.”