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WHEREAS, Ed Richardson served the education community, including teachers, students, and parents, as well as the general public of Alabama in an exemplary manner as the State Superintendent of Education from October 1995 until January 2004; and
WHEREAS, Ed Richardson earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Auburn University and, while he rose through the ranks of public education as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, local superintendent, and state superintendent of education, Ed Richardson also found time to teach at the college level and to serve as Education Liaison for Governor Guy Hunt; and
WHEREAS, Ed Richardson’s many honors include Alabama PTA Outstanding Superintendent and Honorary Life Member, BellSouth Corporation Global Leaders of the South, Friends of Children Award from Children’s Health Systems, National Educational Leadership Award from Jobs for America’s Graduates, and Leadership Alabama Member (Class V); and
WHEREAS, Ed Richardson was appointed State Superintendent of Education by the Alabama State Board of Education in October 1995; served under 12 different board members and three different governors; and, by virtue of his office, served as Secretary and Executive Officer of the Alabama State Board of Education, Chief Executive Officer of the Alabama Department of Education, Member of the Board of Control of the Teachers’ Retirement System of Alabama, Vice Chairman of the Alabama Public School and College Authority, Member of the Building Commission of the State of Alabama, Member of the Board of Trustees of eight public universities in Alabama, and Member of the Board of Trustees of Tuskegee University; and
WHEREAS, among his many accomplishments as State Superintendent of Education, Ed Richardson oversaw implementation of Alabama’s Education Accountability Law; provided leadership and programs to reduce the high school dropout rate to historic lows; implemented performance Report Cards for each school, school system, and the state, as well as for college and university teacher education programs; worked to restore teacher testing and hold higher education teacher programs accountable for their graduates; strengthened Alabama’s high school graduation requirements to the most rigorous in the nation; launched the Alabama Reading Initiative and piloted the new Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative; aligned Career and Technical Education programs to business and industry standards; implemented background checks for teachers and other individuals with unsupervised access to students; and improved student academic performance to all-time highs; and
WHEREAS, Ed Richardson guided Alabama’s public schools through some of the state’s most trying times, including proration and other financial crises; led the fight for many educational improvements, including a strengthened 4x4 curriculum as well as the revision and implementation of a statewide assessment program to accurately measure student achievement; and pushed for increased public awareness and parental involvement; and
WHEREAS, Ed Richardson’s many years of distinguished public service are a hallmark of exceptional commitment and dedication to public education and to the children of Alabama, and his years of service as State Superintendent of Education afforded him countless opportunities to impact public education--preschool through college; and
WHEREAS, the members of the Auburn University Board of Trustees appointed Ed Richardson as Interim President of Auburn University on January 20, 2004, and Ed Richardson submitted his resignation to the Alabama State Board of Education on January 22, 2004, after more than eight years as State Superintendent of Education:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education does hereby express its appreciation to Ed Richardson for his distinguished service as State Superintendent of Education and for his many years of service to the state of Alabama and its children and does hereby commend Ed Richardson for his lifetime of accomplishments and his dedication to public education; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education does hereby extend its best wishes for continued success to Ed Richardson as he leads Auburn University as Interim President.