Class Finds Black Leader Right in Their Own School

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), February 25, 1997 | Go to article overview

Class Finds Black Leader Right in Their Own School


Byline: Wallace & Smith

Tripp School Assistant Principal Vivian Powers-Richard is keeping some extraordinary company these days.

Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King Jr. - some of the most esteemed names in African-American history are hanging out with Powers-Richard at her school in Buffalo Grove.

"It's quite an honor and very humbling," she said.

In conjunction with Black History Month, each second-grade class at Tripp decided to profile a different African-American who's stamped their imprint on American life.

"We thought, what a better leader (to profile) than somebody they see every single day," said Maralee Scott of her second-grade class, which went ahead and depicted its assistant principal.

To complete the project, the students interviewed Powers-Richard, wrote her biography and drew a picture of her that's now on display at the school along with the other honorees.

In the process, the students learned everything from the name of Powers-Richard's favorite teacher to who her hero is (Martin Luther King Jr.) to the fact that she attended the State University of New York at New Paltz, which was in the path of the Underground Railroad and where the library is named for Sojourner Truth.

"The whole school knows about her leadership, and we wanted to help more people learn about it," said second-grader Halie Weiss.

The class is also learning stories and drawings from African-Americans and is corresponding with a predominantly black class in St. …

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