Seen throughout Palatine High School, Joyce Richardson is a light to those who walk the halls of the school.
“I think it is the most wonderful thing to be a woman,” Richardson said. “I am able to be sensitive, yet strong all in the same moment.”
Richardson is a PHS math teacher, dean of students, and former volleyball coach. She plays a large role in-and-out of the classroom. On the volleyball court, she was intimidating to the team by saying “I already ran two miles at five in the morning today” to motivate them to do their best during practice. She uses grit to encourage all women in her life to do their best.
“I really think my role is to provide an example to other women that we can have high standards, have our own dream, and overcome obstacles that stand in our way,” Richardson said. “Experience is the best teacher, but having a daughter has really made me think how I want her to be as she grows older.”
As her experience has grown, she has looked at how influential females in her life (mother, grandmothers, friends, etc.) have shaped her into who she is. As well, the man who has shaped her to advocate for everyone, especially those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, with PHS’s “Spike out ALS” volleyball games honoring Richardson’s late father.
“I think I recognize the students here at PHS in the classroom or on the volleyball court, but I am going to make sure that my fellow female colleagues know how much I appreciate them,” Richardson said.
Richardson hopes that with the celebration of women, younger girls see their potential. She emphasizes that having those supporting you and being a representation for you and others. She likes to add that “well behaved women never made history.” Richardson hopes her colleagues see the same.
“At PHS, we have a wonderful array of strong women in this building who are incredible people represented in both students and staff,” Richardson said. “I see you grinding out each day balancing your lives with school and home, and you are nothing short of fantastic.”