By Helen Compton-Harris, Director of Outreach
Still relatively new to the area, Richard Wright Public Charter School is proud to be the first public high school located in Southwest.For decades, Southwest residents commuted to Northwest, Northeast, and Southeast D.C. to attend a public high school, but not now. Richard Wright PCS is here to offer quality education to Southwest youth and all residents of the District. While our concentration is journalism and media arts, we also offer a classical high school program and are fully accredited by the Middle States Board of Secondary Schools.
Richard Wright opened in the fall of 2011 with only 70 eighth and ninth graders, adding a grade each year until it achieved full high school status by 2015. Our first graduates are now college graduates, and in the philosophy of our CEO and founder, Dr. Marco Clark, actively contributing to their communities. For the last four years, 100% of our graduates were accepted into one or more colleges. Two of our graduates from 2016 are now employed by the school, one as a teacher, and one as the executive assistant to the CEO.
We take education seriously at Richard Wright and create a family atmosphere to support our students and help them reach their full potential.
One of our current seniors is an excellent example of the student success we strive to create. Amora Campbell started at Richard Wright in ninth grade and has stayed because of its lively and engaging community. Although shy initially, Amora found her niche, becoming active in debate and eventually chairing that club. She is also the President of the Richard Wright Interact Club, founded by Rotary DC. Interact promotes leadership and service above self – a value our school encourages.
As well as her debate skills and service, Amora is a multi-talented young leader who works well with others. She even produced a video for other high school students about how to record and preserve oral histories. That video was sponsored by the WNDC Educational Foundation. Her video is already published on the WNDC Education Fund website and is archived in the Washington Historical Society records.
Miss Campbell is also an outstanding student, maintaining a 4.0 plus GPA, even taking AP classes and earning A’s. This past spring, as everything shut down due to the pandemic, Amora continued to study hard and focus, earning a “5” (a perfect score) on the AP World History exam. On a scale from 1 to 5, 3 is a passing grade. This is Richard Wright’s first “5,” and her teacher, Mr. Morse, could not be more proud of his student. According to Mr. Morse, only 8% of all students who take the test worldwide receive a perfect score of “5.”
We celebrate the accomplishments of our students weekly at our virtual family matters assembly, but this accomplishment is something to share beyond our halls. It is simply outstanding. We know that Amora’s future is bright and can hardly wait to see what she accomplishes in the years ahead.