Child’s Voice is fortunate to have teachers and staff who are committed to serving all students and families with hearing loss, and who are excited about seeing bright faces everyday and meeting family members throughout the school year.
As the School Principal, Rich is responsible for the daily operations of our School Program. Rich spent seven years teaching middle school gifted, special education and English language learners English/Language Arts. He also spent five years as an assistant principal. We asked Mr. Rich about his career so far and what he is excited about now that he is at Child’s Voice.
Q: Please describe your educational experience so far.
A: There’s a lot to share. I spent 7 years as a middle school classroom teacher. There I taught Gifted English and Language Arts (ELA), co-taught special education ELA, co-taught English Language Learners, humanities, and global cultures. During this time, I coached and sponsored several clubs/sports, as well as participating on a number of different building and district leadership committees.
However, I am most proud of the Friends for Change Club. This is a club that was student initiated and led. I remember a group of students hanging out after class one day and said to me, “Hey Mr. Novy, you believe in kindness, would you sponsor a new club we’d like to start?” and how could you say no to a group of kids that wants to spread kindness?
Our club focused on brightening the lives of those in our community. We went to Feed My Starving Children events, visited nursing homes, cleaned up local parks, and planned and presented schoolwide assemblies on kindness focusing on antibullying and being the positive change you want in the world. We also participated in many smaller events to spread smiles throughout our building. I honestly loved that group and what we did there.
Eventually, I shifted from teaching to administration where I spent five years at as an assistant principal in two different buildings. The change from teaching to administration was a difficult decision for me because I loved being in the classroom and knew I would miss it dearly and if I am being honest, I do. However, I am confident I made the right decision. In those five years I have been able to not only build great relationships with the students in my buildings, but I have also been able to help influence and steer policy, curriculum, and more that positively affected the student body and school community.
In addition to working in public education, I spent four years working as an English instructor for a private company. During my time there I worked with students aged three to ten. All of my kiddos were just beginning their English language acquisition journey and while I had fun with my middle schoolers, I experienced a whole new type of joy working with these littles.
Working with them, in part, led to my decision to seek a position where I could work with students beginning their educational journey. Through my combined experience, I realized that the earlier we were able to support our kids on their path, the better prepared they would for what came next. With that in mind, I made the decision to pursue a position in early childhood education and I feel very blessed to have been selected to be Child’s Voice new principal.
Q: What attracted you to Child’s Voice?
A: I think, in all honesty, I was attracted to Child’s Voice because of its special nature. It’s such a unique place with a history of success in achieving its mission. To be truthful, I knew very little about Child’s Voice when I first learned about the opening. But I was intrigued by what I heard, so I dug a bit deeper and learned more about the school. The more I learned the more intrigued I became. Having a better understanding of the school’s culture, mission, and success at empowering its students to overcome their early hurdles in life resonated with me so strongly. The opportunity to be a part of something so very special was something I didn’t want to miss out on.
Q: Can you talk about the experience you have with hearing loss, students with special needs, or disability advocacy?
A. To be honest, I don’t have a lot of experience with hearing loss. Over the years, I have taught several students with hearing loss and as it turns out two of my former students are alumni of Child’s Voice. At the time I was not aware of that but I remember them being very successful students, which is a testament to the work Child’s Voice does.
I have spent most of my career working with students that have special needs. As a teacher, I co-taught classes with a special education teacher and attended IEP meetings. As an administrator, I have worked with families to develop IEPs, 504s, and BIPs. Furthermore, I participated in our school’s Tier 2 and Tier 3 intervention teams to help determine the best supports for our students. However, what I feel is the most meaningful experience is that in each of my capacities I have always taken the time to learn about my students, develop strong relationships with them, and identify what I can do to help support them and their goals in life.
Q. What are you looking forward to at Child’s Voice?
A. I am most looking forward to the kids and seeing them in the building, the opportunities to get to learn all about them, play tag on the playground, and to fulfilling our mission, which is to empower each of them to be successful in all educational and social settings by optimizing their listening, speaking, and academic skills. I’d also add that I am really looking forward to being a part of something special and continuing our history of leadership and success, but mostly it’s about the kids.