from: Rashida MitchellLinwood Holton Elementary PTA President, 2011-2013, 2014-2015
Linwood Holton Elementary PTA VP Programs, 2010-2011, 2013-2014
As a mother of a little boy approaching pre-Kindergarten age in 2008, I sought out Linwood Holton Elementary as my son’s elementary school home for a few reasons, but primarily because of its principal: Mr. David Hudson.
As a parent and PTA President of Linwood Holton Elementary School, I have known Mr. Hudson for almost 8 years. As one who believes in the importance of parent involvement and the role that plays in the success of a child, it was very important to me that my son attended a school whose reputation was one of strong parental involvement. But, it was also important to me that my son attended a school whose leadership was strong, exemplary, and dedicated to the success of its students. Holton proved to be such a place and Mr. Hudson proved to be its fantastic leader.
Mr. Hudson is someone whose name is known to parents of Richmond Public Schools students because of his reputation as a principal who cares and who expects the best from his students and staff. Holton Elementary is home to some of the poorest kids in the City of Richmond. Realizing this, Mr. Hudson has taken special care to go above and beyond to assist those families in ways many can’t imagine. For the past seven years, I have witnessed a principal who supports every stakeholder in the school; from the student who requires additional tutoring that he himself provides to ensuring teachers have the resources they need to stretch the minds of their students.
Mr. Hudson teaches our young boys the importance of tucking their shirt tails inside their pants, to use belts, and to represent themselves as gentlemen. If a child needs a belt, or perhaps additional clothing, I have witnessed Mr. Hudson making arrangements with staff to ensure that child has what’s needed to give an extra boost to that child and to remove that additional barrier to learning for that child. How important is that simple action in the life of a child who comes from a distressed home and who has practically nothing of their own?
Mr. Hudson not only supports his students in ways that one can’t imagine, but he supports the parent organization of the school as its proudest member. For the past seven years, Mr. Hudson has been the first person to financially support the PTA through his paid membership. No one promotes or supports the PTA more than Mr. Hudson, from being present at every activity that is held to staying there long after the activity is over. Having served on the board of the Richmond City Council of PTAs, I know that the support the Holton PTA experiences with its principal is rare. The Holton PTA has as its biggest supporter, one who dedicates his time and his energy to ensuring that the parent organization feels his presence and support and it matters.
As a parent who prepares to leave Holton for middle school, I must admit that the feeling is bittersweet. Although I realize that elementary school isn’t forever, I wish that I could find a middle school with a principal like Mr. Hudson. I doubt that I will ever have the benefit of working with a principal who goes above and beyond as he does for his students and staff and who makes himself readily available to resolve any concern a parent may have. I doubt that I will ever have the benefit of participating in a parent organization with the same level of support from a principal, not out of obligation but because it matters to be present, as Mr. Hudson has demonstrated over the years. I doubt that I will ever be fortunate enough to have a principal like David Hudson.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my thoughts on the professionalism, care, support, and dedication which David Hudson embodies.