Paul Robeson High School For Human Services’ Principal Richard M. Gordon, IV will receive the 2020 Distinguished Service to Education Award from the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) during the organization’s Virtual Recognition Awards Program on Monday, July 20.
Gordon, who has led Robeson since 2013, was selected as Pennsylvania’s top principal by the Pennsylvania Principals Association, an honor that earned him the national recognition from NASSP, which annually recognizes principals from across the country for their leadership and making significant differences in their school communities by providing high-quality learning opportunities for students.
During his tenure at Robeson, Gordon has successfully transformed the school, which was once among the School District of Philadelphia’s 30 lowest-performing schools and in danger of facing permanent closure. In 2017, Robeson was designated as a “High Progress” school by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and was removed from the Commonwealth’s list of academically “high needs/lowest performing” schools. Gordon has been credited with developing a model program for college & career readiness and achieving a 95 percent graduation rate.
“Receiving this award is a wonderful honor, but I’m most proud of the work that my staff and I have been able to do to establish a safe and caring learning environment for our students; an environment that is more of a family-like atmosphere,” Gordon said. “We’re committed to creating a community that fosters positive relationships and an inclusive environment that truly builds a foundation for life-long learning.”
School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D. said Gordon’s commitment to serving children and families is the driving force behind his success at Robeson.
“From the moment he arrived at the District, Principal Gordon’s enthusiasm for creating a positive learning and instructional environment has yielded wonderful results,” Hite said. “We are very fortunate to have him here and look forward to even greater success for his students and the entire school community.”
Each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools, and the Department of Defense Education Activity selects one middle level or high school principal to represent their state during the NASSP’s Principals Institute, an annual event where principals learn how to advocate for education and share best practices and expertise with colleagues from across the country. As a state winner, Principal Gordon will be a nominee for the NASSP National Principal of the Year award.