Principal Cynthia Richardson

While recruiting potential players over the years I have watched games and been on high school campuses throughout Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, and Nevada. I have met parents, coaches, athletic directors, fans, mascots, and other assorted characters, but last night I met someone who really, really impressed me - McKay High School Principal Cynthia Richardson.

Almost immediately after five of us (Dee, Miranda, Cassie, Jeff and I) walked into the gym we were greeted by a very friendly lady dressed in a nice warm up outfit and a McKay Womens Basketball t-shirt who shook my hand and welcomed me to the game. As we talked for several minutes, every student that walked by received some type of recognition from Ms. Richardson. She called them all by name, asked them about classes or homework and then gave them a smile and a high five. Ms. Richardson introduced a couple of them to me and then added "This one has a great future ahead of her." I couldn't help but believe her and noticed how each student walked away a little taller and with a little more confidance.

As soon as the game was over Ms. Richardson came back up into the bleachers and asked if we had heard the good news - West Salem HS had lost their game and McKay was the league champions. There wasn't a parent or athlete in the gym who was more excited than she was. Then she noticed my son Jeff standing close by and rushed to introduce herself. "I understand you go to college close by," she said. "I live right over here (gave directions) and if you ever want a home cooked meal, you're always welcome to drop by!" We all felt that we had a friend for life.

As we all walked through the parking lot back to our cars, we talked about how much fun we had at the game, and how impressed we were by everyone at McKay. The conversation drifted towards the leader at McKay, Principal Cynthia Richardson and I couldn't help but notice that we were all walking a little taller and with a little more confidance.

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