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July 2021

Greetings, 5th District! Last month was a busy one full of end-of-school-year happenings, including graduation ceremonies. I felt honored to speak in front of various graduating classes, including George Wythe High School's Class of 2021. Here is the speech I gave to them:

"As 5th District School Board Representative, I want to tell you that I can't believe I am here standing before you. I am the eldest of six children, born to 19-year-old Richmonders who did not go to college. In fact, my father went to Vietnam before graduating, and my mom, who struggled to believe in herself, didn't earn her GED until I was twelve. I still remember the work she put in going to night school after work, and how proud I was of her when she finally passed. Her nemesis was the same as mine: math. 

I stand before you as someone few people expected to ever be here. Mine was a long and difficult but often wonderful journey. I literally worked my way with the help of some great teachers and adult mentors from near the bottom to where I am now. I am an example of what is possible if you keep getting up after being knocked down. Considering what I've learned along the way, and from raising my own sons, there are three things I'd like to share with you.

Number one, follow your dreams. Don't let anyone tell you what is impossible for you. There will be people who doubt your dreams, who will not believe in your potential. Never listen to them, no matter who they are.

Number two: work hard and trust the process. In most cases, the road to your dream will not be a straight one. Don't let the detours scare you. Don't let the low points discourage you. Keep pushing! Your destiny is ahead.

And number three: I know it's been a rough year, but find joy in the here and now. Following your path, reaching for the stars is hard work. Take time to enjoy your life along the way. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Play the videos games, make the TikToks, play, and laugh -- really laugh. Don't take things too seriously. Prioritize your work, but also take care of yourselves. Exercise doing something you love. Get outside and love yourselves.

Love yourselves! For the more you do that, the more you are able to love others -- and the more you love others, the more compassion you will have with people whether you agree with them or not. It is often, though not always, in the space between that we find solutions.

I, like all the adults in your lives, including RPS staff, our city's staff, our Mayor, our teachers, and especially your loved ones, are so proud of you for reaching this milestone as you are now officially the Class of 2021. I am so honored to be here in person to let you know that no matter ho far you travel in life, you will always have a home at RPS. We love you. Go forth and change the world. Remember, George Wythe, we love you and there is not a thing you can do about it.

¡Felicidades, clase senior! Congratulations, George Wythe Bulldogs!"

Stephanie Miller Rizzi  

Zoom Link for Office Hours
Thursday, July 29th
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Community Input Meeting for George Wythe Construction:

July 13, 6:00 pm
at George Wythe High School

Upcoming School Board Meetings:

July 19, 6:00 pm: School Board Meeting
June 27, 5:30 pm: Finance Committee Meeting
August 2, 6:00 pm: School Board Meeting
August 16, 6:00 pm: School Board Meeting

Agendas, Minutes, and Public Documents available here:
To watch School Board meetings live, visit

Comments may be sent to, and will be read aloud if submitted prior to 1:00 pm on the day of the meeting.

Dates to know:

RPS 2020 - 2021 School Year Calendar:

RPS 2020 - 2021 Calendario del Distrito:

#ReopenWithLove page for all information related to virtual learning, food distribution and family support: 

Food Distribution Schedule:   

Lit Limo Schedule: 

Family Support Helpline - Call (804) 780-6195 and learn more about other resources available to families

Sign up for RPS Direct Newsletter: To volunteer with RPS, sign up at: 
M. Victoria Carll
What is your position and experience with RPS? 

I have been a teacher with RPS since 2001. 

Subjects taught: 

I have dual endorsements in English and Spanish. 
Currently I teach: Spanish I, II, III, IV, AP Spanish, AP Seminar, Public Speaking, Creative Writing. (Depending on what they need me to do!)
What do you love about the 5th District and RPS? 

I love my school! I have been lucky enough to have experienced teaching in several RPS high schools. By far, the most impressive, loving and creative place for both students and teachers is Open High School. It is here that students get to experience deep and meaningful relationships with teachers and the subject matter. At Open, students are loved for all of who they are, not just the grades that they receive. We learn from them as much as they learn from us. 

What are your visions and hopes for RPS?  How might they be achieved?

I would love RPS to move towards Project Based Learning as it provides purpose and passion to all students. Real life projects allow students to find their own paths in education while keeping them invested.  We must be brave as a district and employ innovative curricula that allow students to see themselves as integral parts of the world and makers of change. 

 Stephanie Rizzi
(804) 929-6930 - for text or calls

5th District Schools:

Full School Directory: 

School Locator Map: 

John B. Cary Elementary (804) 780-6252 

Maymont Preschool Center (804) 780-6263 

Swansboro Elementary (804) 780-5030 

Binford Middle (804) 780-6231 

Open High (804) 780-4661 

George Wythe High (804) 780-5037 

Amelia Street (804) 780-6275 

Patrick Henry School of Arts & Sciences (804) 888-7061 

Richmond Career Education & Employment Academy (804) 780-4332 

RPS Main Phone Number:
(804) 780-7710

Stephanie Rizzi serves as Richmond School Board Member in the 5th District. Views on this page are her own and may not reflect official positions of the body.
Copyright © 2021 Stephanie Rizzi - 5th District School Board Representative, All rights reserved.