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RHS Principal Fuchs: 'I'm Not Going Anywhere—I Can Promise That'

The new Richfield High School principal sits down with Richfield Patch.

After , many wondered who would fill his shoes.

Earlier in Summer 2011, . Fuchs comes to Richfield from a technical high school in Oakland, CA and told Patch he plans on staying as long as Richfield will have him—and that was a promise.

Richfield Patch: At the end of last year, parents and students expressed their disappointment in Dr. West leaving. Some may have felt he abandoned the district and students. Should the community be worried about you leaving?

Joshua Fuchs: I’m not going anywhere—I can promise that. I will be here as long as Richfield wants me here … The only reason that I would want to leave here is for retirement …

[During my interview], when I was asked where I saw myself in five years, I said “God, I hope I’ll be here.” In ten years? Here. I am 33 years old and I have to grow into this position …

I always want to work with students and not get a district level job. I just hope that I meet the districts expectations and I hope that I can build a community and a strong education foundation.

Richfield Patch: What are your plans this first year as principal of Richfield High School?

Fuchs: For me initially is listening … getting to know the community. I don’t think it’s appropriate for someone just to come in and say ‘This is what we’re going to do without [getting to know the school and community” … But [we want] to continue the focus on equity, equity is the foundation for instruction …

Richfield is growing increasingly more diverse … We really want to close the achievement gap. When a student steps into a classroom [we want them to know] they are going to have the same access to success as any other student … no matter the color of your skin.

Richfield Patch: Former Principal West started a program to get more involvement from African American students’ parents, are you going to continue his initiative?

Fuchs: There are certain voices that are still under-represented here—in particular the African American and Latino population … We want a lot of parent participation … So I’m hoping to create that … We’re going to be holding multiple parent meetings and [involvement days] … So parent’s know [we are] here as an advocate for the kids, but we need to get their input also.

Richfield Patch: Do you think a change in curriculum is necessary?

Fuchs: At some point we need to sit down and talk about our education structure, because it’s not modern … It’s based on 21st century ideas. For example, I think it’s great that we have a woodworking class, but how practical is that if the curriculum is from 20 years ago … [We need to start] introducing things to students that are practical now.

Richfield Patch: What would you like to say to your new students?

Fuchs: I know that students are sometimes hesitant to approach administrators but they are my constituents as far as I am concerned … and I am always approachable … The bottom-line is that we are trying to provide a environment for them, provide an education for them and we’re here for them … I hope they are excited for the school year and that they are excited to help us change education in Richfield.

Richfield Patch: What would you like to say to the parents of your new students?

Fuchs: I just want them in here. I know that sometimes families view school as a place that they don’t want to be intrusive … [They maybe think], I wouldn’t want someone coming in and telling me how to do my job … But parents are always welcome on campus and we encourage them to be involved with their child’s education.

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