Southwest High School opened in the fall of 1925 as a comprehensive school and served residents of Brookside until 1990. The building was then managed as Southwest Charter School until 2005. Notable alumni include Henry and Richard Bloch, founders of H&R Bloch, Nobel Prize winner Richard Smalley, Kansas congressman Lawrence Winn, actress Ruth Warrick, rapper TechN9ne and R. Crosby Kemper, former president of UMB Financial Corporation. Kansas City area alumni continue to support Southwest through volunteering and raising funds for students. For more information on Southwest High School’s rich history and alumni: http://swhighschool.org/index.htm.
Currently, Southwest Early College Campus (SWECC) is an early-college readiness model opened in 2008 by an education-based partnership. This partnership included the KCMSD, UMKC, Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, PREP-KC, The Woodrow Wilson foundation and Donnelly College. The school was opened by principal Steven Scraggs and a founding team of teachers who worked together with UMKC to write unique, rigorous, fast-paced, project based curriculum. Students attending SWECC in the 2011 school year could earn up to 12 college credits a year through UMKC. In the fall of 2010, SWECC expanded its attendance boundary to become a joint neighborhood school and Signature School. Enrollment expanded from 500 to 1900 and included students in the 7th through 12th grades. In the spring of 2011, SWECC and KCMSD partnered with Penn Valley Community College to offer a dual degree option for students to complete an Associates Degree in their Junior and Senior years. Southwest is currently returning to a wall-to-wall Early College model under the leadership of Principal Dr. Ed Richardson.
Dr. Edwin Richardson comes to Kansas City from Minnesota. He is married and they have three children in their family. He became principal of Southwest Early College Campus in July 2011.
Dr. Richardson’s education began in Pelican Rapids MN where he received his high school diploma. Following high school, Dr. Richardson served honorably in the U.S. Air Force until 1990. The first in his family to complete college, Dr. Richardson acquired his B.A. from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN in 1994. Dr. Richardson’s M.Ed. was earned at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff Arizona in 2005. Following his love for education, Dr. Richardson earned his Educational Doctorate from Northern Arizona University in 2010.
Dr. Richardson began his career in education as a classroom teacher in Colchester Essex, UK from 1994-2000. During this time, 98% of his students met or exceeded levels in the National Assessment Exams in Science. And, English scores nearly doubled during his time as English Coordinator. In 2000-2003, Dr. Richardson served as Deputy Head teacher (Assistant Principal).
Moving back to the United States in 2003, Dr. Richardson took a position with Yuma School District One in Yuma, AZ. From Aug 2003-July 2011, Dr. Richardson worked as a teacher, instructional coach & school administrator with Yuma School District One. He had the opportunity to support a junior high school in making AYP for the first time, worked as a restructuring principal leading an underperforming school to a school ranking in the top 15% in teacher effectiveness in teaching in reading, and drastically increased the percentage of 8th graders receiving high school algebra credit. Dr. Richardson works to create school communities inclusive of students, parents, staff & community members that support student success.