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2023-24 Above & Beyond Awards recipient: Ray Richardson

Ray Richardson“Leading by example, he has significantly elevated morale and transformed the culture within his team and the broader district community. Ray's unparalleled knowledge and skillset, combined with his willingness to teach, coach and mentor make him an invaluable asset.” - Ben Martinson, director, buildings & grounds.

With a selfless attitude and a smile on his face, Ray Richardson, a maintenance manager in the buildings & grounds department, has created a positive working environment and made important connections with community partners.

“Ray has a natural ability to bring together ideas, resources and people to overcome difficulties and challenges,” Martinson said. “His inspirational leadership creates a culture of continuous improvement, empowering every team member to excel.”

Richardson consistently takes after-hours calls, reports to work for district emergencies to keep schools from closing, and works on construction projects outside of work hours to not disrupt classroom learning.

“It’s challenging and rewarding working to keep buildings open and in a safe and comfortable learning environment,” Richardson said.

Working in buildings and grounds, Richardson is asked to complete multiple tasks and projects at the same time. His dedication to overcoming challenges and seeing a project through from start to finish while maintaining deadlines has not gone unnoticed. “Through fostering robust partnerships, Ray has markedly improved our maintenance operations, facilitated seamless coordination, and accessed specialized trades, vendors and consultants for various districtwide initiatives,” Martinson said. 

Martinson commented that Ray never complains but instead asks, "How can I help?" or "Where do you need me?" to ensure that schools are open, welcoming and prepared for Anoka-Hennepin's staff, faculty, students, and visitors.

The 2024 Above & Beyond Awards ceremony to honor Richardson and 14 other exceptional employees will take place April 3 at the Educational Service Center (ESC).