JENNY AIRINGTON RICHARD '89
Christ the King Catholic School
Distinguished Alumnus 2019
Christ the King Catholic School in its twelfth year of honoring a distinguished alumnus and presents the award annually to an accomplished graduate, one who has contributed to the school, to the community and to his or her own professional or volunteer opportunities. The 2019 recipient of this award is Jennifer (“Jenny”) Airington Richard.
Jenny Richard is a 1989 graduate of Christ the King School. She went onto Bishop McGuinness, where she ran cross country and was on the debate team. She received a degree in English and Communications from Trinity University in San Antonio in 1997, and married her husband, Rock, two months after graduating. After the birth of her children, Julia & Atticus, she went on to pursue Montessori certification and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She is currently in her fourth and final year of PhD study and is writing her dissertation on the Choctaw Nation Head Start program.
Jenny originally began her career in insurance, where she analyzed coverage for environmental claims. However, after the birth of her children, she was drawn to early childhood education and began pursuing her education to that affect. Jenny was originally part of the team of teachers from Little Red Schoolhouse, located around the corner from CK, which her mother, Linda Airington, owned and operated for 25 years. She and the other Little Red teachers became part of CK in 2010 and Jenny has been an early childhood educator in the part-time preschool program ever since. She was a finalist for the 2018 Archbishop Coakley Catholic Educator of the Year award this past fall. She loves teaching young children and has been an advocate for the importance of the early years of life. She has offered parenting workshops to parents of young children and continually advocates for the protections of childhood in a busy, modern, and technological age.
Jenny has had also had the privilege of working with early childhood teachers through her work as a Fellow with the Oklahoma A+ Schools Network. She has helped design professional development opportunities for early childhood educators in Oklahoma and beyond, helping teachers to find ways to incorporate the arts into their daily teaching practices. She had the opportunity to spend a month in Cape Town, South Africa, working with early childhood teachers there, which greatly expanded her perspective on early childhood education across the globe.
Jenny founded the CK Green Team about three years ago as well as the student club, Knights of the Earth, which was created for students in 4th grade and above. Her work with the Green Team has led to many green initiatives including significant recycling efforts, free uniform exchanges for CK families, reductions in water bottles used on campus, and plans for an outdoor classroom at CK. The Green Team has been one of the most rewarding projects she has worked on and she is immensely proud of the steps CK’s has taken toward caring for God’s creation.
Jenny has many fond memories at CK, which she attended with her younger sisters, Jill (1991 graduate) and Jolie (1993 graduate). She played basketball, softball and ran track throughout her tenure there. She was awarded the Father Mayfield Award for Leadership in eighth grade, which is one her best memories of CK. Jenny feels she had an excellent education at CK, which laid the foundation for her journey of life-long learning. Her formative years were supported by nurturing teachers and faculty, and she is immensely grateful to her parents, Linda & Ancel Airington, for supporting her Catholic education. Jenny and her husband, Rock, are grateful to CK for the excellent education their children, Julia (sophomore at McGuinness) and Atticus (8th grader at CK) have received and the supportive community that has surrounded them.
Christ the King was honored to present this distinguished award to Jenny and celebrated her recognition on Sunday, January 27th at the 10:00 a.m. mass followed by a reception in her honor.