Alvin Fields Jr. was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He graduated from Bellaire High School where he played football for one year and basketball for four years. He went on to earn his undergraduate degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL) and his Master’s degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM). He has been recognized as Teacher of the Year at Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Georgia. In addition, he was recognized as one of ULM’s outstanding students in Educational Leadership when he earned his Master’s degree. In 2019, he was recognized as one of Monroe’s Top 20 under 40. He has been in education for 16.5 years and is currently serving as the interim principal at Richwood High School. Alvin is most proud of his wife and three sons.
AMPS: What influenced your decision to go into education?
Principal Fields: The only reason I got into education was so I could coach. I also wanted to be a part of the sports that I love.
AMPS: How did you become principal of Richwood High School?
Principal Fields: Actually, I’m an interim principal, because our former principal Dr. Lock took a leave. When I moved back to Monroe, my former principal and mentor talked to me about leadership. He told me I would make a good principle and he asked me if I had ever thought about doing that. I told him that I really just want to coach and he told me to start thinking about it. So I took his advice and I went back to school and to earn my master’s degree. I decided to teach one more year in the classroom while earning my master’s. After I got my master’s the very next year I became assistant principal here at Richwood high school. Six years later here I am.
AMPS: What are you doing to make sure that everyone stays safe at your school?
Principal Fields: We make sure that both teachers and students have their temperature taken every morning as soon as they enter the building. Our biggest fear is that if a student has symptoms of the virus and they come to school they are putting everyone at risk. That student could have taken an aspirin that morning to subside the fever. By second or third period, their fever would have spiked back up. So, at the beginning of each period and before the student enters the classroom their temperature is taken. We make sure that we disinfect, and we also have hand sanitizer stations around the school. We try to keep social distancing as much as possible, but it’s hard to do if you have twenty five students in a classroom.
AMPS: What is your biggest challenge with your students since the pandemic has been going on?
Principal Fields: I think our biggest challenge is the virtual learners and trying to keep them engaged. A lot of the virtual learners tend not to log on for their courses. So we have to try to push hard to contact the parents and keep them in the loop with their child’s attendance. We also have a message system that we send out to the students that reminds them that their assignment is due.
AMPS: What are you doing to prepare your seniors for the real world once they graduate high school?
Principal Fields: The good thing that I like to brag about Richwood High School when I talk to people is that we have career programs that a lot of other schools don’t offer. We have a welding program, a barber or hair stylist program, and we have a dental assistant program. I think we are the only school in the whole state that has all three of those programs on the same campus. We give our students other opportunities besides the traditional college route that they can go into. We give them the option to start making careers and earn a decent living right out of high school. If they start their desired program sophomore year by the time, they are seniors they will be certified to become a barber or a welder if they select that route. So, they would take the hours that they earned from Richwood and go to a community college to finish off the last few courses. They will spend less time and money there and be out making a living more quickly. As far as our students that are going to college, we have a boot camp to help them to raise their A.C.T. scores. We take various routes to make sure that students are getting what they need to be successful in life. As for as athletics right now we have six students so far that have committed athletic scholarships.