Principal's Message

  • Washington Collado Image

    Greetings, Rickards Community,

    I am Dr. Washington B. Collado and I have been proudly serving as principal of James S. Rickards Middle School for the past seven years.  I’m truly excited to celebrate my 34nd years in education in this great learning organization.  I was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to New York where I attended public schools.  Subsequently, I graduated from Queens College of the City University of New York where I specialized in Secondary Education.  I continued my education obtaining Specialist Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Florida International University, a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership also from Florida Atlantic University.  In essence, education has been my life in teaching, leading, and learning.

    During this 2020-21 school year, Rickards Middle School is looking to continue to expand the learning opportunities for students with our curricular diversity in our Cambridge Program and our Renewable Energy Innovative Programs.  We are also expanding our students’ opportunities to take high school courses, most of them sequenced to Advanced Placement course when they get to high school.   The diversity of elective courses also ensures that our students experience a well-rounded education: Computer Technology, Advanced Informational Technology, Business Academy, and Digital Information Technology. In essence, at Rickards Middle, we proudly seek every way possible for our students to achieve their highest potential.

    Rickards Middle celebrates the arts.  We have a complete music and arts program with state of the art and modern and new musical instruments for our students as well as a keyboard classroom for our student learn piano and/or keyboard.   We also have an excellent athletic program that looks to teach our students the value of physical fitness by participating in all team sports that middle schools have to offer.  This year, we will be having field hockey as well.

    This year, our school is benefiting from a much-needed remodeling projects in our media center, brand new roof, air conditioner system, fire sprinkler, single point entry, and much more.  This is also part of the SMART Bond Program.

    Rickards Middle School also is privileged to enjoy the support and involvement of our parents, community leaders, as well as city and elected officials from the City of Oakland Park.  Let’s continue to enhance our students learning experience we ALL work continue to work to maximize our students’ full potential.

    Finally, I realize the start of this year has been challenging due the COVID-19 Pandemic.  But, together, we will get through and be stronger for it.   On behalf of the great staff at James S. Rickards Middle School, we wish our families great health and happiness.



    Washington B. Collado, Ph.D.

    Proud Principal