Little Silver. NJ -  Red Bank Regional (RBR) Principal Risa Clay of Tinton Falls was recently honored by the Greater Red Bank N.A.A.C.P. with their Education Award at their 2011 Freedom Fund Luncheon held on December 3, 2011 at Gibbs Hall in Tinton Falls.

RBR Principal Risa Clay (center) was recently honored by the Greater Red Bank N.A.A.C.P. with their Education Award. She is pictured with several of her fellow awardees: (left to right), Mason Smoot, Vice President and General Manager McDonald’s USA LLC; C. Darryl Hughes, Manager of Cultural Diversity, Meridian Health; Dr. Webster B. Trammell, Vice President Development, Community, and Government Relations Brookdale College; and Ollie B. Perry retired educator Monmouth Regional High School.

Mrs. Clay has served as the RBR principal for the past two years, and was the assistant principal prior to her promotion. She began her distinguished career at RBR 19 years ago as its student assistant counselor. She founded The SOURCE, RBR’s School-based Youth Services Program twelve years ago and served as its first director. The SOURCE, recognized as a best practices program, has made tremendous strides in fulfilling its mission to remove all barriers that impede a student’s academic success. As the ELL supervisor (a position she continues to hold along with her principal duties), Mrs. Clay founded the award-winning model program Puente Al Futuro, which has encouraged many ELL students to graduate high school and go on to college aided by a private scholarship program. She previously was recognized for her service in education with the prestigious Wilbur Ray Award. Mrs. Clay’s leadership has greatly contributed to RBR’s recognition as one of the best schools in the state and nation by both N. J. Monthly and Newsweek Magazine.

She stated of her philosophy of education, “Always do what is right and what is best for kids…Be thoughtful, be passionate, be kind and be patient. Be fair and consistent. Be there. Be present, in mind body and soul.”

Also honored at the event were: Mason Smoot, Vice President and General Manager of McDonald’s USA LLC, Corporate Award; C Darryl Hughes, Manager of cultural Diversity for Meridian Health, Community Service Award, Retired Monmouth Regional educator Ollie B. Perry, Humanitarian Award; Dr. Webster Trammel, Vice President Development, Community and Government Relations, Brookdale College, President’s Award; and Pastor Tolbert L. Blacknall, Senior Pastor and Founder of Bethel Christian Center International, Red Bank, Clergy Award. 2011 high school graduates Jasmere Rogers, RBR, and Mykia Brown, Monmouth Regional were presented with college scholarships..

The Greater Red Bank NAACP shares the mission of its national organization, which its website states, “Is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.” It is one of the oldest chapters in Monmouth County and has operated in the community for 55 years.