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On May 16, (pictured (left to right), RBR Principal Risa Clay, Tinton Falls, gave the Brookdale Community College commencement address for the Class of 2013. She also received an honorary degree from Brookdale Community College for her commitment to education. The award was conferred by Brookdale President Dr. Maureen Murphy.    Photo credit, Robert Ward, Asbury Park Press.

Little Silver, NJ -  On May 16, Red Bank Regional (RBR) Principal Risa Clay was honored as the Class of 2013 Commencement Speaker and received an honorary degree from Brookdale Community College at the 2013 graduation ceremony. Mrs. Clay was selected for her commitment to education as exemplified by her distinguished career at RBR where she rose to the level of Principal.

Mrs. Clay began her career at RBR in 1992 as a student assistance counselor. She later founded The SOURCE, RBR’s School Based Youth Services Program, and became its first director. The SOURCE won accolades as a model program providing counseling, academic support and preventative health care to students and their families. As the Supervisor for Bilingual Instruction, she also founded the award-winning, Puente al Future (Bridge to the Future) Scholarship program through which qualifying Hispanic students realized their dream of attending Brookdale Community College. Under her supervision, the ELL Program was awarded Model Program status for more than ten years.  Mrs. Clay began and expanded the college readiness AVID program and served as its director for two years. These, among her other responsibilities and accomplishments, helped improve the academic rigor and success of the high school and produced many opportunities for its students. Mrs. Clay has shared her expertise with the educational community presenting these programs at regional and national conferences.

            Over the past few years, Mrs. Clay has been recognized for her leadership and achievements with the prestigious Wilbur Ray Award for service in education and the NAACP Education Award in December of 2011. The NJ Business and Professional Women honored Mrs. Clay in May of 2012 with their 2012 Women of Achievement Award.

            At the graduation ceremony she told the Class of 2013, “Be thoughtful, be passionate, be kind and be patient. Be fair and consistent. Be there. Be present, in mind, body and soul. True success is to be able to rest easy knowing you tried your best and achieved a well-lived life.”