Virgin Islands: The Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDE) extended her deepest condolences towards friends, family and loved ones of James Alden Richards – an educator, profoundly skilled tennis player, and embodiment of Virgin Islands pride.
The Department extended a prayer for comfort, strength, and for the gift of God’s grace to all who mourn his loss, especially in my thoughts are his wife and children. There are many whose lives were impacted by the dedicated and steadfast nature of Mr Richards. He taught at the Jane E Tuitt Elementary School, Addelita Cancryn Junior High School, Bertha C Boschulte Middle School, and the Charlotte Amalie High School.
Furthermore, it was informed that his career at the Virgin Islands Department of Education lasted for 38 years before retiring in 2011. Mr Richards’ long-standing commitment to education extended beyond teaching. He was also greatly invested in coaching, mentoring, and guiding students throughout his tenure at the VIDE. His journey was a testament to his desire to make a difference in the lives of students for generations to come.
Recognized locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally as a notable tennis coach, Mr Richards traveled to China, Cuba, Turkey, Serbia, Japan, and many other countries. He was exceptionally talented and respected as a tennis great. Coaching and passing on his knowledge of various sports to include basketball, softball, and tennis, served as his passion.
Mr Richards held a number of district accolades and noteworthy accomplishments. His personal and professional contributions were exemplary. He took great pride in his endeavors and maintained a stellar work ethic. He was instrumental in starting the USVI Ping Pong Tennis Association, he was a Board Member of the Virgin Islands Tennis Association and served as a Davis Cup Captain. Recognized as the World Cup of Tennis, the Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men’s tennis. Mr Richards served as a captain with an unwavering standard of excellence.
Undoubtedly, his passion for seeing students learn and play tennis helped to develop outstanding players out of the Virgin Islands. His firm but caring demeanor motivated students to be the best that they could be.