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RPDS HeadmasterEach weekly Headliner essay is written to the RPDS community by our Headmaster, H. Palmer Bell. Topics important within the life of the school, education, contemporary parenting, culture and spiritual formation are common themes. Click the underlined article title to read each week's full Headliner. The "get link" is provided to allow a quick way for you to share a direct connection to the essay with friends and family. Mr. Bell welcomes your comments as you meet him on campus or through e-mail at

Shirley Francis Receives J. Beatty Williams Outstanding Service Award
Posted 05/31/2013 11:40AM

In honor of her 23 years of service to Riverside Presbyterian Day School (RPDS), Shirley Waters Francis earned the J. Beatty Williams Outstanding Service Award for her exemplary and selfless dedication to RPDS.

Sixty four years ago, Dr. Albert Kissling and the Riverside Presbyterian Church Session asked J. Beatty Williams, the volunteer chairman of the Educational Committee to champion the formation of a day school. The foundation of RPDS was built quite literally upon Christian love, spiritual focus, selfless service and educational excellence. Each time this award is given, it honors both the foundational service of J. Beatty Williams and a contemporary RPDS servant.

This year’s recipient of the J. Beatty Williams Outstanding Service Award is a hallmark honoree recognized by all for her Christian love, spiritual focus, selfless service and educational leadership. Always a teacher first, Shilrley has invested her heart within RPDS classrooms and its curriculum, through inspirational leadership, student admissions and faculty mentorship. She is “The Riverside Way” personified as she lives, breathes and speaks. Articulate, enthusiastic and deeply spiritual, Shirley is a trusted educator, colleague and friend. She is equally passionate as an advocate for high educational standards as for insisting that we are educating both minds and hearts.

The Riverside family offers a most heartfelt thanks to Shirley W. Francis for her countless hours shared in service and for her joyful spirit and dedication to the mission, goals and aspirations of RPDS.

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