Pearl Richards is retiring from her job at Joel Barlow High School where she has worked as a security guard and provided staff and student support for over two decades.

She took the position 23 years ago, and soon became one of the most beloved staff members for families and students who have crossed paths with her throughout the years.

She’s also been a mentor to students and a consistently positive and supportive presence in the building.

Barlow student Rhianna Romeus affectionally referred to Richards as “her second mother.”

“I don’t know what I would done here at Barlow without her, and I’m so sad she is leaving. She keeps the school running and keeps us all on our feet,” Romeus said.

Kimberly Wallace, a college and career peer educator at Barlow, said “there is only one Pearl.”

“Pearl is so special. There is really nobody else like Pearl. She lets all the students know how much she cares,” Wallace said.

Barlow’s head of security, Rob Tynan, who has worked with Richards for 23 years, described her as “fun-loving” and “motherly.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody make an impact on staff and students like Pearl,” said Tynan.

To show their appreciation for Richards, students and staff took up a collection to send her off with a retirement gift.

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