Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders | Richard Gordon IV
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Fellow Profiles

School Type


Grade Levels


Student Enrollment



West Philadelphia


Ed.D. Educational Leadership,

Northcentral University (Anticipated May 2020)


M.S. Educational Leadership,

Lehigh University


M.S. Special Education,

Coppin State College


B.A. Social Studies Education,

Lincoln University

Richard Gordon IV

Principal, Paul Robeson High School for Human Services
School District of Philadelphia
2017 Neubauer Fellow

“To lead is to serve. To serve is to try and lighten the burdens of our children and our families, uplifting their spirits, and inspiring them towards greatness. We must keep our students from falling through the cracks of intolerant bureaucracies that cause apathy, inequity, deep generational poverty, injustice, and disenfranchisement. Being a Principal and Neubauer Fellow means it is our divine duty and mission to build equitable service systems that work consistently and reliably for the benefit of our children and families in Philadelphia.”

Richard has served as the principal of Paul Robeson High School for Human Services since 2013. In 2013, Robeson was slated for permanent closure. Spared at the 11th hour, the school was placed under Richard’s leadership, whereby his transformative leadership led the school to be recognized as the “2017 Most Improved High School” in the city of Philadelphia. With a 99% minority student population and a 90% school poverty rate, Richard is credited with developing a model program for college and career readiness and for achieving a 95% annual graduation rate.


Richard was named Education’s 2017 Administrator of the Year, received the 2019 University of Pennsylvania’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Education Award, the 2018 “MADE MAN” Foundation’s “Distinguished Leader and Advocate for Change” Award, the 2017 Marcus Foster Outstanding School Administrator Award, four citations from the School District of Philadelphia, three citations from the City Council of Philadelphia, and a citation from the Pennsylvania State Senate for Outstanding Student Achievement.  


Richard has been an educator since 1996. Prior to becoming a principal, Richard served as teacher, special education teacher, truancy liaison, and assistant principal. Richard grew up in Camden and Philadelphia.

2017 Neubauer Fellows Page