Born and raised in Milton, Mass., Richkaard Verrier is going into his fourth year as the in-school suspension coordinator and his first year as the freshman boys’ soccer coach at the high school. Verrier is a die-hard Real Madrid fan and loves to play soccer and basketball. He also enjoys spending time by Lake Winnisquam in New Hampshire.
Could you tell me a little bit about your position at the high school?
It’s a pretty unique position. Every time people ask me, “What do you do for work?” and I tell them I coordinate the in-school suspension, they say, “Oh, that’s interesting. We’ve never heard of it.” I hear that a lot. I personally like it because during my time in high school, I did run into a little bit of in-school suspension. Obviously it wasn’t always the greatest, but I did learn a lot from it.
What is your favorite part about working with high school students?
The part I like is connecting with the students, and them wanting to come back to the room to visit. Not to come back for another in-school suspension, obviously that’s not my goal. I have had students that have come through in-school suspension, and when they’re done serving their in-school suspension time, it’s always so nice to see them pop their head in and go, “Hey Mr.V.” It’s those moments that I look back on and think that I did something right.
When you were in high school, what did you see yourself doing for a career?
I had no vision at all. I had such a low GPA that I didn’t think I was going to be able to get into college. Fortunately, I was blessed enough to have played soccer and was decent at it. That allowed me to get into Boston College, where I completed my Masters last year, in 2019. Once I got into college, life hit me, and I had to wake up. That’s when I realized that something needed to change. It was definitely a full 360. I always tell students that just because things aren’t perfect, it doesn’t stop there. There’s still always so much more that can be done. If you told me five years ago that I was going to be the In-School Suspension Coordinator at Brookline High School, I would have told you, “Absolutely not. No way.” I’m happy that I’m here, and I’m grateful.
You mentioned that you played soccer in both high school and college. Could you tell me more about this hobby?
When I was three or four years old, there was a soccer camp that one of my father’s friends created for Haitians in the Hatian community in Hyde Park. I fell in love with the game there. From the moment school ended in June, up until school started again in September, Monday through Friday, even some Saturdays, it was just soccer camp all summer long. I was spending so much time playing the game, by the time I was six or seven, I didn’t want to do anything else but play soccer. Even now, it’s something I’m so passionate about.
Is there anything else you would like to mention?
I think that if there’s a message that I could give high school students, at least from my experience, is that one bad grade or one detention, even one suspension, failing a course, or not getting into the school you want, is not the end of the world. There is so much more in store, and everyone is going to bump into problems. You have to just keep on going, grinding it out, and everything will take care of itself.