In order to share more of our amazing community here at SD, we offer this weekly #FacesOfSD to give you a chance to learn more about our faculty and staff. Today, we are thrilled to introduce Lisa Richter, Lower and Middle School Director of Counseling.
Lisa grew up in Los Angeles, and earned her B.A. from UC Berkeley, in Comparative Literature. She has a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from New York University, is a Certified Social Worker in New York (CSW), and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in California. Prior to coming to San Domenico in 2000, Lisa worked in Child Welfare, at Marin Child Protective Services (CPS), and as a child and family therapist in private practice. She also worked as an emergency room social worker, at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, as a bilingual therapist, for underprivileged families on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and as an outreach worker, for Catholic Charities and Marin Head Start. In her work at San Domenico, she sees each student through a developmental lens and embraces a “whole-child” philosophy, supporting a balanced approach to meeting each student's unique needs. Lisa is fluent in Spanish and proficient in French. She has three sons and is an avid yoga enthusiast.
Q. Full name?
A. Lisa Hoffman Richter
Q. Where were you born?
A. Madison, Wisconsin
Q. Favorite word?
A. Empathy. It is a beautiful and important word, the root of deep connection between people, and the first step towards conflict resolution.
Q. What do you do here at San Domenico? And what is your favorite part of your job?
A. I am the Director of Counseling, Pre-K through 8th Grade (and the dedicated counselor of the Lower School). My favorite part of my job is helping students feel heard and valued and helping to make situations better for members of the school community.
Q. Which Dominican value inspires you the most this week and why? (Study, Reflection, Community, or Service?)
A. This week I would say Reflection. The opportunity to teach mindfulness classes in the Lower School, over the last many weeks, has made me feel grateful for the chance to reflect and to support our students' ability to reflect. The central goal of mindfulness is to gain the ability to pause between a stimulus and a response. This pause (or moment of reflection) allows us to meet a situation differently, so we can respond versus react...a much better outcome for all.
Q. What might an average weekend look like, for you?
A. An average weekend includes a family game night with my husband and children (ages 8, 12 and 14), attending one or more of my kids' (sports) practice and games, doing yoga, and going on a hike, in the open space, with a friend. (And, somewhere in there, a food shop, and lots of laundry!)
Q. List 1-3 of your most significant personal accomplishments, to date.
A. I am married to a wonderful man. I am raising three amazing sons. I have maintained a yoga and meditation practice.
Q. List 1-3 of your most significant professional and/or academic accomplishments, to date.
A. I have earned my Master’s in Social Work and have become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I have helped to build the SEL (Social Emotional Learning) programs and approaches, in the SD Lower and Middle Schools.
Q. What was your best, professional "I wish someone had seen this" moment?
A. Teaching 5th grade Family Life classes and seeing the students respond with sensitivity and kindness to each other’s questions and concerns about growing up.
Lisa, for the compassion, empathy, and guidance you bring to our community thank you so very much. Your tender care, open heart, and insight are a gift to parents, students, and employees and we are so very grateful for all you bring to SD!