A 10-year Richmond High School employee is now working to prepare students for high school and beyond in a new role.

Richmond Community Schools’ board approved Laura Ricca Brazil as the new principal at Test Intermediate School, effective Monday, Oct. 30. 

Laura Ricca Brazil

The Illinois native has more than 20 years of experience in public education, starting as a middle school English/social studies teacher in San Antonio, Texas.

She then taught for Cincinnati and Atlanta public schools, where she was the 2006 teacher of the year.

After moving to Richmond in 2013, she taught at RHS before serving as associate principal for several years.

Brazil attended Xavier University and Georgia State University and recently completed a certificate of applied educational neuroscience from Butler University.

Brazil said in a news release she feels lucky to be Test’s new principal.

“I look forward to building upon the good work that is already happening at Test,” Brazil said. “Middle school is a time of transformation as students grow and change, and I am excited to work with families and teachers to help every student learn.”

Brazil replaces Jamie Thomas, who became Test’s principal in December 2021 after serving the district as an assistant principal, instructional coach and teacher for 17 years. Thomas was the district’s 2022 administrator of the year. Her resignation was effective Oct. 2.

Additional personnel news

At its Oct. 18 meeting, the RCS board approved these hirings, departures and other personnel changes.


  • Jennifer Ball, exceptional student education paraprofessional, and Ellen Walker, preschool paraprofessional, Westview Elementary
  • Danielle Bourne, adjunct fourth grade teacher, and Samantha Herron, preschool paraprofessional, Fairview Elementary
  • Naomi Carter, exceptional student education paraprofessional, and Jeffrey VanHook, Environmental Services II, RHS
  • Elizabeth Diane Givens, first grade teacher, Crestdale Elementary
  • Dorothy Hurd, preschool paraprofessional, Starr Elementary
  • Rebecca Moore, LaRon Sanders Angelyn Tellez and Bradyn Williams, exceptional student education paraprofessionals

Extra duty employment

  • NIET Mentors: Rebecca Amyx and Rebecca Lafuze (Charles Elementary), Katherine Benner (Starr Elementary), Sabrina Benner and Melody Williams (Crestdale Elementary), Sarah Brownell (Dennis Middle School), Amanda Ewing and Hayley Ritz (Vaile), Keara Henderson and Kimberly Morris (Test Intermediate), Linda Morgason and Abby King (Westview Elementary), Rachael Phillips and Courtney Washington (Fairview Elementary), Aimee VanMiddlesworth (Hibberd)
  • Megan Quinn, head swimming coach, Richmond High School
  • Paul Bradburn, middle school assistant football coach, and Olivia Carter, cheer club sponsor, Dennis
  • Karie Harris, lead preschool instructor and preschool master mentor, Starr

Change in assignment

  • Cynthia Elzemeyer from executive assistant to the chiefs of elementary and secondary education to executive assistant to the superintendent
  • Susy Hasecoster from adjunct music teacher to substitute library paraprofessional at Hibberd


  • RHS teachers: Frank Brattain and Mary Hansing, math; Sandra Brown, special education; and Renee Thrasher, science, all effective May 24, 2024
  • Ginger Middleton, fourth grade teacher, Fairview


  • Kimberly Claypoole, executive assistant to the superintendent
  • Alison Grossman, school counselor, and Bobby Marshall, exceptional student education paraprofessional, Hibberd
  • Jarvis Hogg, SEL paraprofessional, and Kyle Whitesel, adjunct interventionist, Test
  • Melinda Swango, preschool paraprofessional, Fairview
  • Michaela Titus, Title I paraprofessional, Vaile
  • Alexander Hazelbaker, eSports coach, and Jeremiah Dunckel and Blake Mitchell, assistant football coaches, RHS
Share this:

A version of this article appeared in the November 1 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.