We are welcoming another “at capacity” freshmen class and are honored to serve this next generation of “Ritter Critters.”


When I reflect on our growth, I can’t help but think of my own personal Ritter journey as a student, alum, parent and, most recently, parent alum. My husband and I took our son, a 2016 Ritter graduate, to college this fall. As I began to reflect on his Ritter story, I considered that it his was not all that different from my own experience some 25 years ago. Both of us benefited from coming to a school each day that told us we could accomplish anything. We were taught that the same blood that ran through the greatest of our ancestors also ran through us. We were assured that whatever we set our minds to would come to pass with the right blend of hard work and determination. Aware of the obstacles facing many African-American youth, we were mentally prepared to persevere and fight to overcome them.


This is what I want for all children. As educators and parents, we must instill in this generation confidence in who they are, and courage to be the very best version of themselves. That is why you hear me say, “every child deserves a Ritter experience.”  This school prepares students for life, while also creating strength in the face of controversy.

I think often about my predecessor, the late Mr. Leon Henderson. He was the first teacher to truly inspire me. I remember when my son, the recent Ritter graduate, was interviewed by Mr. Henderson. “Why do you want to come to Cardinal Ritter College Prep?” Henderson asked. My son answered as an innocent 8th grader, “My mom has been telling me since kindergarten that this would be my high school.”


This is the vision! We want kids in kindergarten to be intent that CRCP is their choice for high school. Honestly, there is no reason why we won’t get there. We strive to not only be the premier school in St. Louis serving African-American students, but the premier school in the nation. I’m blessed to be on this journey with you. Thank you for all you do and for believing in us. I promise to always give you my very best.


With Lion Pride,



Tamiko Armstead, ’91