Dr. Richard Oswald was the Principal at Ponaganset High School from 1976-1999, a total of 23 years. During his tenure as Principal, Ponaganset became well known statewide for its’ athletic, academic and music programs. Before Dr. Oswald came to Ponaganset, the athletic program was not very competitive nor were there many sports opportunities offered for its’ students, especially the female athletes. He knew how important it was to increase the athletic opportunities for female athletes and he encouraged the formation of 5 additional female sports. Ponaganset had won only 10 Divisional , State or Class Championships in the prior 15 years and there were only 4 female and 6 male sports in total. When he retired in 1999, the sports opportunities had almost doubled to 19 and by his retirement in 1999, his teams, both male and female had secured over 80 State, Divisional and Class Championships. Dr. Oswald saw the value of a strong sports program and how it could strengthen all the other core programs. His goal was to have as many male and female students doing one or more sports along with extra-curricular activities. He knew that a strong athletic program would keep students actively involved in the school and would benefit all the programs. During his time Ponaganset was rated as one of the top 4 high school programs in the state!
Doc (as he was know by all) was also one of the forces behind the expansion of the outside sports facilities. During his tenure, a new football/soccer field , a track with all facilities , tennis courts, a baseball and softball complex were all constructed. A new 3 mile state of the art cross country trail was built and continues to be utilized for all the State and New England meets held in Rhode Island. As well as doing all he did for Ponaganset, Doc also served for 16 years on the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Principals Committee on Athletics thus showing further the commitment he had for Athletics.
Doc and his wife Judy, who will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversity this October, now reside in Stuart, Florida where he still actively works with the Florida Master Gardeners Program. Doc and Judy still travel extensively and enjoy visits with their son Jim, daughters Kathy and Terri and their 6 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren whenever their very busy schedule allows.