2021 Extraordinary Educators: Kelsey Williams
Great communities have great schools. High Point Schools Partnership creates impactful connections between our schools and the wider community to ensure students and their families are supported and can reach their full potential in High Point schools.
Part of High Point Schools Partnerships’ mission is to improve the image of our schools through storytelling. Who better to tell the stories of High Point’s schools than the people experiencing it first-hand? In this series of eight articles, we will highlight our 2021 High Point Extraordinary Educators as we dive deeper into what keeps them motivated in the face of constant challenges.
Kelsey Williams has been an educator at Florence Elementary School for 5 years. Williams says “the community is incredible” and “the relationships she has created are stronger than just one school year; they are lifelong.”
Chiyanna Young, Florence Elementary School’s principal, says Mrs. Williams is “an extraordinary teacher that builds great relationships with parents, students, and staff.”
Others describe her as a friendly and caring person who is always willing to help students and staff. In regards to her lessons, Young says Mrs. Williams “has creative ideas to make her lessons fun. When I walk into Mrs. Williams’ classroom, I can feel the love and warmth between student and teacher.”
Q: What inspired you to become an educator?
A: In my first three years of elementary school, I attended three different schools. When I got to my third school (2nd grade), I had the most amazing teacher. I will never forget the kindness and passion that she had for teaching. My teacher in third grade displayed the same kindness, grace, and desire for changing kids’ lives. Their passion inspired me to pursue my 2nd grade self-dream of becoming a teacher.
Q: What’s your teaching/leadership style?
A: My teaching style includes setting high expectations for all my students. I firmly believe that all my students can achieve whatever they set their minds to, even in third grade. As far as leading, I love sharing new technology that will enhance the classroom with my colleagues. Often, I am called upon to help veteran teachers learn the new ropes as we continue to build 21st century learners.
Q: Do you have a classroom motto or philosophy you abide by? Why?
A: My dad has a saying that he tells me often that I base my classroom on. “You can’t fly like an eagle if you hang around turkeys.” This statement of comparing the elegant flight of an eagle and success versus the poor judgment of a group of turkeys is understandable for my third grade students. It is easy for them to picture and apply to situations throughout the school day.
Q: What’s your favorite part about every day?
A: The best part of every day is when my students come into our classroom. It is a new opportunity for me to impart as much knowledge as I can to my students. Seeing my students’ excitement when they walk in is contagious and provides a spark for me to get the day going.
Q: What’s your most memorable moment as an educator?
A: My most memorable moment as an educator happened during my first year teaching. I was teaching kindergarten. I had a student who came in without any knowledge of what a book was. Based on testing, he was far below “Reading Behaviors”. This student was also an English Language Learner who barely spoke any English. By the end of the year, this student was speaking fluent English with his classmates and reading at the middle of 1st grade reading level. I was so proud of the growth that he accomplished.
Mrs. Williams wants all of her students to know she is “you mom at school.” It is her responsibility to make sure that each of you has a great day, learns something new, and stays safe.
For parents? She says “we are a team.” Both Williams’ and her student’s parents want what is best for their student, and Williams says “they are the most precious gift and I am truly lucky to get to spend time with them every day.”
Thank you so much to Kelsey Williams for your dedication to High Point’s students. Congratulations on being selected as your school’s 2021 Extraordinary Educator!
Article written by High Point Schools Partnership Staff