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Williams comes from a long line of teachers and realized early on the profession could be incredibly rewarding. She chose art education because art is a universal means of communication that anyone can access. “If you don’t understand another culture’s language, you can look at their artwork and understand them,” said Williams. “I have also done a lot of art therapy with children and know it’s a safe way for them to express their emotions and dig a little deeper into subconscious stuff.”

Williams’ connection to her students is strong and she consistently reminds them they are special and can do great things. She ends each class with a chant she made up, telling her students “You can change the world with your own two hands! Art comes from the heART!" She then adds a line taken from Mr. Rogers, “And I like you just the way you are.”

Carre Bonilla, the Rockrimmon Elementary School principal, nominated Williams and was effusive in her praise. “While her specialty is art, her passion is teaching,” said Bonilla. “She does whatever she can to support the students as both artists, and scholars. She works with them individually, guiding them to develop their own personal art style, and she even helps with multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) reading interventions during breaks in her schedule. Her passion and dedication have had a lasting impact on our staff, students and families.”

“Visual art education is so important for children and I truly appreciate that our district values visual arts by keeping art teachers with the kids during this time and funding our programs,” said Williams. “The fact they chose a visual art teacher as an Elementary Educator of the Year speaks volumes as to how much the district supports the visual arts.”