Tonya Williams - Principal, Sherwood Githens Middle School
"There is absolutely nothing more rewarding than to see a child learn , develop, and maximize their potential."
- What brought you to the education field and how long have you been involved in it? I have been in education for 20 years in some form or fashion, preschool teacher, after school teacher, middle school teacher, assistant principal, and a principal. I became an educator because I love children and I see that so many of our children do not have advocates, so I promised myself that I would always be an advocate for the children need advocacy the most. I absolutely love working with students. Working with children is my only talent. There is absolutely nothing more rewarding than to see a child learn , develop, and maximize their potential. I could never imagine being in any other field of work.
- What are your views on expanded learning time? I believe that expanded learning opportunities are essential for some of our students in order to provide them with enrichment opportunities, as well as interventions. Expanded learning time can mean a lot to students who otherwise would go home and watch television, play a game, or go to sleep. Instead, the students are continuing to learn about subjects that both interest them and are needed for a successful future.
- Why have you chosen to work with middle schoolers? Middle schoolers have always been my favorite group of students to work with. I majored in Middle School Education and have spent 12 years in middle schools. Middle school age students have so much personality, and their minds and bodies transform before your eyes. Because of all these changes, middle school students need adults who understand their developmental needs and can steer them in a positive direction. I’d like to think that I am one of those adults.
- How do you see the Citizen Schools program impacting your students? I see Citizen Schools as a way for our students to be exposed to various careers, professionals, and opportunities that they may not otherwise have because of the strict schedule that we must follow during the school day. My students gained so much from being a part of Citizens Schools last year, and I am looking forward to an effective partnership with Citizen Schools where we are able to work together to have a positive, lasting impact on students.
- Your favorite Citizen Schools' student story, apprenticeship, and/or WOW! moment. My favorite moment was see a few of my 6th graders involved in the Rhyme and Reason Wow event last school year. My students created such a positive rap that we had them share it with the entire school at our EOG Pep Rally! It was a big hit with the students, as well!
- What's your favorite part of the fall season? I love driving and marveling at the coloring of the leaves. The colors of fall are so beautiful.