Perry Township Schools is home to more than 900 teachers who educate nearly 16,000 students. These teachers exercise their unique gifts and philosophies to instruct our children. We value them all and what they bring to the table.
Every year we ask the staff at each of our 18 schools to nominate a standout educator who goes above and beyond in our district and community. As the nomination criteria indicates, ideal candidates should be “exceptionally skilled and dedicated. They should have the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues. They should play active and useful roles in their communities as well as in their schools, often distinguishing themselves as leaders.”
From the pool of nominees, a special committee chooses one educator to be named Teacher of the Year. This year the committee gave Mary Bryan Elementary teacher Lori Williams that special honor.
Mrs. Williams is deserving of this title for a number of reasons. First, she cares for her students as though they are her own. She has raised donations for coats, gloves, shoes, uniforms and overdue lunch accounts. She even keeps mittens and gloves in her desk for students to use at recess. She treats every child as if he or she is her own.
Mrs. Williams’ ability to inspire lifelong learning is undeniable. She infuses movement, dance, rhymes and video clips into her lessons. She teaches math and reading in small groups so students are able to set their goals to improve fluency and comprehension. She also hosts “Lunchtime Laughs” on her own time, where first-graders retell their favorite knock-knock jokes into a microphone.
Mrs. Williams’ kindness extends beyond the students. She serves her peers, as well. She is a mentor teacher and serves on the school’s leadership team. She helps new teachers with classroom management and lesson planning. She is also co-chair of the staff social committee that helps to plan morale-boosting activities like staff breakfasts and challenges. She also works closely with members of the English learning, special education, and deaf and hard of hearing teams to plan effective lessons for children that they share. She also attends Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol training to stay abreast of current practices to be effective when working with E learning students.
With a heart for the community, Mrs. Williams recently encouraged students to make scarves that were donated to LifeBridge, which serves needy Southeastside families. She even organized a Thanksgiving food drive through her church and donated a traditional meal to two families. She has also taught Sunday school for the five past years at The Creek.
Mrs. Williams has a heart to love and serve the children and staff of Perry Township. Congratulations to her and all of our educators who make a positive difference in the lives of our students.