May 2014 Winner - Wendy Williams:(Quitman Middle School)


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Meridian Star Article

Knowing that teachers care about them makes all the difference to students, according to an educator singled out for her cheerful disposition and teaching skills.

Wendy Williams, who teaches history at Quitman Middle School, is the Golden Apple Teacher of the Month winner for May. Williams was surprised with the award recently in front of a school assembly filled with cheering students.

Williams, a 17-year veteran educator who started her teaching career in Florida, is known for her constant smile, according to Principal Roger Satcher.

"Mrs. Williams is a teacher that, every day when she walks into the school building, it's a day for the kids to learn. She is pleasant, she is polite to the kids. She stands at the door and speaks to each child," Satcher said. "Every child is personal to her. No matter how good or bad the day is, she's always pleasant."

Williams teaches 7th grade World Cultures, Eastern Hemisphere; and 8th grade American History, but Satcher said she understands that history is not the only thing she has to teach.

"She actually teaches reading while she is teaching history. She teaches Spanish while she's teaching history," Satcher said.

Williams said she integrates Spanish into her lessons, because as a former resident of Florida, she understands the importance of learning a second language.

"I want them to understand that in order to exist in a global community, we have to be able to adapt to other beliefs, other languages, and other cultures. Once you know a culture, then you are quite capable of dealing with it."

Williams was a stay at home mom when her children were small, but as they grew she spent time with them at school as a volunteer and recognized that she enjoyed working with children in the middle school age group. She already had a degree in history so she went back and earned an education degree. A couple of former teachers inspired her, she said.