Up & Coming Weekly

November 02, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1425179

Contents of this Issue


Page 8 of 24

8 UCW NOVEMBER 3-9, 2021 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM No day is the same for a prin- cipal of a school. One day can be filled with meetings with teachers, staff, parents and district officials. Another could be helping in the cafeteria or working with the I.T. department to make sure the Wi- Fi is working. A principal's job at times can seem never ending. But helping teachers and stu- dents succeed is what gives Joy Williams — the principal at Lu- ther "Nick" Jeralds Middle School — the confidence she needs to keep going. Williams started out in the education field almost by acci- dent. She initially got her bach- elor's degree at Fayetteville State University in literature, but had a hard time figuring out what to do after she graduated. Her friend recommended that she become a teacher. "I started half-way through a school year replacing a teacher, and fell in love," Williams said. "While it was not initially my first choice, it later became my only choice." While working as a teacher, Wil- liams started to see how schools work from the inside and how important administrators were to a school's overall wellbeing. She also became involved in mentor- ship programs and was able to develop relationships with stu- dents outside the classroom. is gave her the perspective of what support students really needed from school officials. She worked to obtain certifica- tions and received her Master of School Administration from FSU. She worked as an assis- tant principal at Luther "Nick" Jeralds Middle School before becoming a principal in 2012 at Howard Health & Life Science High School. A few years later she transferred back to the middle school, this time as the principal. In October, Williams was named 2022 Principal of the Year for Cumberland County. "It is exciliterating, humbling, exciting, stunning all at the same time," Williams told Up & Coming Weekly. "I am very excited not just for myself, but for my school, for my teachers and for my students." Luther "Nick" Jeralds Middle School has about 620 students that attend the school across three grade levels and approxi- mately 50 teachers. Including teacher assistants, custodial staff and cafeteria staff, that number goes up to 75 people total. She attributes her success to having established relationships with her staff, having a warm and inviting climate, creating a culture of collaboration and making sure teachers have good morale and extend grace. "Everyone needs understand- ing. Without that, I don't under- stand how any organization is successful," Williams said. Williams is a principal of a Title I school. ese schools typically have students that come from low-income families and she ad- mits that getting students engaged is harder at these schools. Wil- liams doest see that as a problem. Rather it's just another reason to be inventive. By being more en- gaged with teachers, she is able to help provide them with what they need to engage these students in different ways. "Knowing how much work these teachers have to prepare for their lessons, we make sure to celebrate those teachers," Williams said. "We make sure to also celebrate teacher attendance. Without teachers, students aren't going to be successful." As part of the prize for the prin- cipal of the year, Williams earned $2,000 to be used at her middle school. "For me, this award, this award is for the faculty, staff and stu- dents at Luther Middle School. I'm excited to win this award so my teachers can be proud of where they work everyday," Wil- liams said. "I love our school and I'm just very honored to serve in the capacity of the principal." NEWS Williams speaks on Principal of the Year award by HANNAH LEE HANNAH LEE, Assistant Editor. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. FREE HEALTH CARE • for Eligible uninsured Adults call 910.485.0555

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Up & Coming Weekly - November 02, 2021