By Kylee McDonald, Kelly Litts and Sophia Lopez
APR 04, 2016
Engaging woman and bubbly teacher, Dr. Williams leaves an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of Saint Thomas Aquinas High School (STA) students. Teaching physics and chemistry to both juniors and seniors, she brings effortless humor and knowledge to the classroom.
Dr. Williams was born in Phoenix, AZ, and she came to Florida when she was eight years old. Her mom taught at STA for 23 years. Dr. Williams graduated from STA and continued on to study at Seton Hall University. After completing graduate school and her postdoctorate degree at Ohio State University, she turned to teaching as a result of her graduate school experience as a teaching assistant. She explained that initially she had no idea what she wanted to do after college and pursued a PhD because of her passion for chemistry.
As an STA student, she often heard people talking about high school teachers inspiring them to pursue their dreams, and she wanted to have this impact on others. Her personal inspiration was retired STA chemistry teacher, Miss McInnis. She wanted to be a teacher at an institute where education was paramount. This goal led her back to STA, where she has been teaching for six years. While Dr. Williams had not imagined that she would return to campus as a teacher, STA “always felt like home.” Currently, she teaches Chemistry II Honors, Physics Honors, and after school robotics.
Dr. Williams has come to appreciate the STA community from the perspective of both teacher and student. She has formed wonderful friendships and enjoys the camaraderie.
In her free time, she enjoys watching sports, especially college basketball, as well as reading, going to the movies and spending time with her four-year-old son, Hunter. Her favorite color is pink, and her favorite memories, as an STA student, were drill team, color guard and the Senior Encounter Retreat. However, as a teacher, she loves the Fall season at STA, which is when her robotics team competes in tournaments. Dr. Williams’ passion for science is contagious, and her students are thriving on the experience.