Magazine article Techniques

An Interview with Felicia Williams, 2014 ACTE Outstanding Teacher in Community Service

Magazine article Techniques

An Interview with Felicia Williams, 2014 ACTE Outstanding Teacher in Community Service

Article excerpt

Felicia Williams is a FACS teacher and an FCCLA sponsor at Horseshoe Bend School in New Site, Alabama. She was named the 2014 ACTE Outstanding Teacher in Community Service, which is an award that is given in recognition of significant accomplishments and demonstrated outstanding leadership in programs and activities that promote community service. Felicia is also the Region II winner of ACTE's Outstanding Teacher in Community Service Award.

ACTE: Tell us a bit about your background.

FW: I was in the first graduating class of Horseshoe Bend School. After graduating, I attended Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City, Alabama, for two years where I earned my Associate in Arts. I finished my bachelor's in Home Economics Education at Auburn University. I was one of the last to earn this degree from Auburn, as they closed the program while I was in the midst of finishing my degree. After college, I accepted a job at Elmore County High School in Eclectic, Alabama, and taught there for nine years before I transferred to Horseshoe Bend in 2006. In 2010, I earned my National Board Certification. I am currently still at the "Bend" (as we call it). This is home for me! I'm two minutes from my parents' place and 12 minutes to my house! How much better could it get?

Throughout my career I have had the support of my family, and I feel that is what helps me to do all the things I do. I married the love of my life in March of 1998, and he is my rock, my other half.

I can't imagine life without him. My parents have always been my cheerleaders. Dad is the adviser--always ready with advice. Mom is the one who listens carefully and helps to calm my anxieties and fears. She's a true nurtured

I've been very active in Alabama ACTE (AACTE), serving as secretary and now president-elect. In 2012,1 was named the 2012 AACTE Outstanding Teacher in Community Service. In 2007, I was selected as the Alabama Family and Consumer Science Teacher of the Year and the Alabama Career and Technical Teacher of the Year. I am also ServSafe[R] certified, as well as being certified in CPR and first aid.

ACTE: In your bio it states that you have brought "positive attention" to your school with your students' award-winning anti-bullying service projects. Tell us about that.

FW: In the last five years, my students have worked on an anti-bullying project under my guidance. It all began after a student survey the school conducted in 2009 that revealed bullying was on the rise at our school. Our goal was to teach the younger students ways to deal with a bully. In the first two years, we targeted second graders and talked to them using puppets, activities and games. This project won state awards, as well as gold medals at the State and National FCCLA competitions for 2010 and 2011.

In 2011, after our win at National, our local newspaper featured an article about the anti-bullying project. Soon after the article appeared, we received a call from Lisa Harris, the counselor at Jim Pearson Elementary School (Alexander City, Alabama), who wanted us to come to do our bully presentation. It was a tremendous experience for us all. A week after the presentation, we received a large envelope filled with thank-you notes from the students at Jim Pearson.

After two years of working with second graders, my students felt we needed to increase awareness, so we shifted our focus to fifth and sixth graders. …

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