The Duncan Banner

August 15, 2013

Williams takes charge at Velma-Alma Elementary

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

VELMA —  On Velma-Alma’s first day of school Wednesday, Shannon Williams greeted her former students as she entered a new role.

Williams started her first day as Velma-Alma Elementary principal with students who were starting their first day of school. Williams has been a teacher at Velma-Alma for 10 years and a former Velma-Alma student.

“It’s been so reviving,” William said about her new role. “There’s been some changes. Morale is up. It’s the best start to the year we’ve had in a while.”

Williams took over the position held previously by Raymond Rice. Rice moved into the superintendent’s office. When Williams was a student in the school district, Rice was her agriculture teacher.

Williams and Rice were out front of the elementary for part of the morning to greet students as they arrived to start the school day. Williams interacting with the students has been one of the best parts of working in education. And as principal, she’s looking forward to maintaining this part of her job.

“We’re here for the kids,” she said. “It’s going to be the most exciting part of the job.”

She said the school has had many of the same teachers for years. But this year there will be 13 or 14 new teachers in the district, Williams said. All of the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers are new to the school district.

“Change is a good thing sometimes,” Williams said.

Williams said the teachers who have remained with Velma-Alma School District appreciate the close-knit community that exists on the school campus.

She said it won’t take long for new teachers to come to the same conclusions, she said.

“We are a family here,” Williams said. “There are so many traditions.”

Williams said she knows the students and their families. She said that’s part of what happens when people live in the Velma community. They get to know each other.

“I am a life-long Comet,” Williams said. “There’s no place I’d rather be.”