Deborah Y. Williams, M.Ed. drew upon her thirty-three years of teaching young people as the springboard to create Uzima, a rites of passage program for African-American males in Christian churches. An honor graduate of Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, she became a teacher of language arts and later secondary English.
Her attention to detail and administrative abilities were noted by various building level administrators in all of her teaching locations where she was chosen to serve, among other positions, as department chairman, team leader, grade-level chairman, and gifted resource teacher. Her administrative skills were refined when she earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Her interest and pursuit of stronger writing skills and better teaching of writing were realized when she participated in the Eastern Virginia Writing Projectat William and Mary and Project W.R.I.T. & E., a part of the National Diffusion Network in Glassboro, New Jersey. Within one of the schools where she worked, she established innovative and successful instructional strategies that were designed to help its at-risk populations. When she took over the helm as chairman, her challenged school’s test scores were well under the state’s expectations. Under her instructional leadership, the English department met and exceeded the state’s minimum benchmarks for 6 out of the 10 years that she chaired the department. Her ideas on how to implement the curriculum were successful and became the model for writing review and test preparation across the school division.
Ms. Williams was the recipient of two teaching awards, The R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence (Greater Richmond Area) and The Gilman Award (for Teaching Excellence in Henrico County Public Schools). Her other awards include Outstanding Young Women in America, Who’s Who in the South and Southeast, Who’s Who in America, and America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals.
Ms. Williams continues to serve as an instructional coach and curriculum reviewer for Henrico County Schools and as the president of Boy Scout Troop 732 Committee in Glen Allen, Virginia. Ms. Williams is the administrator of the Uzima Manhood Program at Trinity Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia. She and her son live outside Richmond, Virginia.
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