Jennifer Williams is candidate for LHISD Place 6
After a recent move to Liberty Hill – having lived in the district for just over six months – Jennifer Williams decided to make a run for the LHISD Board of Trustees.
She began her career as a classroom teacher, and has spent time since doing education consulting work.
“I left the classroom a few years back now, and after leaving the classroom, within a year or so, I knew I wanted to pursue school board or just find a way to be more involved in local school policy,” Williams said.
In her two years in the classroom she taught high school math, but moved on from that, hoping to have a larger impact on education.
“My career has taken me into statewide school policy,” she said. “My husband and I moved down here to liberty Hill and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to combine that desire to be back in local schools with our new home.
“I didn’t anticipate going into teaching and leaving so quickly,” she said. “But I knew how much change I could make in my classroom and how much impact I was having in the lives of the students I was teaching, but I felt like I wanted to more and branch out beyond my four walls of my classroom.”
And those years in the classroom gave Williams what she said is a unique perspective to bring to the board.
I think my knowledge from the classroom would be an invaluable voice on the board,” she said. “Teaching is an invaluable experience for countless reasons, but specifically to school board it is such a different perspective on how schools run and operate, how policies affect the classroom and I think the voice of teachers is equally as important as students and parents and I think it’s a voice that needs to be heard on the school board.”
Working now in education on a statewide level has also added to that perspective.
“I have worked in a variety of roles – both consulting and research-based – and right now I’m a contractor with the Texas Education Agency,” Williams said.
The questions surrounding education today are the things Williams wants to bring a focus to as a member of the board.
“We’re obviously in a very unique situation with our growth and the timing of our growth,” she said. “With everything that’s happened in the last school year, how school policies have changed and the flexibility needed from our parents, students and staff, it’s a whole big hurdle to overcome in itself and I think it is really going to change the conversation from how we’ve been discussing growth over the last few years.”
She did not go into the bond proposal on the May ballot, saying only it was the “nature of the beast” and is unavoidable with the growth that’s coming, continuing to emphasize other issues.
“My number one priority will be to really understand the new developing needs of our parents, students and staff,” she said. “We’re seeing so many exasperated needs and so many new needs cropping up ranging from technology to kids being anxious about coming back to school. These are all brand new topics for a lot of families. It will be about listening to those needs and seeing how the school can adapt to that and seeing what gaps we can fill.”
And she wants voters to see that her experiences are important in working through those questions.
“I think my time spent researching and understanding education both on a local and state level can really help navigate this time we’re going through,” Williams said. “I think as somebody relatively new to the district, who came here and settled in Liberty Hill in large part because of the school district I can really represent and speak to a lot of the conversations that will be happening around the growth.”