Truckee Hometown Sears, Sierra Sun select sixth Teacher of the Year finalist
Special to the Sun
TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Alder Creek Middle School science teacher Neysa Williams was selected as the sixth finalist for the Truckee Hometown Sears-Sierra Sun Teacher of the Year.
and#8220;It is fantastic to be nominated,and#8221; said Williams. and#8220;Having this [Teacher of the Year] award is great for the community.and#8221;
The selection committee praised Williamsand#8217; enthusiasm and ability to inspire students about learning. Nominators acknowledged Williamsand#8217; ability to engage students.
and#8220;Not only do her words of advice, still to this day, inspire me, but it would be impossible to forget about her style of teaching,and#8221; wrote a former student. and#8220;Mrs. Williams made learning so much fun.and#8221;
Williamsand#8217; passion for science and learning makes her an asset to students and the community. On May 4, Charles Riley, owner of the Truckee Hometown Sears Store, presented Williams with a finalist certificate and $100 shopping spree award at his store.
Neysa Williams is a self-proclaimed periodic table geek. You may even find her sporting periodic table clothing. It is something she knows, understands and wants to share. Most importantly, Williams recognizes when you are excited about what you teach, that excitement carries over to your students. Her willingness to share her passion and love for science is just one reason Neysa Williams was selected Truckee Hometown Sears-Sierra Sun Teacher of the Year finalist.
Neysa Williams was born in San Jose, Calif. At the age 5, she moved with her family to Tahoe. She had the opportunity to experience multiple schools living in Kings Beach and Tahoe City before moving to Truckee in the third grade. After finishing high school, Williams attended University of California, Santa Cruz. She was originally interested in becoming a physical therapist, but had reservations. When her husband mentioned a guest speaker who had come to his class to discuss a teaching program, Williams was intrigued and decided it was perfect for her.
After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, Williams enrolled in the Los Angeles Unified School Districtand#8217;s intern program. There she was able to get on the job teacher training, working full time while obtaining her teaching credential. She spent the next four years teaching seventh grade life sciences.
After the birth of their first child, Williams and her husband wanted to live outside of the city. Williams enjoyed growing up in the Tahoe area and her husband fell in love with the mountains when they visited family. Williams, her husband, son and daughter now enjoy the small-town atmosphere in Truckee.
Williams has been teaching in Truckee for 12 years. She originally started at Sierra Mountain Middle School and then moved to Alder Creek Middle School when it opened eight years ago.
and#8220;I really like the kids and the area and people I work with,and#8221; said Williams. and#8220;I work with some of the most amazing people.and#8221;
Williams was excited to have the opportunity to come back to the area where she grew up and had so many connections. She found it nice to work where she already knew members of the community, and has enjoyed teaching children of her former classmates.
Williams herself is a former student of her current supervisor, principal Susan Phebus. Williams was in Susan Phebusand#8217; seventh-grade social studies class and said it is great to work for Phebus. Phebus, likewise, praises Williamsand#8217; work.
and#8220;Neysa is diligent, informative, and caring with her students and their learning,and#8221; said Phebus. and#8220;She creates and#8216;hands-onand#8217; learning that allows her students to deepen their learning about difficult concepts.and#8221;
Williams strives to make learning in her class a hands-on process. She tries to reach all students by making concepts available in different ways. Williams brings in items that are familiar to students for experiments and wants them to recognize science is not just about and#8220;fancyand#8221; chemicals and equipment.
and#8220;I just want students to be really curious about all the science around them,and#8221; said Williams. and#8220;I want them not to accept things at face value, instead to try for themselves.and#8221; Of course, Williams does remind students not to try their own experiments at home without adult supervision.
Williams finds it somewhat overwhelming to reflect on her career and teacher of the year nomination. She loves her subject matter and truly enjoys working with 13 and 14-year-olds.
and#8220;I just really like the kids,and#8221; said Williams. and#8220;I am so suited for this age group, I get them; I understand the stuff they are going through.and#8221; Principal Phebus concurs Williams connects with students and shows them she cares on a daily basis.
and#8220;Neysa is a teacher who students can rely on and so too, can the adults in the building,and#8221; said Phebus.
What excites Williams most is seeing students develop new interests and sometimes even a passion for science. She loves to hear students say, and#8220;I never liked science before, and I really like it now.and#8221; Her own passion for science makes an impression on her students.
and#8220;She was vibrant and full of energy, which made time fly by,and#8221; wrote a former student. and#8220;Throughout my educational career, Mrs. Williamsand#8217; excitement for learning has stayed with me and I still to this day appreciate her passion for learning.and#8221;
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