Masked Hero: Katrina Williams
Superpower: The ability to take every learning on an educational journey.
When in the classroom, Katrina Williams often moves into her alter ego to take students on an educational journey to places where they may not have gone before. “The journey each day is to convince a student learner that I have something worthwhile to teach them.” With 27+ years in education and her second in Ames, Williams is navigating a complicated year by focusing on her powers while developing others along the way.
Williams teaches both online and in-person students and has experience working with twice-exceptional learners and those with behavioral challenges. “This ‘odd year’ has forced me to carve a path to engage the learners and help them develop the necessary tools to navigate and explore new ways of learning wholeheartedly. I have empathy. I also have the courage to try each day to make an impactful difference in our student learners’ lives.”
She is the first in her family to graduate from college and has earned both an undergraduate and a graduate degree. This reality is not lost on her. “It was not an easy journey for me. It keeps me humble and cognizant of who my student learners may be in my classroom.” She celebrates her ancestors and family lineage and uses the Because of Them, We Can campaign that puts students in the role of past legends for inspiration. She wants to equip students to be their agent of change and often asks “Are they the first in their family to achieve these accomplishments. How can I maintain an equitable lens and assist them in their educational journey? How can I let them know that I authentically care? That I see and hear them? How can I let them know that they matter to me?”
Even though her to-do list is a bit longer this year, she still finds time to think about each one of her students. “I find that the path to develop age-appropriate lessons pushes me to be a better educator each day. I have found a way to connect with the uniqueness in every student learner.”