When Briar Williams was a child, she always knew her father, Wendell P. Williams, would do great things. Wendell was an educator in Clark County School District, starting at Frank F. garside Junior High School in 1981.
He then served in Nevada’s legislature beginning in 1986, advocating for education initiatives with the belief that education is “one way to improve society.” Nearly two decades later, CCSD honored his commitment to education by naming a school after him in 2002: Wendell P. Williams Elementary School.
It is at Williams Elementary School where Briar, a second grade teacher, hopes to be as much of an influence as her father was, if not more.
“My father is big on strengthening a child’s character,” said Briar. “Getting to know my students – their situation, their communities and their parents – is something I model after him.”
The avid traveler landed at Williams Elementary School after teaching in California, Georgia and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Her experiences abroad influenced her to teach her students to be globally minded.
The third-generation educator was guided to teaching after working in a daycare after college courses. Briar had originally planned to be an anesthesiologist, but spending time with children “rocked” her world.
“The passion in me was brought out,” Briar said. “I think teaching is one of the most important jobs in a child’s life. I want to be the teacher that inspires my students to be divergent thinkers.”
When Wendell first found out that Briar chose to teach at Williams Elementary, he was elated.
“It’s sort of like being a namesake – it never really sinks in.” said Wendell. “It’s an unbelievable feeling and I’m proud of her.”
The same can be said for Briar, who’s just as proud of her father and “happy to carry the torch and leave a legacy for future generations” as her father has left for her.