Williams honored for tech innovation in Selma schools

Published 11:16 am Thursday, May 9, 2019

Selma City Schools Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams is being awarded the 2019 Marbury Technology Innovation Award for her innovative use of technology in the Selma schools.

The award, sponsored by the Alabama Department of Education and Educational Technology, focuses on K-12 educators, administrators and support personnel who creatively employ technology in the classroom.

Recipients are judged based on innovation and creativity, impact on teaching and learning, leadership, teamwork and scholarship and awards are given out to an elementary, middle and high school teacher, a school administrator, a district technology coordinator and a superintendent or central office member.

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Williams, who previously won the award as a middle school teacher, will receive her award during the opening session of the Alabama Education Technology Conference in Mobile on June 12.

“Dr. Williams, as a district leader, models innovation and creativity,” said Nomination Director of Federal Programs Rafael Simmons. “She has inspired district leaders, principals, teachers and students to think about ways to be innovative in our work. Often, technology is an integral part of what she does. Whether it’s communication, management or learning, technology is always connected.”

While Williams is honored to be recognized, she contends that the advances experienced in Selma City Schools are not the product of her efforts alone.

“It’s definitely exciting and humbling at the same time,” Williams said. “Any and everything that we’ve been able to accomplish, whether it’s technology or our academic improvement, is a team effort. That’s why we’re Team Selma. I can be innovative and have ideas about technology, but unless you have people who can put those ideas into practice, you’re not going to make progress.”

Among the initiatives Williams has overseen are the 1-to-1 program initiated at R.B. Hudson Middle School, which places portable computers in each students’ hands, the ongoing development of STEAM and STEM academies, the creation of Academies of Excellence in area elementary schools and the dynamic use of social media.

“I’ve always known that technology, and the effective use of technology, can level the playing field,” Williams said. “We have to embrace technology. I think the main thing is making sure that we stay abreast of new technologies as they come about. It’s a moving target. The world is changing so quickly.”