Selma City Schools Superintendent Finalist for AASA Women in Leadership award

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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By Lew Gilliland

The Selma Times-Journal

Selma City Schools boss Dr. Avis Williams is in the running for a prestigious award presented annually by an organization of school superintendents.

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Williams is a finalist for the Superintendent Award, part of the AASA’s Women in School Leadership Awards. The other finalist is Sharon Contreras, superintendent of the Guilford County Schools in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Candidates are judged on leadership in meeting the learning needs of students; personal and organizational communication strength; constant professional improvement of knowledge and skills; and active community involvement, according to an AASA press release.

The winner will be announced during the AASA National Conference on Education, Feb. 17-19, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.

“On behalf of the Selma City Board of Education, we are excited that Avis has been named one of two finalists for the AASA Women in School Leadership Award,” board Chairman Johnny Moss III said in a press release from the school system. “Avis’s educational background as a teacher, coach, assistant superintendent and superintendent has made her a tremendous asset to Selma City School’s leadership team.

“There was a great deal of uncertainty surrounding Selma City Schools five years ago. Today, the school system has emerged from a dark time and turned the corner with many crediting Avis’s steady hands on the wheel moving forward.”

Williams said she was pleased others are noticing the work being done in the Selma City system.

“The vision of Team Selma is to be recognized as a model school district, and it gives me so much joy when others see and celebrate our efforts and accomplishments,” Williams said. “I want to thank our Board of Education for giving me the privilege to lead. I also thank AASA and Horace Mann for creating a space for women leaders to be seen.”

Williams also congratulated Contreras on being selected a finalist.

The awards are sponsored by AASA and the Horace Mann Educators Corporation.

The history of AASA dates back 150 years, to a period just after the Civil War. Once known as the American Association of School Administrators, the organization’s current name is AASA, The School Superintendents Association. It is based in Alexandria, Virginia.

Williams is a native of Salisbury, North Carolina. She has served in leadership positions in the U.S. Army, as an entrepreneur and as an education administrator.

A researcher and a scholar, she is certified to teach English, physical education and as a P-12 principal and superintendent. She earned her doctorate from the University of Alabama and is a graduate of Leadership Huntsville/Madison County Connect and the University of Alabama’s Superintendents Academy. Williams has served as an elementary, middle and high school principal. She was named Selma superintendent in 2017.