August 14, 2017 Update
At their August 14th meeting, the DASD Board of Education recognized Jan William’s award as the American Legion Post 348 Educator of the Year.
Bill Ridgely presented Jan with a certificate and a check for $100.
August 7, 2017
Written by Bill Ridgely
The American Legion’s Olson-Grinde Post 348, in DeForest has selected Jan Williams as their Educator of the Year. Williams is an English teacher at DeForest Area High School.
Williams started her teaching career in 1987 at Colby High School teaching advanced English and advisor to the junior class, the pep club, and cheerleaders, as well as coaching volleyball and softball.
Teaching “many years without a room” and out of a trailer didn’t dampen her enthusiasm for teaching night classes at MATC, and advising the National Honor Society, student council, the drama club and directing as many as three to six plays a year and coaching forensics. She started a Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) group that stages the annual mock car crash along with the high school drama club.
She assisted DAWN in starting their annual Constitution speech contest six years ago and has been asked to be on the board of the Wisconsin High School Forensics Association to assist with contests and tournaments and training of new judges and coaches.
Machell Schwartz, principal of DeForest Area High School, described Williams as, “a caring, dedicated professional who goes above and beyond for students. Outside the classroom, Jan has no equal. The sheer number of things she is involved in speak volumes about her desire to shape student lives.”
Bill Ridgely, commander of Olson-Grinde post 348, has worked with Williams on the American Legion’s Constitution Oratorical contest and stated that, “she is an amazing teacher with boundless energy and a great sense of humor. She deserves to be honored in this way.”