Photo courtesy of Long Beach Unified School District.
Long Beach Unified School District was recognized nationally Thursday night when board member Felton Williams was named Urban Educator of the Year at the Council of the Great City School’s 61st Annual Fall Conference in Cleveland.
“I am positively on cloud nine,” Williams said. “I’m deeply touched and grateful to the Council for this tremendous honor.”
The Council represents 69 of the largest urban public school systems in the country and Williams was chosen among 11 school board members from districts across the nation.
He was awarded the Green-Garner award, named after Richard R. Green, the first African American chancellor of the New York City school system and businessman Edward Garner, who served on the Denver school board. The award is sponsored by the Washington, D.C. based council Aramark K-12 and Scholastic, Inc. As part of the reward he received a $10,000 college scholarship to present to a student.
“While I appreciate the personal recognition, this award also is a reflection of the high quality of our school system in Long Beach and all the hard work of our talented team of educators and support staff, fellow school board members and superintendent, devoted parents, amazing students and exemplary community partners,” Williams said. “I look forward to bringing this award home and sharing it with all of them.”
Williams is a former dean at Long Beach City College and has been on the Long Beach Board of Education for more than 13 years, serving multiple terms as president and vice president and has pursued efforts to improve students’ academic performance, including a program to increase the number of students of color pursuing Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams, and recommended the implementation of an ethnic studies program in partnership with Cal State Long Beach.
He has helped improve urban education nationally, advocating for the Long Beach College Promise which promotes college expectation and readiness since its inception nearly a decade ago.
“Felton Williams has made substantial contributions to urban public education at both the local and national levels,” Council Executive Director Michael Casserly said in a statement. “His passion for equity and excellence has had a profound effect on how all of us serve our urban students. There could be no one more deserving.”
“Congratulations, Dr. Williams, on winning the 2017 Green-Garner Award,” LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser said in a statement. “We can’t thank you enough for everything that you’ve done for our young people. From the day you stepped on as a board member you’ve been a huge advocate for equity and access for all of our kids, and because of your efforts to lead our initiatives, our district is recognized as one of the best in the nation.”