• New city schools superintendent to focus on 'listening'

     
    Jun. 6, 2013
     

    Written by

    John Davis

    Poughkeepsie Journal

     

    As the next superintendent of the Poughkeepsie City School District, Nicole Williams said she plans to lay the foundation to boosting student achievement by listening to and learning from students, parents, teachers, coaches and community members about their expectations and concerns.

    “Our collective goal is to deliver on the promise of a high-quality education for the children that we serve,” she said. “We serve the students in the Poughkeepsie City School District.”

    The Poughkeepsie school board on May 29 appointed Williams as superintendent for three years at an annual salary of $182,000, effective July 1. Williams is now the senior deputy superintendent for academic services and chief academic officer for St. Louis Public Schools in Missouri.

    Laval Wilson, superintendent of Poughkeepsie schools since 2006, announced in September he would retire at the end of the school year, June 30. He is being paid $230,000 this year.

    The school board considered 25 candidates before deciding to hire Williams, 49, who started her career in education as an elementary school teacher in New York City. She said she spent the bulk of her career there — 27 years — where she also taught at the middle and high school levels and eventually became of one of the district superintendents.

    “I taught (English as a Second Language) and core content areas, including math,” she said. “My passion is mathematics. I currently tutor eighth-grade students in St. Louis.”

    In her post in St. Louis, Williams is responsible for the administration of academic services for 27,000 students in 79 schools. Williams is a graduate of Harvard University, where she received a doctorate of education in administration, planning and social policy. She also completed the Urban Superintendents Program at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

    Megan Gomes, parent of a sophomore at Poughkeepsie High School, said she was impressed by what she read in the newspaper about the new superintendent’s educational background and work experience.

     
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