Wade Winner: Scott Williams
Congratulations to Scott Williams of Four County Career Center on being chosen as our latest Wade Award winner! Mr. Williams was nominated by coworker Ellie Cichocki for this award, which is bestowed on those professionals who are recognized by their peers for consistently showcasing the qualities of a Wade:
- Exuding passion for what they do
- Sharing and inspiring their passion in others
- Making a positive difference every day
In her nomination, Ms. Ciochocki wrote,
“As the job placement coordinator I really appreciate Scott as a lab teacher. He is the master of matching students with employers because he knows his students so well and knows the idiosyncrasies and personalities of the employers which makes my job SO much easier. Scott cannot not be passionate about his students and his work. Even if he’s having a down day I am sure neither his students nor anyone around him really knows. He’s like the energizer bunny! He works at connecting with other lab programs as well which helps tremendously with team building and camaraderie which can sometimes suffer when things get really busy. Scott inspires me to do my best every day.
Scott is so passionate about his work and his students. I am sure he is exhausted at the end of each day because he is “on” every day all day. His program remains full and I am sure that is because of the way he connects with future students and their parents. The parents know beyond any doubt their child will be in great hands with Scott plus will have LOTS of opportunities for their future with the skills he teaches. Scott is an amazing teacher, is great with his students and is very helpful to others.”
We interviewed Mr. Williams to learn more about his teaching philosophy and personal best practices. Here’s what he had to share:
Q: What made you choose education as your lifework?
A: I have a passion for kids and the electrical trades. I enjoy getting to know the students at Four County Career Center and learning about who they are and where they came from.
Q: How do you use your role to make a difference for students?
A: My classroom/lab is designed to share real-life experiences with my students and apply it through our training. The most important aspect of being an instructor to me is making sure that my students know that I care about them first and just try to be as consistent as possible, as I want them to know that they have the chance to succeed in whatever they choose in life.
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
A: I really enjoy seeing the lightbulb come on with my students if you know what I mean. It is extremely gratifying to take a student who has no prior electrical knowledge and after time they are so excited to see something that they did with their own two hands. This may be the first time in their life that they feel empowered to take on a task like this and it is especially gratifying knowing that they can do this with all of the dangers that electricity can offer.
Q: How do you come up with fresh ideas and projects to keep students engaged in their learning?
A: I actively seek out new and exciting projects from what is going on in the real world first of all. My advisory committee helps with that as they give us the up-to-date things that are going on out there. We try to go and do real-world job sites as much as possible so that the kids can own the process of completing the job. If the students own that responsibility they will retain so much more of information that they have gained in this program. If we ever feel stagnant with what we do we also have a great fraternity of vocational schools that other area instructors are always willing to share information on what fun and exciting things are going on in their labs as well.
Q: Are there any additional personal best practices or advice that you’d like to share with our readers?
A: Ever since day one at the University of Toledo I have owned the responsibility of my students learning. Just always remember that we have to set the best example for our students that we can. Some students don’t have food to eat or a place to live and that should put our learning environments in perspective. If I can make my students feel like they can accomplish as much with their lives or more than I have, then they can see that light at the end of the tunnel. My students have one thing embedded in their minds everyday here in my lab at FCCC: No matter what you do, be the best you can be at it.
We want to thank Mr. Williams for taking the time to share these helpful insights, and congratulate him once again on his award. Please feel free to share your congratulations in the comments as well!
Also, we welcome your nominations for those colleagues in your organization who are true Wades. Visit our nomination page to submit a candidate today. We look forward to hearing from you!