Congratulations to Silas Wood’s and South Huntington School District’s 2022-23 Teacher of the year, Mr. Shaka Williams. Currently in his eleventh year serving as a Social Worker in South Huntington and his ninth year at Silas Wood, Mr. Williams is utterly devoted to the wellbeing of the Silas student population.
Mr. Williams has a magnetic and comforting presence that quickly becomes familiar to all of our students each school year, as he assists our district’s sixth-graders in acclimating to a new school and in overcoming a myriad of social and personal issues. His commitment to the growth, development, and achievements of our students is made evident each and every day. Mr. Williams has stated that every day is a new opportunity, a reset, for both students and staff in which they can build off past successes or learn from previous experiences, to help guide each school day. His patience and enthusiasm in interacting with not only students and parents but with his colleagues as well, knows no bounds.
As a Stony Brook University graduate, Mr. Williams was inspired to become an educator from his own previous teachers during his academic career, as well as his colleagues. These relationships reminded him that educators can be supportive, challenging, encouraging, consistent and innovative, all while learning from our youth. One of the most prominent lessons his students remind him each year is that growth is not linear. Progress is often measured as a series of achievements, often in a particular order. Mr. Williams has the privilege of observing students grow in confidence, empathy, humility, competence, compassion, and knowledge in their own time and for all different reasons.
Having served as our Project Excel Coordinator for seven highly-effective years, Mr. Williams is a member of Silas Wood’s BEST team, SEL Committee, and also the building-wide RtI. Reflecting his dedication to the South Huntington community at large, Mr. Williams can be counted on as an enthusiastic and encouraging fixture at such events as Unity Day, Homecoming, Family Fun Night, school concerts and theatrical performances, as well as many other Silas and District events that provide him the opportunity to exhibit his South Huntington pride. Mr. Williams organizes and oversees the annual Holiday Food Drive, spending an extraordinary amount of time to ensure that the maximum number of community families may benefit from this generous project that he provides so much to.
Mr. Williams also spends an extraordinary amount of his time both during our work day and outside of these hours, organizing and facilitating Silas Wood’s Giving Tree Gift Drive which brings the joy of the holiday season to many. One can only imagine the benefits and the happiness these projects have provided to Silas families and to others of the community over the years.
Silas Wood Principal, Mr. Stephen Toto (right), and Assistant Principal, Mr. Adam Obletz (left), proudly present Mr. Shaka Williams as the Sixth-Grade Center's Teacher of the Year, as well as South Huntington School District's 2022-23 Teacher of the Year!
Board of Education President, Mr. Nicholas Ciappetta (back middle), joined JKAO administrators at Silas Wood to announce Mr. Williams as South Huntington School District's 2022-23 Teacher of the Year.