W. Feliciana woman honored for volunteerism _lowres

Photo provided by Hollis Milton -- The Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana's 2015 Volunteer of the Year ceremony was held June 9 at the Governor's Mansion in Baton Rouge where 38 volunteers were honored. Attending from West Feliciana Parish Schools, from left, are School Board member Kelly O’Brien; instructional coach Zanovia Curtis; Volunteer of the Year Kati Williamson; Superintendent Hollis Milton; Bains Elementary Principal Abby Cochran; and School Board member Amanda McKinney.

The Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana (A+PEL) held its 2015 Volunteer of the Year ceremony June 9 at the Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge, a news release said.

Kati Williamson, of West Feliciana Parish, was among the 38 former educators, parents, grandparents and mentors from 26 parishes recognized for their dedication to both students and teachers in Louisiana’s schools.

The volunteers were selected by teachers throughout the state and nominated by members of A+PEL, a nonprofit professional education association committed to advancing teachers as career professionals.

By focusing on professional development, teacher advocacy and excellence in education, A+PEL works to empower Louisiana’s youth for future success, the release said.

Williamson was recognized as West Feliciana Parish’s Volunteer of the Year for her work at several parish schools. She serves as president of the parent board at Bains Elementary in St. Francisville and teaches a calligraphy class on club day at West Feliciana Middle School.

The class helps to improve the children’s penmanship and gives them a lifelong skill, Williamson said.

At the high school level, she serves on the prom committee and plays a key role in project graduation, an event held for seniors after graduation to prevent underage drinking.

Williamson is president of the WFHS parent board and has worked to improve the school environment and faculty morale by adding benches and potted plants where visitors enter the school, the release said.

“Volunteering to me means pride, and I think when students walk through the halls they should not just see their teachers but also see members of their community taking the time to be involved in their schools,” Williamson said.

“It gives the students pride knowing that their community cares for them and this is evident in the West Feliciana Parish School System.”

As an active volunteer outside the schools, she has served as president of the Women’s Service League for two years, president of the West Feliciana Tourist Commission for four years and chairwoman for the Audubon Pilgrimage’s Wine and Cheese reception for eight years.

At her church, Williamson has volunteered as the financial secretary for the past 10 years, served as the vacation Bible school chairwoman for four years and coordinated numerous Bible study groups.

She has been married to Luke Williamson for 20 years, and the couple has a daughter, Zoe, and two sons, Everitt and Cooper.

Williamson was honored with a plaque of appreciation at the reception, which was attended by family, West Feliciana teachers, school administrators and officials as well as A+PEL board members and directors.