West Feliciana High’s Williams named Teacher of the Year semifinalist _lowres

Advocate photo by HOWARD ARCENEAUX -- Louisiana High School Teacher of the Year semifinalist Torrence Williams is a 2005 honors graduate from West Feliciana High School, where he now teaches world geography and world history.

West Feliciana High School teacher Torrence Williams has been named 2016-17 Regional Teacher of the Year and is a semifinalist for state Teacher of the Year honors.

Williams received an email from the state Department of Education notifying him of the honor and he has been working on his packet for the semifinalist competition. It will include an essay and a Skype interview by the April 14 deadline. He expects to learn the results in May.

“I was really excited because I was up against so many awesome people,” Williams said. “I worked with Teacher of the Year Alicia Bennett from the middle school to prepare my regional packet, and I appreciate her help. A lot of people have helped me throughout the process, and I really appreciate all of them.”

A 2005 honors graduate from West Feliciana High School, Williams is certified to teach world geography, world history and law studies. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Nicholls State, specializing in government and geography. He received his teacher certificate from the Louisiana Resource Center for Educators and his Masters in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State.

Since he began teaching at WFHS six years ago, Williams has used his background as an example for his students. He said his family was not affluent, but he learned from his mother and his siblings that it’s not where you come from that’s important to a person but where you’re going.

“I let them know that having a supportive family is the most important thing,” Williams said. “I have a big family, two brothers and four sisters, and my mother taught me that education is important. She said, ‘my job is to work to support you, your job is to get an education.’ ”

Williams said he constantly looks for ways to improve his teaching and do a better job.

“If nothing else, the process taught me about my practice,” Williams said. “I’ve had to look at everything almost under a microscope. It’s not an easy job, but I don’t do it because it’s easy. I do it because I love it. And there’s still work to be done.”

Superintendent Hollis Milton praised Williams for his leadership and for his dedication to teaching.

“Mr. Williams is an asset to our school system and community,” Superintendent Hollis Milton said. “He is a natural leader who goes above and beyond for his students. We are very excited about Mr. Williams representing our school system in the state Teacher of the Year process.”