“I have a desire to help make the great school district we already have into the best that it can be for all children!” This is Dr. Don Williams’ goal as he seeks a position on the USD 428 Board of Education. Although only a resident of Great Bend for a little less than three years, Williams, his wife, and family, have been long-time residents of central Kansas. After graduating from Kansas Wesleyan in Salina in 1970, he taught all of the sciences in the junior and senior high at Hanston. In addition, he was the junior high coach for all sports. In 1973 he and his family moved to Lyons where he taught drivers training, freshmen health, and all the biology classes. During his 15 year tenure at Lyons, he also coached wrestling for 8 years.
During several summers while teaching at Lyons he worked on and received his master’s degree from Western State College, Gunnison, Colo. In 1988 he moved from high school teaching to the college level when he filled an opening in the biology department at Sterling College. He taught there for 15 years. His doctoral degree in education, with emphasis on science teaching and conservation, was earned in 1998 from Ball State University while on a leave of absence from Sterling, to which he returned to eventually become the head of the biology department.
To complete a full time teaching career of 42 years, he and his wife, Janice, moved from Sterling to the Kansas City area in 2003 to teach for 9 years at Park University, Parkville, Mo. There he taught in the biology department and worked closely with the athletic department as the NAIA Faculty Athletic Representative. It was at Park where he became introduced to virtual education via online teaching programs. Even now, in retirement, Williams stays active in education by teaching an online environmental biology class every 8 weeks for Park University.
Williams and his wife returned to central Kansas by moving to Great Bend after his retirement in 2012. “We wanted to move back to our roots, so to speak,” says Williams, and “to be closer to family.” His son, Dr. Ryan Williams, local pediatrician, his wife Sara, and their 8 children live here. “My grandchildren are the reason I am pursing this board position” he says. “I feel I have a lot of wisdom, particularly when it comes to education, and I want to help make the Great Bend system the best that it can be for them and all the children of the district.”
Other local involvements include Williams’ board chairman position for Star of Hope, US, a ministry based in Ellinwood. “Star of Hope is an independent Christian organization helping children across the world become educated, healthy, godly men and women, who live to impact their world.” Williams and his wife are also active members of Grace Community Church. During the spring of 2013, they were members of a ministry team that traveled to Indonesia on a short term mission trip to the big island of Sumatra.
Dr. W., as he has been known to his biology students over the years, is anxious to be a valuable member of the USD 428 Board of Education. Your vote for Don Williams is your vote for positive, conservative leadership!