by Lily Zarr, News Editor
photo courtesy of Jason Williams
After having an interim vice principal for the last two years, South has found a permanent vice principal. In an email sent out to students and families on May 14, Principal Tamara Stras announced that the position would be filled by Jason Williams.
A committee co-chaired by Goldrick Dean Marc Banks and Special Education Department Chair Melissa Gamble and made up of stakeholders in the South community narrowed the applicant pool down to three finalists from which Williams was chosen.
Stras wrote that Williams’ knowledge and communication skills were noteworthy.
“[Williams] impressed us with his passion and knowledge of high school education, his analytic and organizational skills and his ability to connect with people in various settings,” she wrote in her email.
Williams graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science and later pursued his master’s degree in curriculum and teaching from Fitchburg State University and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in educational leadership and administration from Curry College.
For the last 10 years, Williams worked as a math teacher at Braintree High School. During his time there he also worked as an administrative intern, co-chaired a committee that created and managed his school’s advisory program and co-chaired the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, which investigated disparities in academic achievement between groups of students.
Through developing Braintree High’s advisory program, Williams said that he gained a new perspective on how schools function and wanted to take on a different role to better support students.
“I really liked the ability to see the school from a bird’s eye view,” he said. “I want to broaden my horizons and also be in a position where I can help students out more holistically and in a bigger way than I could do in the classroom.”
Williams said he wants to address the loss in community that has affected South after a mostly virtual school year.
“Hopefully, we can build [connections] through athletics, through our own community-building during assemblies and through being present in the hallway and asking how people are doing,” he said.
Moving into an in-person school year, Williams said that he plans to continue making use of some aspects of last year’s format.
“There have been times I’ve had to reach out to someone, and we do a virtual meeting instead of a phone call,” he said. “There’s a certain extra degree of niceness that comes with that, so I’m hoping the virtual meeting is something that we can keep as a tool.”
An area Williams said he plans to focus on in the coming year is continuing to integrate anti-racist curriculums into all subjects.
“Anti-racism is one of our tenants and one of the things that we’re going to continue to advance as the school year continues,” he said.
Williams said that he will also focus on preparing students for life beyond high school.
“We need to put the students first and make sure that you folks are ready to go out into the world and not only be ready academically but also ready to handle a variety of social situations,” he said.
Looking ahead, Williams said that he is excited for everyone to be inside the school building and to support students this year.
“There is the opportunity for us to actually come back to school,” he said. “I’m looking forward to doing the best I can in this new role to support everyone in this building.”