Retired Tarkington teacher honored for lifetime commitment to education

Laurie Williams (left) is presented with the 2022 Commitment to Education: TISD Employee Award by Mollie Lambert with the Tarkington Education Foundation. Lambert was wearing a Halloween costume to take part in Tarkington Roundup on Saturday, Oct. 1.

The Tarkington Student Foundation is proud to present the 2022 Commitment to Education: TISD Employee Award to Laurie Williams. This award is presented annually to a former or current employee who has made significant contributions to the education of Tarkington students.

Laurie Williams has lived on Tarkington Prairie since 1972 and graduated from Tarkington High School in 1984. Her seven siblings Chuck, Missy, Melanie, Sheila, Paula, Lisa, and Bubba also graduated from Tarkington from 1975 to 1987.

In 1994, Laurie received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Social Sciences from Sam Houston State University and was certified to teach. She first taught six years in Humble ISD and then four years in Huffman ISD before beginning her teaching career in Tarkington ISD in 2004. Laurie taught World Geography, US History, and AP US History at Tarkington for 18 years before retiring in 2022.

Laurie’s students describe her as an engaging and caring teacher who taught history as one long continuous story with many vignettes. The vignettes featured those behind the history and were what caused mesmerized students to want to hear more, even after the bell had sounded for class to be over.

Laurie has many fond memories of her years at Tarkington including pep rallies, athletic events, fundraisers, student testing, Beta Club events, UIL competitions, proms, and of course graduations. She embraced her role in helping students develop into young adults, celebrating their accomplishments, providing advice, and helping them in times of disappointment by being a shoulder to cry on. According to Laurie, developing close bonds with many of her students and them asking her to turn their tassels at graduation was the honor of a lifetime.

Laurie continues to live in Tarkington and support Tarkington ISD in retirement. She is most appreciative for being able to play a part in making Tarkington ISD a district where parents want their kids to go to school and a community that people want to live in and ensure its viability.

The Commitment to Education award was presented to Laurie at the 2022 Tarkington Round-Up on Saturday, October 1, at 12:00 noon at the Tarkington Middle School. Laurie was joined at the award presentation by family members including her sister Missy Braley and in-laws Patsy and Paul Colbert.  

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