C.A.G.S., Virginia Tech
M.M.E., James Madison University
B.M.E. Shenandoah Conservatory of Music
Great Thinkers (music module)
Chess Club Sponsor
After 30 years in the world of public schools, in both the classroom and in administration, Donald “Don” Williams decided that it might be time for a new adventure—retirement. It seemed as if public education had become dominated by government-mandated rules and programs, while funding had remained stagnant or even decreased. In spite of his incredibly successful leadership in guiding multiple schools to improved test scores over the years, the creativity it took to find ways to do more with less had lost its thrill for Williams.
Williams had been an administrator since 1993, when he became the assistant principal at Auburn Middle/High School in Christiansburg, Virginia. He moved to Frederick County Public Schools in 1996, first as the Senseny Road Elementary School assistant principal, then principal, and finally became principal of Robert E. Aylor Middle School in 2000.
In the spring of 2010, on the verge of retiring, Williams was having ice cream with R-MA Academic Coordinator Christine Bennett, who informed him that the assistant dean position at R-MA’s Upper School was coming open soon. “When she described it, it was everything I like to do,” he recalled. “It was evaluating teachers, working with them, working with students. It was more instruction-oriented.” In his public school administration positions, Williams had to deal with facilities management, budgets, and administrative jobs—tasks that the people-oriented educator found uninspiring.
After serving as the Assistant Academic Dean for four years, Williams decided he was ready for another adventure that might use his managerial abilities at R-MA. He discovered that the Director of Support Services position would be open due to the retirement of the current director. Williams, who is always interested in new opportunities, decided to inquire about the position. He interviewed with the school president and a week later found himself in a new position that would utilize his experiences with food service, housekeeping, maintenance, and grounds keeping in his administrative positions with the public schools.
Williams couldn’t start the position right away as he had to finish overseeing the upper school summer program. He was able to start making the transition to the new position near the end of July and took over completely two weeks before school started. Since then, Williams has been busy implementing new ideas from his facilities team that help make R-MA a better place to learn and work.
When Williams is not out inspecting buildings or trouble shooting, he is likely outdoors, possibly taking a long run around Stephens City, playing golf, or listening to music. One of his favorite pastimes is following the drum corps competition circuit every summer.
Williams is married and has three children with two already graduated from college.