Venus ISD’s current Feature Employee is VPS Kindergarten teacher, Mr. Brian Williams. He is in his 6th year of teaching and 7th year working in public education, coming to VISD experienced as a Special Education paraprofessional for positive behavior support with Keller ISD. After spending two great years as the VPS PE coach, he smoothly transitioned into a Kindergarten classroom and never looked back. There, Brian is able to leverage his enthusiasm for learning to give our students a solid foundation on which to build their futures.
Mr. Williams grew up in North Richland Hills and graduated from Richland High School. He has a passion for baseball and grew up enjoying sports. For as long as he can remember, Brian wanted to be a coach and pursued teaching as a means to get into coaching. The Ready-Set-Teach program he completed in high school helped to plant the seeds of interest in teaching. After high school he continued his education he enrolled at Tarleton State University as a Kinesiology major and jumped into all that TSU had to offer with both feet. At Tarleton Brian served as a Resident Advisor, Texan Rep, freshman orientation coordinator, Student Government Association executive committee member, Duck Camp Leader (Hey Oscar P!), a brother at Alpha Gamma Rho, and was even the Alpha Gam Man. His deep involvement in college instilled a love of serving others and working as a team to solve problems; qualities that make him a highly valued VPS faculty member.
After graduating from Tarleton, Mr. Williams began working to become a certified educator through iTeach Texas while dipping his toes into public education as a positive behavior support paraprofessional with Keller ISD. Despite the summer of 2010 being a historically tough job market for teachers, he was hired to coach PE at VPS, by Mrs. Driver. Brian remembers being hired as the greatest day in his life, and even today is immensely thankful to Mrs. Driver for giving him an opportunity that would change his life. Mrs. Janna Fannon, an institution in VISD for many years, was assigned to be his mentor, and as she has done with hundreds of students and coworkers in the past, made a positive impact on Mr. Williams, helping to build his confidence and skill to become a highly effective PE coach. After 2 years in what would be many teachers “dream job”, he hesitantly agreed to teach kindergarten for a year to help VPS out. He credits his students for making it easy to transition into the classroom, and found managing “only” 20 students at a time to be quite an improvement. While coaching PE was rewarding in that he could help students learn to work together and share in their joy in playing games, Brian found that making a direct impact on students’ long term education and learning is extremely powerful and profoundly fulfilling.
Though Mr. Williams would brand himself as a strict teacher, his teaching peers and administrators see him as having consistently high expectations for his students, helping them to do their best all the time. He is acutely aware that the learning experiences in kindergarten will directly impact how students view learning and their own capacity to learn throughout their lives. In light of this, Brian is dedicated to looking at data so he can understand what his students know and how to get them achieving at higher levels. He teaches his students that growth is what is really important, that if you work hard today, you will be smarter tomorrow. Mr. Williams also builds relationships with his students’ parents so they can work together to help kids succeed.
What really sets him apart is what Mr. Williams does for VISD students OUTSIDE of the classroom. He volunteers his time to coach with the Venus Youth Sports Association and says that his experience has been beyond rewarding. Brian says that playing sports gives kids a chance to learn life skills that there isn’t time to teach them during the school day. One would be hard pressed to find a better person to guide kids for future success in life through coaching, and he has had the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of many Venus kids and families through coaching baseball, softball, football, and basketball. He also volunteers his time tutoring students after school to work on reading and writing fundamentals. In Mr. Williams own words, “You don’t need to get a paycheck to feel the rewards of leading a student to success.”
What do you do for fun?
Outside of teaching, and coaching, and tutoring he enjoys spending time with his friends and family. He also enjoys going eating a good meal and watching Sports Center. Though he says he hasn’t been on a real vacation in a decade, he does enjoy spending time on the rivers in central Texas with his friends whenever the opportunity arises.
What do you love about Venus?
Venus is a community, unlike many other places. In the past few years, Brian has seen more and more people willing to speak up and take an active role in the community because they care about Venus for Venus sake. At VPS, they make it so easy to be a family because they are dedicated to working together. The faculty relies on each other, plans together, and shares successes. The VPS team keeps in mind that their sole purpose for being there is to take care of the kids. Mr. Williams and the kindergarten team look at the big picture and make decisions based on what will lead their students to success in the future, not what is easiest for the teachers at the time.
Who would you like to brag on?
Mrs. Gibbons, the VPS music teacher, works hard and makes sure that fine arts is never overlooked at VPS. She ensures that fine arts are an important part of each student’s life. Mrs. Evans and Mrs. Lawson are exceptional people to collaborate with, and bring fantastic ideas to the planning table. Ms. Ketcham has done a phenomenal job leading the primary campus despite a host of adversities thrown at her this year. She stepped out of her comfort zone and stepped up to take care of VPS students and teachers.
Congratulations to the Venus High School Varsity Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs basketball teams on earning a spot in the 2016 playoffs by placing third in district! We are proud of your hard work, and the high expectations you have set for yourselves both on the court and in the classroom! Best of luck in the playoffs; we know that you will make us proud. Information on the playoff games can be found below.