WACO, TX — Walking through the empty hallways at Cesar Chavez middle school on any given weekday, you’ll notice the silence is deafening.
That’s because most students are in classrooms, busy learning.
However, Tuesday was no ordinary day in DeLisa William’s classroom as administrators and students cheered her on and announced that she was the winner of 25 New’s Teachers Appreciation Week mini-grant.
“The kids have caused me to really fall in love with teaching,” she said. “I did not know that this was something that I would enjoy, and over time, I just wanted to see how I can better the kids.”
This is her first year as a 6th grade English teacher and recognized the adversity and challenges she had to go through.
“It has been extremely stressful, but I think that I would do it all over again because I’ve found my calling,” she said, with a smile hidden under her light blue and white surgical mask.
She sent in a submission video, telling 25 News why she should win the $500.
In the video, she outlines what she would do with the money and why she felt that her students deserved it.
“The first plan, we're going to purchase some books,” she explained. “I would like to create a creative space on my wall for their writing.”
She told 25 News her class has mock court cases, and she would love to purchase a podium so the students can feel more like ‘real lawyers.’
The list of things she can use the money for could go on, which is one big reason why her colleagues say she’s a standout at Waco ISD.
“She is unwavering; even though there were many challenges that came throughout the year,” said Alonzo McAdoo, the principal of the school. “She kept pushing to stay focused on what was best for the students here at Cesar Chavez.”
She does all of this while instilling life lessons that were taught to her.
“My dad told me, you can learn something new every day, you can actually apply it when you get older,” she said. “So that is the most important thing for me to teach these skills.”
Principal McAdoo explained that when all teachers start their careers, they’re excited and eager to get started. He went on to say that Ms. Williams kept that same energy all school year and never skipped a beat.