Onslow County Schools names teacher of the year - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Onslow County Schools names teacher of the year

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. - Onslow County Schools is pleased to announce Sonja Z.M. Williams, a Chorus and General Music teacher at Jacksonville Commons Middle School, is the district’s 2013-14 Teacher of the Year.

Williams, a native of Jacksonville, received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from North Carolina School of the Arts, she received a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Manhattan School of Music and she received her K-12 Music Certification from East Carolina University.

She has been teaching music 27 years. She started her teaching career as a visiting instructor at North Carolina A&T State University. She returned to Onslow County to teach K-5 General Music at Richlands Elementary for two years before accepting the position as Chorus and Music Appreciation teacher at Jacksonville Middle School. She has been in her current position at Jacksonville Commons Middle School since 1997.

Williams is the current president of the North Carolina Music Educators Association. She is the secretary for Mu Lambda Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and she serves as the Minister of Music at St. Julia A.M.E. Zion Church.

As the daughter of two educators, Williams said she believes teaching is in her blood. Her desire to teach came before her desire to sing. After fulfilling her ambition to study opera, instead of pursuing a singing career, she decided she wanted to return to her home town and become a certified music teacher.

“Coming back home to the children of Onslow County was where I needed to be,” she said. “I wanted to serve as a positive role model for the children and let them know that it is okay to come back home.”

There is no greater reward or accomplishment for her than seeing former student’s musical successes.

Williams was selected from among 10 finalists. A committee representing administrators, teachers, parents and board members carefully reviewed portfolios of all teachers selected by their school as 2013 Teacher of the Year. Interviews were conducted with the top ten finalists.

Onslow County Schools’ finalists include: Teresa Petty, Thompson Early Childhood Center; Erin Warden, Stateside Elementary; Shannon Porterfield, Carolina Forest Elementary; Vanessa Taylor, Dixon Elementary; Jennifer Mahouchick, New Bride Middle; Jennifer Rogers, Hunters Creek Middle; Christopher Betsch, Hunters Creek Elementary; Katelyn Williams, Trexler Middle and Mary Wible, Southwest High.

Williams will next compete for Southeast Regional Teacher of the Year with other school district Teacher of the Year recipients in the area.

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