Using K-12 education to create opportunities and find your calling (with Dr. Joseph Williams III)

If kids haven’t developed certain academic skills by a certain age, their ability to advance in their education diminishes. This means the opportunities they have in adulthood decreases. 

As I’ve been talking with different curriculum experts and school leaders, many of them have shared that closing academic skill gaps is an important part of addressing equity issues. Kids need to learn the skills that will enable them to advance in their education because it can substantially expand their career options in the future. 

I wanted to dive into this topic a bit further, so that’s why I invited Dr. Joseph Williams, III to episode 128 of the De Facto Leaders podcast. 
Dr. Joseph Williams III is a dedicated and accomplished school leader, currently serving as the principal of Franklin High School in Seattle, Washington. With over 25 years of experience in PreK-12 education, he has made a significant impact in various roles throughout his career. 

Dr. Williams began his journey in education as a special education and social studies teacher, gaining valuable insights and honing his teaching skills for a decade. His passion for helping students with diverse needs led him to pursue leadership positions. Over the course of 13 years, he served as an assistant principal and principal, bringing his expertise and dedication to elementary and secondary schools.

As an African American school leader, Dr. Williams is deeply passionate about equity and access in K-12 education. Dr. Williams understands firsthand the importance of turnaround school leadership and the transformative power of K-12 education to ensure that no student's race, identity, gender, economic status, or zip code limits their potential.  

Growing up as the second oldest among six siblings, Dr. Williams experienced the challenges of relying on public assistance in Kansas City, Missouri. This background has fueled his unwavering belief that all children, regardless of their socioeconomic background, deserve a quality education and the opportunity to build fulfilling lives.

His personal journey is a testament to the belief that every child can achieve academic success and lead extraordinary lives.
In this interview, he shares how having positive role models in the early years has shaped the trajectory of his life, and how he’s used it in his work in inner city schools.

We also discuss the importance of closing academic gaps in the early elementary years, and why this has such a huge impact on equity and access to education in the later years.

Dr. Williams has an amazing story and I’m so excited to share this conversation with you.

In this episode, I mentioned the Time Tracking Journal, a strategy for improving time-management, future planning, and executive functioning during daily tasks like academic assignments or daily routines.

You can learn more about the Time Tracking Journal here:

You can connect with Dr. Joseph Williams, III on LinkedIn here: ), and you can get more information about his book “Mama put us first” here: 

Listen to his podcast, the My K-12 Career Show here on the Elevating K-12 Education newsletter:

We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL. 

IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you do the following and more:
  • Simplify and streamline technology
  • Save teachers’ time
  • Reliably meet Tier 1 standards
  • Improve student performance on state assessments
🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
Using K-12 education to create opportunities and find your calling (with Dr. Joseph Williams III)