DANVILLE, IL — According to an entry in Webster''s Dictionary, a teacher simply has to instruct by precept, example or experience: Using that definition, Williams, who is stepping down as head custodian at Danville High School
(DHS) after 35 years on the job, is a walking teaching moment, according to Commercial-News.
"I''ve always worked with kids," Williams said of his tenure, which included a 10-year stint prior to DHS as custodian at St. Paul''s Catholic Church. "I guess that''s been my calling."
He''s forged relationships with hundreds of students during the years and he always delivers a simple message: "I always tell them: Don''t run with the wrong people. I don''t call kids bad, they just make some bad decisions sometimes."
He knows of what he speaks: Williams, who was born and raised in Danville, ran with a rough crowd when he was growing up — and many of those old friends who stayed on the path had been killed or were in jail, the article stated.
While most everyone in the district has come into contact with Williams, the school custodian made the extra effort during the years to enlist the help of students on various "special" projects, such as school performances, the article noted.
"I started picking kids, but they had to have good grades," Williams said, noting the janitorial crew also is in charge of all school sporting and performance events.
"They loved it because I would get them out of class to help with different things," Williams added.
Williams said he will miss forging relationships with students and staffs, but will use his newfound freedom to travel and spend more time with his wife of six years, Linda, the article concluded.