About Us‎ > ‎District News‎ > ‎

Oak Hill’s Williams named principal of the year

posted Dec 2, 2015, 1:10 PM by Terri Willms   [ updated Dec 2, 2015, 1:11 PM ]
            Oak Hill Elementary School Principal Cathy Williams is the Burke County Public Schools 2015-16 principal of the year. Williams has 29 years experience in education and will retire later this month.
            “I am honored and humbled to be principal of the year for Burke County Schools,” Williams said.  “There are so many wonderful principals here. I have been so fortunate to work for Burke County Schools and to finish my career here.”
            Originally from Marion, North Carolina, Williams graduated from McDowell High School and returned to her alma mater to teach science after receiving a bachelor’s degree in zoology from N.C. State University.
            Williams came to Burke County Public Schools in 2005 as a science teacher at East Burke High School. She has a master’s in school administration from Western Carolina University and has been in school administration since 2006.  Rexanna Lowman, the director of secondary education and CTE, was principal at East Burke High and promoted Williams to assistant principal there.
            Of Lowman, Williams said, “I cannot imagine a better person from whom to learn to be an administrator. I spent four years at East Burke as an assistant principal and loved it. Mrs. Lowman and then Debbie Jennings (now the assistant director of exceptional children) put together the best team of administrators, and it was a pleasure to work with all of them.”

Williams went on to work as an assistant principal at Draughn High School and has been principal at Oak Hill for the past three and a half years.
            She said, “Draughn High School was a great learning experience. My first year at Oak Hill, I was grateful for the guidance and patience of Charles Williams as he taught me elementary curriculum. I have also been thankful for Kim Rudisill and her guidance throughout my time at Oak Hill. The staff at Oak Hill is amazing. They taught me so much every day, and I am truly blessed to have ended my career at such a great place.”
            Fellow Burke County Public Schools principals and assistant principals voted on Williams for the principal of the year title.
            Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Larry Putnam said, “What an honor it is when your peers recognize your accomplishments and choose you for a distinction such as this. Mrs. Williams is deserving of the principal of the year title, and as she retires we thank her for her dedication and contributions to the education field and the students of McDowell and Burke counties over the past three decades.”
            Williams has two children and four grandchildren. She is married to Richard Williams, a retired Navy captain. She said, “We live in Nebo and spend a lot of our time on Lake James with our children and grandchildren.”
            As she looks forward to retirement and reflects on her career, Williams said, “My advice to my younger colleagues is to enjoy the time you have to make a positive impact on children. Don't get so caught up in what is "required" by your job that you forget why you are really there.”

Public Relations Officer
Burke County Public Schools
(w) 438-2989 | (c) 432-6212