William King MA’15 Receives Inspiration Award for Outstanding Teaching

William King MA’15 Receives Inspiration Award for Outstanding Teaching

Image of William King in the classroom.

William King MA'15 teaching as part of Connecticut Writing Project Fairfield.

A School of Education and Human Development TESOL grad, King is a mentor to his students at Central High School in Bridgeport, Conn., where he teaches English as a second language (ESL) and serves as the ESL department coordinator.

To me, this recognition means that my students’ voices are being heard.

— William King MA’15

William King MA’15 was recently recognized as recipient of a 2023 Bridgeport Public Education Fund Inspiration Award for Outstanding Teaching. Such recognition speaks to the dedication of selected educators, and to the impact they have on their students, their schools, and their communities at large.

“To me, this recognition means that my students’ voices are being heard,” said King. "When we think of adolescence it’s difficult to imagine the power of their words and so I feel responsible to carry the messages of younger generations. I feel grateful for the opportunity to echo my students’ voices.”

Selections for the Inspiration Award are made by evaluating recommendations from students, staff, and community members.

“William King took a graduate course with me on the teaching of writing and we bonded over a passion for working with immigrant and refugee youth, especially through sports literacy,” said Bryan Ripley Crandall, PhD, director of the Connecticut Writing Project (CWP)-Fairfield and associate professor of educational studies and teacher preparation, who was one of the colleagues who nominated King. “Together with fellow Class of 2015 graduate Jessica Baldizon  M'15, we’ve built many of CWP-Fairfield’s award-winning programs. He is one of the most dedicated educators I’ve ever worked with.”

Baldizon was a 2022 Inspiration Award-winner and is recipient of the 2023 Theodore and Margaret Beard Award, one of the largest education awards in the country, provided annually through the Fairfield County Community Foundation. As an Inspiration Award recipient, King is now eligible for the 2024 Theodore and Margaret Beard Award.

“The need for compassionate and skilled bilingual/TESOL educators is vital to the success of our students and to the future of our society,” said interim dean of the School of Education and Human Development Evelyn Bilias Lolis, PhD. “With the increase in students entering our public schools from multilingual homes, including immigrant and refugee children, TESOL/bilingual specialists unlock both pathways for learning, development, and advocacy, and for connectedness and belonging in the school community.”

When asked what advice he would give to aspiring educators, King replied, “Do what comes easiest to you, but make sure it is exhausting, make sure it creates purpose, and make sure that it’s constantly being questioned. Then you will never give up.”

Teacher Preparation Programs in the School of Education and Human Development (SEHD) prepare intentional, responsive, reflective educators who enter the workforce with the highest level of competence and the deepest level of care for others,” said Interim Dean Bilias Lolis. “This preparation yields professionals who enter school districts as remarkable colleagues, leaders, and champions for children. Our faculty in SEHD are experts in pedagogy, learning, and evidenced-based methodologies. As a result, both our faculty and our alumni are frequent recipients of awards and recognitions for both excellence and service. We could not be prouder.”

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