June 5, 2023

Brianna Norris | Banner Dr. Heather Williams, California Baptist University adjunct professor of education, talks with students at the Annie Gabriel Library. Williams was awarded the Association of California School Administrators 2015 Professor of Education of the Year award.

The Association of California School Administrators awarded Dr. Heather Williams, adjunct professor of education, the 2015 Professor of Education of the Year state award during the ACSA’s Leadership Summit Nov. 6 in Sacramento for her work with students.

Williams came to California Baptist University five years ago as an adjunct professor of education to train students to be great leaders of education for children.

Her methods of linking her real-world teaching experiences with theories that students learn in the classroom, in addition to her rapport and walk with the Lord, have been factors she said helped her to become the professor she is today and helped her to win the award.

“For me, it’s just about giving back to the students at CBU every day, which is what I’ve done for five years and all I want to continue doing,” Williams said.

Dawn Nishanian, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools human resource manager, nominated Williams for the regional award in March. In April, Williams was named the Professor of Education of the Year for San Bernardino County.

From that point, she joined the winners of the other 20 regions in California in the running for the state award.

Dr. John Shoup, dean of the Bonnie G. Metcalf School of Education, attributes part of Williams’ success as a professor to her faith.

“She has a nice, balanced Christian walk and that makes a difference too,” he said.

Her rapport goes beyond just the graduate students she teaches, however.

Natalie Benjamin, a sophomore biology major, became friends with Williams’ daughter, who is also a CBU student.

“There are some certain professors where you are comfortable to talk to and ask for help if you’re worried,” Benjamin said. “With her, you’re not hesitant.”

Williams hopes to continue giving back to CBU students through teaching and describes working with the people at CBU as “a treat.”

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