Gooding School District Superintendent Heather Williams, who started her teaching career in Gooding, resigned from the top job on Jan. 16. She will continue to work for the district part-time through the end of the school year as the board searches for her replacement. The board accepted her resignation Thursday evening on a 3-2 vote.
“I will miss the amazing staff of Gooding schools because collectively we have accomplished so many good things for kids,” Williams said. “I think it’s an exciting time in Idaho public education so I’m looking forward to my next career move. I plan to stay and work in Idaho.”
An article in the Twin Falls Times-News details a lawsuit, investigation and the Jan. 14 resignation of a principal in Gooding. Williams resigned on Jan. 16, but says the turmoil is unrelated to her decision.
“She has led with exemplary service and integrity,” said Gooding trustee Tracie Anderson. “During Dr. Williams’ tenure, the school district accomplished many positive things for the benefit of our students, from renovating facilities, expanding programs, increasing student achievement all while managing the district’s finances during challenging economic times.”
Williams began her career at Gooding in 1994. She taught biology, psychology and English and coached girls basketball. She was promoted to dean of students, interim principal of Gooding High School and director of curriculum and instruction for Gooding schools.
Williams left Gooding for a few years to serve as a full-time assistant professor in the teacher education program at Idaho State University.
She is currently the legislative chair of the Idaho Association of School Administrators and serves as a regional officer for the Idaho School Superintendents Association. Williams will continue her part-time work as a teaching consultant with the Idaho Leads project, a professional development team from Boise State University.
Williams holds a bachelor of science degree in secondary education from Idaho State University; a master’s degree in educational leadership from University of Idaho; and a doctorate in education from the University of Idaho.
She has earned several awards during her career, including Idaho Secondary Science Teacher of the Year, American Association of School Administrators Women in School Leadership award, and 40 Most Accomplished Idahoans Under 40.
Williams and her husband, Travis, and their two sons live on a ranch north of Gooding.
Here’s a list of Williams’ accomplishments in Gooding:
- Recognized by President Obama and was appointed to the USDA National Advisory Council for Child Nutrition (2010-2013).
- Earned Top 5 Digital Schools Award from the National School Boards Association (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013).
- Won Gold of Distinction Award by the USDA Healthier US Challenge.
- Increased dual enrollment and launched Go-On and Gear Up college-readiness programs.
- Led efforts to develop a district wide strategic plan (2010-15).
- Organized $3 million in facilities renovations to upgrade all three schools and decrease energy costs.
- Focused on instructional technology implementation (in 2008, Gooding had 250 devices and today has over 1,150 devices).
- Lifted Gooding Elementary School from one of Idaho’s lowest achieving schools to a four-star school in Idaho’s five-star rating system. Gooding High School also improved to four stars.
Idaho Education News and the Idaho Leads Project are both funded by a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.