December 2018 Life Changer

Katie Williams’ favorite quote is “Not all girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Some girls are made of adventure, dark chocolate, intelligence, and courage.” One might argue that she is made of the latter.

Williams, the director of community education and communications, has worked at Hopkins Public Schools for 29 years. She works tirelessly to support her staff in making Hopkins a place for everyone. You will hear her coworkers say she is collaborative, encouraging, courageous, compassionate, and sincere. One coworker said that Williams truly embodies the idea that “You Belong in Hopkins.”

“In subtle and not-so-subtle ways, she is always sending the uplifting message to all that you belong,” said Andrea Sjogren, adult and youth programs coordinator.

In addition to running a department made of over 150 employees, Williams is a proud Hopkins mom, Rotarian, and a founding member of the Hopkins Race and Equity Initiative, a group recently honored for its creative approach to promoting inclusion and cultural understanding on a broad scale.

What do you love most about working for Hopkins Public Schools?
It’s always been about working with school and community members to address issues, create new opportunities, and build-long term relationships. The Hopkins community is a unique and special place.

How have the students in Hopkins touched your life in a way that is unexpected and made you feel great about doing your job? 
Many students from Hopkins High School have participated in the community conversations around the Hopkins Race and Equity Initiative. I am just so proud of our Hopkins students, and how they teach and demonstrate their brilliance in these community forums. They continue to be my beacon of light for creating a more equitable and civil future in this country.

Crowning achievement?
Most recently, I’m proud of our early childhood staff for expanding our preschool program into every elementary school and Harley Hopkins Family Center. By securing every dollar the state has made available for preschool education, we are able to offer a high quality half- or full-day preschool for children on a sliding fee scale. We have doubled the number of children served in just a few years.

Stats: • Bachelor’s degree in physical education and coaching from the University of Minnesota • Master’s degree in educational leadership and community education directors license from Minnesota State University, Mankato.