Mahalla Hynes, Editor-in-Chief

Mrs. Kay Williamson, the student services director and guidance counselor for standard students with last names Lo-Ri. There has been some confusion about why she was named teacher of the year because she is not a teacher. Even though it may seem contradictory, the teacher of the year does not have to be a teacher. The teacher of the year is the faculty meeting who impacts the students most strongly and how they provide positivity into the Seminole High School community. As a graduate of Seminole High School, she is familiar with the community our administrators are trying to build here and works skillfully with them to create a positive environment. Guidance counselors are essential in the success of students, helping them get into college,  improve their mental health, and make sure they are doing well in their classes. She helps all her students, treating them as individuals rather than just students. Her hard work provides for these students to lead successful lives down the road because of her help with their college applications and letter of recommendations. She spends her time helping these students progress and live their fullest lives.


Williamson says winning is “Very humbling. I’ve been here for 25 years.” She has not spent the whole time as a guidance counselor. For many of these years, she was a Spanish teacher. She is deeply entwined with the Seminole community. She graduated from Seminole. 


She came back to Seminole because “ I learned how to be a part of a community. That’s what I love about Seminole we are a close-knit community but we are also very diverse. I learned a lot about people that care about you.”


However, she is not even from Florida. She was born in Texas but grew up in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica with her parents who did missionary work. This is where she learned Spanish. She moved here in her sophomore year.


Williamson uses her ability to speak Spanish and what she learned as a child in her job every day “We have a ton of people that moved from Spanish speaking countries. It helps them feel included. I can relate to that because when I moved I didn’t understand Spanish. I went to a little Spanish preschool where I learned Spanish. I saw what we have here that others don’t have. It gave me a passion to help people and work with them. You don’t know what people go through. We have an idea of what’s happening but you never know what’s going on on the inside.”


Williamson says “I became a counselor because when I went here they were just starting to have counselors and they didn’t really help kids. I wanted to help kids find out what they wanted to do. I wanted to help kids figure outthemselves professionally and personally. I had some really good counselors in my life and I wanted to give back to them and seminole.” 


“I am a people person. What I’ve been through and what my parents have taught me is to be non judgemental. This helps me. I love kids. My favorite part of job is meeting with students and talking to them. To watch kids grow and learn from mistakes because mistakes are really valuable to help you learn” she says regarding her favorite parts of the job. 


However, this job is not all great, there are many difficulties “The hardest part of my job is feeling not like I am getting enough time with kids and parents because I’m at meetings. I hate having to leave notes saying I’m not here or blocking my calendar. If I can’t see students how am I being a counselor,” Willamson says 


“It’s a big school so I try to take it one day at a time. Every counselor has almost 500 students. If student has one parent that’s 1000 people you are taking care of. I try to let them know that I’m available and I am not bothered. I try to give that personal touch because knowing are students is what it’s all about. “ Williamson comments regarding her job and the sheer number of students she helps. 


Williamson tries to teach her students valuable life skills; “These last couple years have been really hard. I’m trying to teach kids to be resilient and look at the big picture. Not thinking about how good it was before but just how we’re going to move forward is so important.”


All in all, Williamson is an integral part of the Seminole community and is so deserving of Teacher of the Year.