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Dr. Bridget Williams Awarded Prestigious 2012 Annual Queen Smith Award for Commitment to Urban Public Education

Orange County Public Schools

Dr. Bridget Williams

West Area Superintendent Dr. Bridget Williams is the winner of the 2012 Queen Smith Award. The Queen Smith Award for Commitment to Urban Education was established in October 1998 in celebration of Smith's unwavering commitment to children, her community, and her church.

Dr. Williams was nominated by colleagues within Orange County Public Schools (OCPS). She is currently dually serving as West Area Superintendent and Associate Superintendent for Specialized Student Support. Next month she will transition to the single role of West Area Superintendent.

Dr. Williams began her OCPS career in 1990 as a math teacher and moved into the administrative ranks fairly quickly. By 2006-2007, she was the principal at Jones High School. In four years, Dr. Williams led her team at Jones from a low-performing school to a high-performing grade of B (seven points shy of an A). The plan she instituted also lowered the dropout rate at Jones from 12.2 percent to 0.03 percent.

A coworker at OCPS said of Williams, "As principal of Jones High School, Bridget left a permanent mark on the entire community. She is a highly-recognized and respected educator with faith-based and business leaders most recently, Bridget coordinated a summer-school collaboration between the City of Orlando and Orange County Public Schools that extended summer tutoring beyond school walls into city recreational centers. The program was such a big success that the city and the district are in negotiations to continue this partnership year round."

Dr. Williams will be awarded a $2,000 check and a plaque honoring her significant contributions to education. The presentation will be October 19, 2012 at the Council of the Great City Schools 56th Annual Fall Conference, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The award's namesake, Queen Smith, joined Macmillan/McGraw-Hill School Publishing Company in June 1989. During the last several years of her life, she was a major presence in the Council of the Great City Schools and was Chair of the Urban Education Technology Forum (UETF) section of the Council. She was also active in the National Alliance of Black School Educators.