Director of Admissions
Martin de Porres Schools – Elmont, NY
“You can perform miracles by touching the hearts of those entrusted to your care.” This quote from Saint John Baptist de La Salle is emblazoned on a banner over the desk of Betty Williams. As an educator and administrator at the St. Martin De Porres School in Queens, New York, Williams utilizes this philosophy in servicing severely emotionally handicapped children from all five boroughs and Nassau and Suffolk counties.
For over 40 years, Williams has taught several subjects like art, computers, and social studies, in addition to coordinating the band and chorus. She strives to make the school a safe haven by integrating those students with kids from other schools in after-school activities and keeping the doors open on Saturday to host sports programs. Among the joys of her work is seeing former students return as adults and hearing of their successes. “If they can do that, we’re so happy,” she said.
Williams has attended the Huether Lasallian Conference, the Brother John Johnston Institute, was part of the ministry team for the DENA Lasallian Association of Youth and Family Services, and has served as a mentor for the New Teacher Institute (NTI). She is also the recipient of the Huether Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award. She regularly interacts with graduates of district institutes and considers instructional gatherings as both a learning tool and a social boon. “We get to share with other Lasallians and we learn from each other,” she said. “I really consider them life-long friends.”
When not instructing, she works as a track and field official and has coached CYO Boy’s and Girl’s basketball. She also sings in her church choir every Sunday.
Dr. Edward Dana, her colleague of nearly 35 years, praised Williams for work ethic, trustworthiness, and devotion to her students. “She is the quintessential Lasallian,” he said.