Holmes Highlights is a regular feature where we get to know members of our Holmes Community a little better. This week we are highlighting David Williams, Physical Education Instructor at Holmes Elementary. Where did you grow up? How many siblings do you have? I was born in Alabama, and moved to the south side of Chicago when I was about 2. That's where my Mom raised me and my two younger siblings, a brother and a sister.
Tell us a bit about your family... I have a wonderful wife and a daughter, Chasity. I'm also a grandpa to Morgan, who's about to be 4, and John, age 6. My daughter and grandchildren live in Mississippi.
What was one extra-curricular activity you did that might (or might not) surprise people? As a teenager, I did crocheting. I never got into knitting though and I'd have to take a class to remember how to crochet now.
What is your greatest extravagance? My wife! I love to shop for and spoil her and my daughter.
What is something that you treasure? My mother's words, as well as her strength and love and prayers for her children. She passed away in 2010, but her words will always have a special place in my heart.
What are your favorite grades to teach? Kindergarten through third grade, because what you teach at that age really sticks with them for a lifetime.
What do you consider a great personal achievement? Having over 250 Holmes students participate in the 2015 District 97 Fun Run. My first year teaching at Holmes, I had 6 participants and my mentor had over 50. It makes me feel good to know I've surpassed what he was even able to accomplish.
What was your favorite subject in High School? English and Language Arts. That is still a favorite subject, as I'm currently a playwright and the drama director at my church. I also act in plays and have been in some movies.
If you hadn't gone into education, what's another career you might have considered? Acting. As previously mentioned, I've acted in plays and movies and at one point had an invitation to go to California to work with Goldie Hawn. I was an extra in the movie Wildcats and played the Dad in Englewood: the Growing Pains in Chicago.
If you won a trip to anywhere in the world, where would you choose to go? Jerusalem or Israel
What is one of your favorite journeys? I don't think I've taken it yet, I'm still looking for it. Maybe it'll be a trip to the Oscars.
What was your most pleasant surprise? Being hired to teach in Oak Park. I started here as a permanent sub and watched all the other people being interviewed for the PE position. I wasn't planning on applying for the job, but the principal at the time asked me to interview and gave me the job. I've now been here 17 years.
What is the trait you most frown upon in others? Hatred and racism.
What is something that makes you happy? Coming to school every day and giving back to the kids what I've learned, but also still learning from the kids. Even when I'm not here, I'm thinking about what the students would be doing at certain times of the day.
Do you have any pet peeves? When someone tells me they understand how to do something I've told them and that they can do it on their own, but really they don't know how to do it, and end up doing it wrong. It's better to admit you don't understand and learn how to do it correctly.
What are your most and least favorite foods? My absolute favorite food is spaghetti and meatballs My least favorite is calamari and I'd also say alligator, even though I haven't actually eaten alligator yet.