Gifted aide helps children with behavior needs
By WENDY SLEDD
Special to Leader-Press
They call her the kid whisperer. Martin Walker Elementary’s Kristina Williams-Myers helps students who struggle with significant behavior needs. When teachers are in a situation in which they are having extreme difficulty with a student, they call Williams-Myers.
Williams-Myers has served as a special education aide, a physical education aide, and now has found her calling as Martin Walker Elementary’s Behavior Intervention aide, said Amanda Crawley who served as Williams-Myers’ principal.
“Many in-school suspension classrooms are all about consequences. Instead of consequences and punishment, Kristina works with the students, teaching them social skills and replacement behaviors to help them be successful in the classroom. She does this without complaint and without losing her patience. She works day in and day out with some of the most challenging behaviors in the building. She never gets frustrated with them and begins each day anew,” Crawley said. “When teachers are at their wits end, Kristina pushes into their classroom to help the students generalize the social skills they have learned in her small group instruction into the classroom whole group environment.”
Crawley said students genuinely love Williams/Myers and know she will be firm but fair in all circumstances.
“Her students know she cares for them and loves them enough to help them make good choices each and every day,” Crawley said. “Kristina’s work changes the lives of students at MWE. She is having an impact far beyond her own realization.”
Williams-Myers does much more on campus that assist children in the classroom. She is also described by administrators as the bridge-builder on campus for employees. Williams-Myers coordinates the Sunshine Committee and plans uplifting events for the staff throughout the school year. She coordinates volunteers for the campus, keeps up with Title 1 requirements, serves as the campus textbook aide, and also volunteers herself at all school family nights and after school activities.
Instructional coach Jerry Miracle describes Williams-Myers as the “go-to” person.
“Kristina is what we love to call our favorite person on the campus. We go to her for any resource we may need or wish we had in our classroom. If she can’t find it for us, then it hasn’t been bought or made yet,” Miracle said. “It is often stated that everyone can be replaced, but in our hearts, we know she can never be replaced at Martin Walker.”
Williams/Myers has worked for CCISD for 16 years. This year, she was named the CCISD Paraprofessional of the Year.
“Even though her job can be very tough and difficult, she never lets it get her down. She is patient with students even on their toughest days,” Crawley said. “Kristina has made major breakthroughs with kids who are behaviorally challenging. Her students fuel her fire and passion for her job. Seeing them be successful makes her day.”