Williams to retire after three decades of teaching


After 36 years of teaching, Joyce Williams has decided to retire - again. 

Her first retirement was after 26 years of teaching for the Yazoo City Public Schools.  When her mother became ill, she took a leave of absence to care for her. 

After her mother passed away, Williams began teaching at Benton Academy where she has remained for the past 11 years.

Williams graduated from Benton High School, Holmes Junior College (now Holmes Community College), and Delta State University. She is a lifelong member of Bethlehem Baptist Church. She resides in her family home that she moved into at the age of five.

"I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in the third grade," said Williams. 

Her teacher, Mrs. Hocutt, was a wonderful teacher and inspired her to want to be a teacher as well. As a child, one of her favorite things to do was to play school.

The thing she enjoys most is seeing children learn and seeing when they understand something and succeed. One of the biggest changes she sees in her students is the declining lack of appreciation of things. They have so much today, as opposed to what they had 36 years ago. 

She smiles and says, "kids are kids - they are all the same - wherever you go."

Williams enjoys it when she runs into former students. She enjoys hearing what they are doing and always appreciates a fond memory or two. 

Her hobbies include reading, cross-stitching, and painting.  Things she will have more time to do in the future.  She wants to travel and spend time with her two sisters, six nephews, five great-nephews, niece, and great-niece. 

When August arrives, she knows she will be lost and wonder what to do with herself.  The things she will miss the most will be the fellowship with the other teachers and of course, the children.  When Headmaster Steve Fleming asked is she would like to be put on the sub list, she smiled and replied, "Nope, I'm outta here!"