Outstanding Alumnus 2010
S. Gwinnett Teacher Named GPC Outstanding Alumnus
James Williamson has been named the Georgia Perimeter College Outstanding Alumnus for 2010. Williamson, a 1994 DeKalb College graduate, teaches mathematics at South Gwinnett High School where he was recently awarded Teacher of the Year.
“It’s kind of surreal,” Williamson said. “I don’t look at what I do as being outstanding. I just do everything I can to help my students understand the material.”
The 10th grade math teacher didn’t always plan on that role. In fact, with a mom, grandmother, three aunts and an uncle all working as teachers, he swore he would never go into education. But he didn’t know what else he wanted to do, either.
All that changed after one history class. And the rest was just that—history.
“I took Tommy Barber’s history class and within a week I decided that’s what I wanted to do,” Williamson said. “I wanted to do for others what he did for me.”
His experience at DeKalb College—the personal attention from caring instructors—still influences the way he approaches teaching today.
“I teach five classes a day of 16 to 30 students, and I make sure that by the end of the first week I know their names, they know me and I’ve made some kind of connection,” he said. “That goes back to my time at DeKalb.”
Williamson’s professional life wasn’t the only thing that changed while he attended DeKalb College. He also met his wife, Tisha.
“The education I received—dang—it set my career path for me. You can’t beat that,” Williamson said. “DeKalb College made my life.”