Jayla Williams, a senior at Grambling State University, has been selected as the preservice teacher representative for the Louisiana Department of Education Early Literacy Commission. The Louisiana Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (LACTE) chose Williams to represent the association on the commission.
The Early Literacy Commission aims to study and make recommendations on how best to develop and implement a system that provides effective, evidence-based reading instruction for children from early childhood through third grade.
Williams, an elementary education major from Shreveport, La., will travel to Baton Rouge periodically to serve on a panel to achieve the literacy goals set forth for the children of Louisiana.
Dr. Cheyrl Mansfield Ensley, interim department head/associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership nominated Williams for the position. Among other reasons, she said when Williams began her residency (formerly student teaching), she stood out.
“Within the first few days, she received accolades from her principal,” Ensley said.
Williams is also active in education-related activities including serving as a member of Aspiring Educators, where she serves as the media coordinator. She offers after school tutoring for students in grades K – 12 via Joyous Learning with Jayla which celebrated its one-year anniversary in August.
“She has helped students increase test scores and improve grade level reading. As a result, she continues to receive recommendations from satisfied customers,” Ensley said.
Williams said she is excited about serving in the role on the commission for LACTE.
“I’m very passionate about all things education so to be recognized and nominated by our department head, Dr. Ensley, I am extremely honored,” she said.
Williams added that she hopes this opportunity will help her inspire future educators.
“Words cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity,” she said. “I hope by receiving this nomination I can inspire other students coming through Grambling’s Teacher Ed program and show that our gifts and opportunities are limitless.”
She aims to “represent all preservice teachers and children across the state, the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and my beloved GramFam.”
Debbie Thomas, dean of the GSU College of Education, said Williams is “the epitome of excellence as a dedicated student and future educator. The College of Education is proud to call Jayla one of our brightest stars.”
After graduation, Williams plans to move to Memphis to complete a teacher residency program and obtain a master’s degree in urban education.
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