Michelle Rodriguez – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – LRHS anatomy and physiology teacher Kelley Smith-Williams and bookkeeper Jeanherik Nunez were recognized as LRHS Excellence in Education Award nominees for the 2022-2023 year.
In addition to her regular classroom duties Smith-Williams offers tutoring for students every day after school.
Smith-Williams said, “I started homework help teaching PE during the pandemic. We weren’t’ allowed to teach physical education because of restriction and I can’t sit here for an entire year and do nothing. That’s how I started tutoring kids, first in biology and later in English.”
Smith-Williams explained that she works with a diverse group of students. If she doesn’t teach them in class, she’ll find them in tutoring or in clubs.
She also advises Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Girls in White Coats, and co-advises HOSA. Smith-Williams also helps struggling seniors with graduation and credit recovery. She believes one of the best things is watching a student who has struggled for four years go through summer graduation.
Smith-Williams also treats her room as a safe space.
“I really care about student’s personal growth over just the academic part, I want to teach the whole person and let them know it’s okay to make mistakes,” continued Smith-Williams.
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Staff nominee Nunez keeps track of club and class accounts and helps teachers get the funds they need for classroom and organization activities.
She was born in Puerto Rico but moved to the mainland to help run a family business in 2005. She later moved to Virginia.
Nunez began working in schools as a guidance clerk in 2018. Her husband teaches math at Braden River Middle School.
Nunez said, “I love working at LRHS. I love challenges. It gives me changes every day… and I love it.”