2022 Mary V. Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching

2022 Mary V. Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching

This year’s Mary V. Williams Award recipient is known for her transformational leadership and individualized attention to our students. She brings to mind the phrase “good trouble,” popularized by civil rights activist John Lewis, for her ability to speak truth to power and to advocate for students, and for using leadership opportunities and expertise as a mental health professional to disrupt systems of injustice. 

Lauren Snelling, 2022 Mary V. Williams Award recipient

Early Childhood counselor Lauren Snelling

Her advocacy extends to all children. She has led impactful workshops for colleagues on “Trauma Informed Practices,” “Affinity Spaces,” and “Managing Identity and Racial Anxiety in Relationships with Students and Families.” She has provided explicit instruction on the intersection between Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work with Social-Emotional Learning work. She doesn’t call out, but she does call in, encouraging colleagues to use Lab’s Early Childhood DEI scope and sequence, develop a positive racial identity, and make implicit biases conscious. She started Blackspace to provide a much-needed Early Childhood affinity space where children who identify as Black celebrate their identity through dance, art, horticulture, and community. 

For her significant contributions to Lab, its mission, and its students, it is a great pleasure to announce that the recipient of this year’s Mary V. Williams award is Lauren Snelling, counselor  in the Early Childhood Division of the Laboratory Schools. 

The Mary V. Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching was established in memory of long-time Laboratory Schools teacher Mary Williams, to support professional opportunities for faculty. Recipients are selected on the basis of the qualities Mary exemplified: a whole-child style and interdisciplinary approach, an ability to construct knowledge from practice and experience, a commitment to solving problems through teamwork, respect for students’ individual qualities, passionate support of students and their learning endeavors, and a sense of humor. 

See past recipients of the Mary V. Williams award and read more about teaching at Lab.

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