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MASTER TEACHER: PARTHENIA WILLIAMS

Parthenia delights in her life as an educator -- more so than many others I have met in my forty-seven years as a teacher. She is our optimistic Annie -- both know the sun will come out tomorrow
Tom Hughes, her good friend and fellow “partner in crime,” all in the name of educating our fourth graders, wrote this citation in praise of the mighty Parthenia:

“This morning Parthenia D. Williams arrived at Graland for the 3,640th time. Last Thursday, Parthenia presided over her 520th team meeting. She has gone on 40 plus bicycle hikes and ridden over 360 miles shepherding fourth graders, their parents, and other teachers. She has taught over 340 plus fourth graders in her homeroom classes, met with their parents for conferences 1,020 times and written an equal number of report cards for her students. AND she doesn’t even drink coffee. What an accomplishment!

“Before this huge accomplishment, Parthenia resided in New York where she grew up and went to school. . . Parthenia went to Hollins College earning her degree in education. She began her teaching at Carnegie Hill School. . . She taught kindergarten there and would travel to Central Park for recess with her students. She saw Dustin Hoffman there several times playing with his children. Desiring another sort of scenery (after working at the Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York), she moved to Denver when she was 26.

"When she applied to teach at Graland, I happened to be on the committee; we received information that a very tall young lady with the name of Parthenia would be coming to town for interviews. The whole committee waited anxiously for Parthenia to arrive expecting a true Greek princess. She arrived, we took a look, and it was true-- (she was) a Greek princess. She sailed through the interview process and took her place as one of the fourth-grade teachers. Before she even had time to settle in and learn about Graland and her students, a tragedy occurred; her sister Jane was sent to Craig Rehabilitation Hospital after suffering paralysis (as a result) of a car accident. Parthenia was adept at keeping up with her work as a teacher and visiting her sister. . . Jane is now a working mother in Boise, Idaho.

“Parthenia added to her life by traveling to Russia for the summer with Tom Rice and a group of ninth graders and going on several Graland trips for older students. Another big point in her life was performing with “The Doo-Wops,” a professional singing group making appearances at Graland auctions and parties.

“Soon, Parthenia decided to expand her family and went about the lengthy process of adopting a young girl from China. Two years ago, we were all fortunate to meet Adie Williams, a spirited and fun-loving addition to Parthenia’s family.

“When talking about Parthenia, Phil Hickey says,'She was ‘my dream teacher when I worked in the library. Working with her on the fourth-grade country reports was a special treat simply because she found the most perfect way for the fourth graders to hone their research skills.’

“In another twenty years? Will Parthenia be teaching fourth-grade? I know Adie will be a beautiful young lady and also . . . they both will be surrounded by an even larger, supportive family. We are lucky to have Parthenia in Denver and be our teacher and friend. She is a kind, giving, supportive, humorous, energetic, loving, outgoing educator and friend. She is loved by adults and children alike.

“Hopefully, we will gather again in another twenty years, and I will be able to say that Parthenia drove to Graland today for the 7,2080th time, and she has ridden her bike over 720 miles on the bike hike. “
 
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Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.