Van Duyn Principal Eva Williams Named NYS Elementary Principal of the Year
Published on 4/30/21
District News Van Duyn Elementary School
Van Duyn Principal Eva Williams has been named the 2021 New York State Elementary Principal of the Year! Selected by the School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS), Principal Williams was chosen for her commitment to excellence, her dedication to meeting the academic and social needs of her students, and her connections with staff, families and the greater community.
In her eight years leading Van Duyn Elementary school, Principal Williams has implemented frequent two-way communication with parents, cultural and climate practices including restorative circles, incentives for students to actively engage in learning, and opportunities for families to learn strategies for helping their children at home. Under her leadership, Van Duyn has moved from a school in New York State ‘priority status’ to ‘in good standing’ in just five years. Her school also saw the greatest increase districtwide in ELA and math scores on the NYS assessments for two consecutive years!
“Her strong leadership skills, including her ability to create a positive climate for teaching and learning, focus on high expectations with attention on cultural responsiveness, and building a solid knowledge of academic skills with her staff makes her school a model for excellence in the SCSD and New York State,” Melissa Evans, SCSD Executive Director of Elementary Schools, said.
Pre-COVID, Van Duyn hosted more than 80 Family Fun in Learning Nights, providing dinner, schoolwide data information, and an engaging activity that allows staff to engage with families.
"She has been very supportive to parents like myself in the school setting as well as in the community. She has an excellent relationship with the parents and takes an interest in the educational needs and progression of each student. My children have been able to perform very well in their studies since she's very attentive to every student,” Van Duyn parent Serena Harris said.
“Eva has been out front, not only in the way she led her own family engagement program at Van Duyn but publicly for the rest of us in the profession. She personifies all that is right about staying intentionally connected to an institution that helped to shape her life's path,” Van Duyn Instructional Coach Valerie Reese added.
“We are exceptionally proud of Principal Williams,” Superintendent Jaime Alicea said. “Eva has long been committed to bridging the gap between home and school, creating connections between school staff, families and community organizations to ensure that the needs of each student are met. Her passion for supporting her students, families and staff is unparalleled. Eva is an example of the excellence we are striving for in the Syracuse City School District, and she is most deserving of this honor.”
Congratulations to Principal Williams!