Man on a mission
Corey Williams joins District 2 school board
By Faith Miller
The Southeast Express
As an active-duty Army sergeant, Corey Williams remembers joking with his soldiers and superiors about running for political office someday.
“I was just joking then,” Williams said. “And now here I am.”
“I’m a slightly-elected official, I guess you could call it.”
Williams decided to run for the Harrison School District 2 Board of Education back in August, when he heard two seats would soon be open. But since Williams and Regina English were the only people who signed up to run, the district decided to forgo a vote and name them winners by acclamation.
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For Williams, who coached children’s soccer and helped run summer camps at YMCAs before he joined the Army, the “kids are No. 1.”
“They’re the future,” he said. “Kids just need that extra support, especially if they’re not getting it in the home. That’s why we get a lot of kids who come to school, that we say they’re acting out or they’re disruptive and disrespectful. We have to mold an environment that they can grow in.”
Williams also wants to focus on retaining teachers — which, he said, means better pay.
“We are currently working on a new salary system for teachers,” he said. “Teachers are in desperate need of raises. … We’re trying to just build a better system of pay for our teachers because it truly starts with them. If they’re so worried that they can’t pay the bills, they’re not focusing as much as they could be on teaching the students.”
Williams is finishing a bachelor’s degree in accounting at National American University and works as a financial advisor. He believes this background uniquely suits him to help manage the school district’s budget and the $180 million bond approved by voters for capital improvements.
Williams, now 28 and a separated Army sergeant, moved to Fort Carson from Georgia in 2014. He said his Army experience — including deployments to Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, eastern Europe and Germany — helped prepare him for navigating differences of opinion as an elected official.
“In the military, you definitely, definitely know who’s blue and who’s red,” Williams explained. “And they voice that to extremes at times. So you definitely have to take a seat … and listen before speaking on certain things.”
Williams aims to stop into at least one school in the district each day.
“I think that’s something that we need a lot more of,” he said. “We need more board members actually visiting the schools that they’re representing.”