Dr. Preston Williams Jr.
Dr. Preston Williams, Jr., became the Superintendent of Schools for Urbana School District #116 in 2007, after 28 years as a coach, educator and administrator. Williams received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Indiana State University in 1979, his Master of Education from the University of Illinois in 1987, and his Doctorate of Education from the University of Illinois in 2000. Williams began his career as an educator in 1979 as a teacher at Kankakee East Ridge High School. He taught history at Champaign Centennial High School from 1980-82 and 1983-87. He came to Urbana School District #116 in the fall of 1987 as a history teacher. He also served as Head Coach for the Urbana High School Boys Basketball Team from 1987-1993. Williams moved from the classroom to administration in 1990 as he assumed the job of Assistant Principal at Urbana Middle School. His career in administration continued in 1993 when he was named Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at Urbana School District #116 where he created and successfully implemented a recruiting program to attract minority candidates to the school district. In 1998 Williams was named Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for District 116. In that position Williams was the lead administrator in developing and implementing a strategy to desegregate elementary schools in compliance with federal guidelines, and he also implemented special education guidelines to lessen the overrepresentation of African American students in certain special education categories. In 2000 Williams was named Deputy Superintendent where he developed curriculum in alignment with Illinois State Learning Standards, created staff development programs, supervised technology and student management personnel, and upgraded the student data collection system. Williams was named Urbana School District #116 Superintendent in 2007. Dr. Williams retired in June 30, 2013, after thirty-four years in education, twenty-five being with Urbana School District 116.
Williams currently serves as President of Large Unit District Association (LUDA) and is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, National Alliance for Black School Educators (District Administration Commission.) He has received the Outstanding Service Award from ACT SO (2012), Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Illinois College of Education (2000), was named to the Presidency of the Illinois Association of School, College and University Staffing (1995-96), received the B.L. Dodds Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Educational Administration (1995-96), Outstanding Young Men of America (1986), and is a member of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society (1979).
- 2000 Doctorate in Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- 1987 Master of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- 1979 Bachelor of Science at Indiana State University at Terre Haute