Pinellas to honor Lew Williams with early childhood effort
Call it the Lew Williams Project. To honor Pinellas school board member Lew Williams, who died unexpectedly Saturday, Superintendent John Stewart said Tuesday the district will pursue an early childhood initiative to better prepare children before they step foot in a classroom.
“He stood for young people … he wanted to do something for every child,” Stewart said at Tuesday’s school board meeting.. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could establish something … in his name?”
Stewart said there are no specifics yet, but he mentioned the possibility of partnering with social service agencies. He said staff would “flesh out” the concept and bring it to the board at a later date for consideration. “I think he’ll smile down on us,” he said of Williams.
Williams, 68, was a lifelong Pinellas educator known for his gentlemanly manner and quiet effectiveness. He retired as area superintendent in 2005 after rising through the ranks as a teacher, principal and district administrator. He won election to the school board last year.
As part of a short tribute at the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting, the district also aired a video with snippets of Williams on the campaign trail and during his brief stint on the board. Some district staffers cried quietly.