Ada L. Williams: long-time educator, community servant

JESSICA NGBOR and ROBYN H. JIMENEZ | 1/19/2018, 4:53 a.m. | Updated on 3/5/2018, 11:08 a.m.
Ada L. Williams’ name may sound familiar to many – even those who didn’t know her. The Ada L. Williams ...
Ada L. Williams, long-time educator and community servant, speaks after being honored during a ceremony where the Ada L. Williams Auditorium is named in her honor. Family of Ada L. Williams

The Dallas Examiner

Ada L. Williams’ name may sound familiar to many – even those who didn’t know her. The Ada L. Williams Auditorium, the auditorium of the Dallas ISD Administration Building, is named in her honor after many years of dedication and significant contributions to Dallas schools.

Ada Williams grew up in the Dallas Independent School District. She began her education at N.W. Harlee Elementary School and graduated from Lincoln High School. Afterward, she went on to Huston-Tillotson College where she was Miss Huston-Tillotson and earn a bachelor’s degree. She completed her education at the University of North Texas, where she earned her Master of Arts Degree in Education.

A passion for education

“She was a people person, dedicated to service and just enjoyed being in service organizations and just helping people anyway that she could,” said her son, Adrian Williams, who stated he admired her passion for students. “In her early days she was a teacher for Dallas Independent School District, that’s how she started her career,”

Ada Williams began her teaching career by teaching math, science and music in Dallas ISD schools in 1955. She went on to serve as president of the Classroom Teachers of Dallas for four years. She also served as Dallas ISD Director of Employee Relations during her career there.

“Then she moved onto counseling, where she was helping students with class placement and leading them in the right direction in the different courses they needed to take when they got to high school,” her son continued. “After that she ran for the Classroom Teachers of Dallas where that role led her into an employee relations role where she was helping employees that were having problems with bosses and other people and just overall helping people on the job.”

It was in Ella Johnson’s senior year of high school that she first heard the name Ada L. Williams from Everon Goode Robinson and Vivian Bowser. They were longtime Texas public school educators and student leadership sponsors at that time.

“The threesome had ties to Huston-Tillotson, Delta Sigma Theta and the AME Church,” Ella Johnson recalled. “It was easy to call her when I enrolled at UNT and I became active in student leadership and subsequently Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.”

She said it was then that she was drawn to her wisdom, which made her a good leader in the community.

“She was a very seasoned leader and shared her gifts and talents she had. She was a very selfless person who gave her all to help someone else,” Ella Johnson said.

Dedicated parliamentarian

Ada Williams was a Professional Registered Parliamentarian in the State of Texas since 1978 and was elected and served as parliamentarian of the Dallas Independent School District Board of Trustees from 1988. She served numerous superintendents until she retired in 2002.

Former Texas Gov. Mark White appointed Ada Williams to the State of Texas Credit Union Commission where she served a six-year term. Ada Williams was the current sitting Board Chairman of the Credit Union of Texas. She held the position since December of 1996.