Over 33 years ago, an incredible Sac State professor, Allan Hinderstein had a vision that recognized the importance and value of media production for teachers. His idea was to enhance the classroom learning experience of students. We honor Allan’s memory every year, as we recognize a teacher who embodies the concept of being creative in the classroom and is always looking for new ways to introduce media into students learning.
Dawn Williams of Franklin High School is this year’s recipient of the Allan Hinderstein Award. Mrs. Williams fills many roles other than just a teacher, she is a mentor, a colleague, a guardian and so much more to her community.
Mrs. Williams began her career behind the scenes at News 10 and uses that experience to help her students learn about video production, especially in a news setting. During her two daily broadcast classes, she teaches students to find the heart of the story and to ensure a balance of perspectives are included. She is always looking for ways to support her students and to ensure their voice is heard. Mrs. Williams rarely says no and is known for doing everything she can to provide support to her campus and community, making sure all-important stories are covered and shared.
Mrs. Williams is an advocate for all her students in the classroom and beyond. She has the reputation for supporting her student’s and being in their corner when no one else will. When asked about their teacher, majority of students commented on how they rely on Mrs. Williams not only for help with video, but for life advice as well. She creates lasting relationships with her students that go beyond their four years at Franklin.
Mrs. Williams not only supports her students and school community, but she is also a mentor for many fellow SEVA Teachers and helps anyone in need. During SEVA events, you can find Mrs. Williams with students from many different schools around her waiting for advice and tips on how to best capture their story. She has built a partnership with the other digital media teachers on her campus, by creating a dynamic program for all students. She also helped create a pathway for students coming from the neighboring middle school allowing students to have the unique advantage of continued newsroom experience from a young age.
When amid difficult times, Mrs. Williams faces challenges with kindness and compassion for others. She is known for her ability to bring strangers together, whether students or adults. There is something about her nature that draws you in and makes you feel welcome.