Why MPUSD » Nicky Williams: Students Push Me to Think Outside the Box

Nicky Williams: Students Push Me to Think Outside the Box


Nicky Williams PhotographNicola "Nicky" Williams

9th/10th/11th Grade, Monterey High School


“Before I became a teacher, I worked with teachers a lot (as a tour director for schools, a museum docent and a program manager) and I always thought teachers were just the coolest people I'd ever met,” says Monterey High School’s Nicola Williams. “In our school district and in general, I have never met more people willing to go above and beyond to get the job done.” She is blown away every day by how hard her colleagues work and push her to be her best.


A graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Nicola studied history and upon graduation ventured to New York City to pursue event planning. “I never thought I wanted to be a teacher,” she says. “I wanted to obtain my PhD in history and to pay my way through school I began teaching one class a week at my old high school, and fell in love with it.” For Nicola, the best part was making the content relevant to students - when she could successfully do that they just lit up and she knew they really “got” it.

She earned her credential at University of California Davis and completed her student teaching while at UCD. This is her second year as a full-time teacher where she teaches U.S. History and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), Civics, Theory of Knowledge, and Ethnic Studies to 9th, 10th and 11th graders.

When asked what she loves about teaching, she unequivocally stated: the students. “They really generally want to learn what is relevant to them, and this pushes me to think outside the box and make the world around us relevant to them. This is what makes teaching rewarding,” she states.

In fact, it is so critically important to Nicola that U.S. History is relevant to her students that she has volunteered her time to be part of a committee to redesign U.S. History within the district. She is even part of the start-up team to design Ethnic Studies districtwide. “I feel valued, and am inspired by how caring and understanding everyone at MPUSD is.”

Look for Nicola to continue contributing and giving back of her time and expertise at Monterey High School and MPUSD.