Tamzen Williams has a special rapport with her students at Lanier High School in Montgomery. They say she's super-supportive and is making a difference in their lives. 12th grader Victor Garnier says, "she's one of the teachers that stands out in your life, when you get up and say your success speech at the grammys or all that, she's the one at the top of the list."
Williams teaches science, a subject that can be intimidating for students in the beginning, but she has a way to make biology as simple as 1-2-3. Williams says, "what I try to do is relate science to everyday living. A lot of the science such as human anatomy, it simply relates to different parts of the body; and different systems, the functions. And all of these things they will need to know in order to keep up their health in the future."
Lanier assistant principal Inez Everage says of Williams, "she is an extraordinary teacher, she gives so much of her time before and after school to try to help our students." Recently Williams volunteered her time to tutor 15 kids who didn't pass the science portion of the Alabama high school graduation exam. All 15 passed the next time they took the test.
Students who've had her in earlier grades say her lessons don't go in one ear and out the other. 12th grader Danetta Benn says, "the things that she teaches, it stays on my mind. It's just like it's as fresh as if she had taught it yesterday, when she (actually) taught it years ago."
Williams has sponsored Lanier's pep squad for the past seven years and also chairs the schools BBSST program, that helps students who need to boost their grades. Over the summer she tutored a special needs student who went on to pass the science portion of the graduation exam.