GATES COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — Every day this month we are highlighting Excellent Educators in our area. A principal in Gates County, North Carolina, sent us the name of one of his teachers who he credits with creating incredible relationships with families and the school, as well as securing grant money for a very special project.

Krystle Williams admitted she was excited for our interview, but she very humbly emphasized it is a team effort at Buckland Elementary. She said she is just part of that team that supports each other, and the school’s families, while teaching through the pandemic.

“We had to take everything that we have learned and throw it out the window because pandemic teaching is nothing like teaching face to face children,” Williams said.

Williams teaches second grade at the Home of the Pandas. She says her goal is to let the kids know she cares.

“Show and tell is amazing. Dance parties, we would have virtual dances and things like that.”

The virtual world forced teachers and families to face a learning curve. Williams, and her fellow educators, began to use Google Classroom, but not everyone was familiar with the program. So, Williams created a how-to handout for parents that ended up being used by many more.

“It was mainly to make sure that I could get my kids on and my parents, and it just so happened that it was able to help more within the district.”

If someone at Buckland Elementary needs quick technical support, they turn to Williams. Though she admits, through a laugh, she is not a pro.

“If I can help alleviate a little bit of stress by showing you what button to click, then that’s pretty, I can do that.”

One of her proudest accomplishments is the grant she and the school’s media coordinator worked to get to create an outdoor learning space.

“It’s just so spacious and the kids are all excited about it and looking forward to using it, so teachers are too.”

In these trying times, Williams credits teamwork, kindness, and compassion for a successful school year.

“One thing about me is I believe in helping others, so if that makes somebody else’s life easier, then that’s what I want to do.”