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Georgia school district gets its first black superintendent

Fred Williams started his career as a P.E. teacher. 27 years later, he's making history as the district's first African-American superintendent.

DUBLIN, Ga. — Fred Williams sits at his desk as the superintendent of Dublin City Schools. It's a career journey that was first inspired by his Kindergarten P.E. coach in Plantation, Florida.

"I had two African-American P.E. instructors, one was an older gentleman named Mr. Louie Striggles, and so sitting there getting ready for class to start up, and I looked at Mr. Striggles and said, 'one day I'm going to be like Mr. Striggles,'" he said.

Williams excelled both academically and athletically in school. He went to Clark Atlanta University on a football scholarship.

"Came straight from Clark Atlanta to Dublin, Georgia. I've been here for 27 years now. I started out as a health and physical educator," Williams said.

His ability to connect with students to help them succeed was one of the main reasons he earned the Teacher of the Year award his first year.

"I used to go to the grade level meetings to find out what were the teachers trying to get, skills they were trying to get over the kids, because I knew they would listen to coach before they would listen to some of the teachers," he said.

His work ethic eventually moved him up the ladder.

"I could affect change in the lives of the children I was serving then. As assistant principal I was able to affect more lives, as principal I was able to affect more lives," he said.

Now, he's making history as the district's first African-American superintendent.

"I have to really make sure that I am above reproach. That I hold the sacred trust, that people can really judge me by the content of my character," Williams said.

He hopes to inspire students to be history makers of their own.

"I consider myself as an example. I don't want kids to just stop where I am and have the same dimensions in life that I have. I want them to be greater," he said.

Some highlights of Williams' time in charge include the district earning Charter System of the Year, a state football championship, the opening of the Irish Gifted Academy, and maintaining an over 90% graduation rate.

RELATED: Dublin City Schools earns state recognition as 'Charter System of the Year'

He says there were many teachers and coaches along the way that helped him get to where he is today.

Superintendent Williams has a Master's of Education degree from Troy University and a doctoral degree from Nova Southeastern University.

RELATED: Black History Month: Jefferson Long, Georgia's first black congressman, was from Macon

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