High Pointe Music Teacher Pursued Her Childhood Dream

Jerlyn Williams

(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) Jerlyn Williams loved everything about her 20-year career as a hairstylist/cosmetologist.

“The love of music was still in my heart,” Williams said.

Approximately 15 years ago, Williams decided to trade her lifelong career for a new one in education.

She took classes at Dallas College-Cedar Valley and The University of Texas at Arlington to become a music teacher.

Williams has taught music at High Pointe Elementary ever since. She was recently named the High Pointe 2023-2024 Teacher of the Year.

“At first, I thought there were so many good teachers,” Williams said. “Sometimes, I feel like I don’t deserve it, but people tell me that I do. I love the children and the camaraderie with my colleagues. I am in the right place.”

Williams is teaching music during an exciting time at HPE, which is in its first year as the district’s Fine Arts campus.

“I feel like I’m with my people,” Williams said. “The school has continued to get better and better. Some of the kids are afraid to express themselves, but I bring that out of them through music. Some kids are wild, and I like helping them channel their energy through music.”

Williams, who is also HPE’s Choir Director, works with scholars in grades Pre-K through 5.

“The Pre-K Scholars are learning notes, singing, and keeping a beat,” Williams said.

Among the older scholars, Williams encourages them to pursue music in middle school. They learn about instruments such as xylophones, recorders, drums, bells, and ukuleles.

“I tell them that I want them to be the first chair and know how to read rhythms,” Williams said.

The oldest group of Williams’ scholars from 10 years ago are now in college. The youngest among them have just started high school.

“Sometimes, scholars visit High Pointe and tell me how much music inspired them,” Williams said. “I’m happy and grateful to hear that.”

Williams grew up in Carson, California – near Los Angeles. She played clarinet in the Carson High Band.

“I loved it – I shined,” Williams said. “I felt really good being around music and musicians. That gave me the love for music.”

Williams said she met with a high school guidance counselor who discouraged her from pursuing a music career.

She moved to the Dallas area and never gave up the dream. Williams’ husband encouraged her to turn her longtime goal into a reality.

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