Member Spotlight: Dee Williams

WVEA member Dee Williams is a Science Teacher at Weir High in Hancock County. She teaches biology, anatomy and forensics as well as being part of the school’s leadership team. Dee is also a dog lover, something we know a lot about here at the WVEA.

Dee has six dogs, three of which are working therapy dogs. Two of her dogs, Nessie and Birdie work as short-term therapy dogs. Nessie is five years old and Birdie is two years old. Another dog, Ivy, works alongside Dee as a specifically trained Crisis Response dog. Dee explains that while most therapy dogs can work one and a half to two and a half hours at a time, Ivy often works all day for several days. Ivy is a Rough Collie and has an excellent temperament for the work. She has worked several tragic events.

One of these tragic events involved a student suicide in Midland, Pennsylvania. Ivy proved to be a valuable asset in helping the recovery/healing process. Recently, she and Dee visited Lewiston and Auburn, Maine in the wake of the mass shooting at the Lewiston Bowling Alley. They worked with students of all ages, from elementary to high school. They even spent some quality time with some students who were at the bowling alley where and when the shooting took place. “Sometimes the hardest part is to just step back and let the dogs do their thing,” Dee tells us. “The dogs have great intuition; they know what to do.” She further explains that you can just feel the anxiety reduce as students start to work with the animals. Ivy and Dee work as part of HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response.

Sometimes, Dee brings the therapy dogs to work with her. There she notices how they are able to connect with students and even get students that would typically not interact or communicate to do so. We at WVEA appreciate all the different ways our members help the community. Thank you, Dee!

Help us spotlight a member for being an outstanding educator, supportive colleague, mentor, or community activist. Nominate an educator today at wvea.org/memberspotlightform.