Azizi Williams has a deep and abiding commitment to progressive education, which made her the perfect candidate to follow in the footsteps of Neal Wrightson, cofounder of Children’s Community School and head of school for more than 40 years. Upon his retirement this year, Azizi stepped into the role of head of school.
She has spent her life in progressive schools as a student, teacher, parent and leader. Educated at UC Berkeley and Columbia University, she joins a passionate team of educators at Children’s Community School who are celebrating the 40th year of “education for democracy” in Van Nuys.
Azizi’s participation in the community beyond the campus is noteworthy. She’s a trustee at Wildwood School, The Alliance for Minority Affairs and SoCal People of Color in Independent Schools and is a cofounder of the Women in Leadership Circle. Additionally, Azizi has been a featured speaker and presenter at the NAIS People of Color Conference, SoCal POCIS Parent Voices events and the California Teacher Development Collaborative.
Having worked as a teacher for 24 years, Azizi’s approach to education is to seek to answer the question: “How can we best support our students’ outcomes?” The problem-solving nature of the head of school position appeals to her, as does the opportunity to work directly with students. She also revels in her work in professional development, which she has individualized and tailored to teachers’ needs.
“At Children’s Community School, students are respectfully engaged in meaningful exploration and problem-solving,” Azizi says. “It’s such an honor to partner with families, faculty and staff who are all passionate about a child-centered approach to education.”