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Grimsley first year teacher Ms. Sarah Potts wearing a blue shirt

Grimsley Math Teacher Ms. Sarah Potts, Photo by Jake Acosta and Kevin Massey

Copy of Alicia- School Picture.jpg

Ms. Alicia Willliams, a social studies teacher at Grimsley

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Potts and Ms. Williams

Meet two first-year teachers at Grimsley!

By Mila Pucilowski 
Feb 29, 2024

The first day of school brings a whole new environment with new people and new expectations. This can generate feelings of excitement and nervousness, or a combination of both.


Those feelings aren’t restricted to students. Ms. Sarah Potts and Ms. Alicia Williams are two first-year teachers at Grimsley high school.


 “It felt like being the new kid at a new school, but after the first week everything started to fall into place,” said Sarah Potts, a first-year math teacher at Grimsley.


For Ms. Potts, it's not only her first year teaching at Grimsley, but her first year teaching at all. She has a degree in accounting and project managing. Before she began teaching she led a very eventful life, serving twelve years in the military as well as working at Honda Jet, Volvo and Mack Trucks.


Ms. Potts has always loved math, so after her work in the military, she decided teaching math would be perfect. The best part for her is getting the students involved in math. 


“For her first year, she's doing an amazing job connecting with her students,” said Freshman Kennedy Goree.


Ms. Williams also didn't plan to go into teaching. She originally went to school at UNCG for a degree in history. 


Then, she was offered a scholarship to join the Teacher Education Fellows, which required her to add education to her history major. 


“I always felt taken care of by my teachers,” Ms. Williams said.”So I wanted to be there for my students like my teachers were there for me.”


She decided to take the scholarship and join the program. Throughout the program she was able to study abroad in Botswana, Africa. After finishing the program, she graduated UNCG with a History and Education degree.


Ms. Williams went on to teach black history at Page High School for four years. But on her first day at Grimsley, she also experienced first day nerves.


That morning, Ms. Williams decided she would stop at the welcome seminar for the freshman.


While she was there, Principal O'Donnell talked about what to expect being new to the school, assuring them there was no need to worry. Soon, her nerves started to fade away.


“Ms. Williams has always been there to help me achieve my academic goals,” said freshman Redas Wigyealla. 


Grimsley is fortunate to have first-year teachers like Ms. Potts and Ms. Williams who relate so well to their students, transforming first-day nerves into academic excellence. 

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