Staff reports – The Volusia County community is mourning the death this morning of School Board Chairman Dr. Al Williams. He reportedly died at Halifax Medical Center on Monday morning. Williams was 70.
In a report published by the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Williams explained that School Board Vice Chairwoman Judy Conte was conducting last month’s meetings because he might be out on doctor’s appointments. Williams said in an interview that he was having physical therapy to strengthen his legs and might have to undergo foot and/or gall bladder surgery. He missed last week’s school board meeting.
He had been a school board member since 2004 and had just won a second term in the August primary.
The Volusia County School Board website states that Williams was a former teacher and professor and worked as an educational consultant for low-performing high schools for Chicago Public Schools.
He was executive director of the personnel department for the Austin Independent School District and served eight years as a Volusia County School Board member from 1984-1992. The former General Electric executive earned a doctoral degree in educational administration from Columbia University, a master’s degree from both Notheastern University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College in Minnesota.
Dr. Williams represented District 2, including the Greater Daytona Beach area, Daytona Beach Shores, Ponce Inlet, South Daytona and a portion of Port Orange.
“This news is quite a shock to me about Dr. Williams. He was a well-respected leader in the community who fought for both students and personnel within the Volusia County School System. He was a member and staunch supporter of the NAACP. Dr. Williams will be truly missed,” Cynthia Slater, president of the Volusia County-Daytona Beach NAACP chapter told the Daytona Times on Monday.
“I plan to make contact with the governor to ensure that Dr. Williams’ replacement represents his constituents – in other words, a minority,’’ she added.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott reportedly will appoint a replacement for the remainder of Williams’ current term and for the new four-year term that starts Nov. 20.
Check back for more updates on this story and see a full report in Thursday’s print issue of the Daytona Times.