We are proud to share this guest post by Jerrel Williams, teacher, coach, and chef at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School and Child Care, offering his perspective as a leader and parent at the private school. Also read a parent’s perspective about Shepherd of the Hills.
Many Roles at Shepherd of the Hills School
I currently teach at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School and Child Care (SHLS). I like to say I am a jack of all trades in my positions at the school. I am Kitchen Manager for Ram Café, Instructor for the Ram’s Kitchen Academy, and a coach for multiple sports such as soccer, basketball, flag football, and track and field. I love that SHLS is a big family. I was welcomed with open arms when joining the school on staff and as a parent for my daughter who attends. My future with SHLS was comforting and helped me grow in my passions I have found in life.
The mission at Shepherd of the Hills School is to lead people into a life-changing relationship with Jesus. We strive to have our students succeed in all aspects of life skills.
Opportunities and Activities
I grew up in a small town, were everybody went to one school and had limited choices. I feel like, since I have been at SHLS as staff and as a parent that has a child that goes there, my eyes have been wide with disbelief at the level of opportunity. For my daughter, I feel like she has been earning a great education that will speak volumes when heading into her life towards college and so on. The exposure to sports, club, electives, and other activities has guided a path for the kids to home in on who they are and what they want to do, and that is special. It is very unique to have such an establishment for the kids.
Being a Teacher and Leader
For myself it is important to create opportunity and guidance for the kids. By being myself and showing my life experience to help show direction is my part in helping teach and lead. The values installed in to me from the military and my upbringing I hold very dear because it has made me the person I am today.
Just like any plan of action, you set goals to gain growth towards those achievements. Also, by having sub goals, you can show progression to the major priority. The environment for the kids needs to be challenging. Not only does this make them work harder, but it also develops skills and work ethic to achieve big to little things in their lives.
Traditions at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School
At Shepherd of the Hills, there school traditions all year long, with the holidays, rodeo, fiesta, and other things implemented from clubs and organizations. My personal favorite are the sports activities that the kids build through the older grade levels and the students go against the teachers. It is so much fun!
SHLS helps my professional goals and life by establishing longevity and growth within the organization. This past year I was promoted to Kitchen Manager, so the head of my department made me work harder and feel more involved. On other aspects, I have been given more range in coaching which is my second passion. Serving as head coach for multiple sports has been fun and I love the direction of the student athletes on what they have achieved.
Compared to other workplaces, I have greater freedom of expression and creativity. I get to implement a wide range of cuisines and cultures through my menu set and services for the students. I get to introduce them to the world through food, so when they travel or explore different parts of the world or cultures they will have a familiar glimpse from having experience what we offer at the kitchen at SHLS.
I actually learned about SHLS while I was attending The Culinary Institute of America. I did my externship at SHLS as a student in training. My experience was so good I made an effort to be around as much as possible with the kitchen. I eventually enrolled my daughter because of how welcoming the environment was. My part time work turned into full time, and I just continue to put my strong work ethic into play and it let to the position I am currently in. I have really grown to love my SHLS family.
Advice for Teachers, Students, and Parents
My advice for potential teachers would be to do it—this is a great environment to build as a family and really make a difference to the students’ lives. Fully committing means going all in here at SHLS, striving to give each student their best versions of themselves of education, student athletes, character, and people learning to move forward into their futures confidently to whatever path they lead.
For the students so much opportunity is here to develop. SHLS offers a great education if your focus is academics, sports if you’re a student athlete—we have almost every single sport you can think of. We provide clubs for many different trades in the work force. There is just so much opportunity to do and create new if it isn’t here already.
Parents, you can learn from my experience at SHLS. This was home immediately in the first few months I was here. There’s nothing like being comfortable in all the avenues at a school, where everything is broken down to make you understand completely what your child is going to experience here. The ratio of students to teachers is very good, which helps in the learning process for them. Our staff is top notch on all fronts of the school.
Benefits of School Choice
With school choice, you have the freedom to decide what you what as an education for your student, what environment you want to be in and feel safe in, and how you want knowledge portrayed. Exercising school choice is a way to better your whole family, especially here at SHLS.
Charter Moms Chats
Watch Jerrel Williams, teacher, coach, and chef at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School, speak with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats on March 8, 2022 at 4:00 PM Central live on Facebook and YouTube.
Jerrel Williams is a teacher, coach, and chef at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School, including serving as Kitchen Manager for the Ram Café, Instructor for the Ram’s Kitchen Academy, and a coach for multiple sports, including soccer, basketball, flag football, and track and field. He was born and raised in Copperas Cove, Texas. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving eight years through active duty in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and in the U.S. Army Reserves in the 988th MD Battalion at Round Rock, Texas. He graduated in 2018 from the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio, Texas. Chef Williams is now Executive Chef and part owner of A Way to the Heart, established in 2021, and continues to pursue his dreams of establishing a name for himself and his partners.
Read More About Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School
- “Megan Garcia Shares a Parent Perspective from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School,” Megan Garcia, San Antonio Charter Moms, February 14, 2023
- “Erin Stinson Offers a Parent Perspective from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School,” Erin Stinson, San Antonio Charter Moms, February 23, 2022
Read More About Teacher Tales
- “Jennifer Semanko Shares Her Pre-K Teacher Tales from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School,” Jennifer Semanko, San Antonio Charter Moms, March 23, 2022
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- “Going Back to Where It All Started: Taylor Goldston, SST Graduate and Teacher,” Taylor Goldston, San Antonio Charter Moms, November 21, 2021
- “Nature-Based Education Helps Students Grow After the Pandemic,” Amanda McMickle, San Antonio Charter Moms, June 15, 2021
- “Building Agency: How Akeem Brown Is Helping Kids See Their Strengths at Essence Prep,” San Antonio Charter Moms, June 8, 2021
- “Teacher Tales: ‘You Are My Why’ — Abel F. De Leon at the School of Science and Technology,” Abel F. De Leon, San Antonio Charter Moms, November 4, 2020