English teacher at GOAL High School meets students where they are

Aaron Williams wants you to believe. Believe in yourself, believe in your abilities, and believe in what you’re capable of accomplishing.

As an English teacher at GOAL High School and a track coach at Alamosa High, Williams preaches to students the importance of believing. His work and accomplishments led Adams State School of Education to present Williams with its Educator Highlight Award during a ceremony this week.

“He understands our population,” said GOAL High Principal Jason Hochevar. “When a student needs something, needs help, he’s always willing to jump in and listen to the kids’ stories and find a solution around their barriers and their issues to give them a second, third, fourth chance which is what it takes sometimes.”

GOAL High, with a new regional office off Highway 160 in Alamosa, is Colorado’s growing online school with more than 5,000 students across the state taking courses with GOAL. Williams is a statewide English teacher, meaning he’s working online with students who are in Fort Morgan, Colorado Springs, Cortez and elsewhere across Colorado.

Curtis Garcia, Chrissy McKinney, Aaron Williams, Jason Hochevar
Adams State School of Education Director Curtis Garcia, Ph.D.; Adams State Teacher Education Program Coordinator Advisor Chrissy McKinney; Adams State February Educator Highlight Award recipient, Aaron Williams; and GOAL High Principal Jason Hochevar.

Williams said he’ll interact with 20 or so students on a daily basis and around 200 for a school semester through GOAL’s online model. “We’re trying to reach them wherever they are in life. Every kid that comes to us is different so we’re allowed to be flexible and get them what they need,” he said.

When he’s done at GOAL for the day, he’ll head to Alamosa High where he works as an assistant track coach. Last track season he coached Aani Hardesty to state track titles in the 100- and 300-meter hurdle races. Again, by getting her to believe in the training and what she was capable of accomplishing.

“When I work with kids online, I try to keep that same energy I have if they’re right here in front of me,” he said.

“It’s a unique experience, I’d say,” he said of working both for GOAL online and coaching at Alamosa High. “Track is what brought me to school here and what brought me to Alamosa. So it’s a way for me to give back to the community.”

Williams hails originally from Richmond, CA., and enrolled to run track at Adams State. Like so many others, he met a girl from Alamosa, married her and settled down and settled in for life’s haul. He and his wife, Marina, now have two children, Kinwood and Onyx, and he has a growing career in teaching at GOAL and coaching track at Alamosa High.

All because he believed.

Past winners:

Presley Garcia, Monte Vista special education teacher
Nick Dionisio, Alamosa High English teacher
Aaron Miltenberger, Boys & Girls Club executive director
Anna Bishop, Center High School CLD teacher
Phyllis Vigil, Sierra Grande first-grade teacher
AlexAndria Moore-Guenter, Moffat Schools secondary counselor
Omar Gonzalez, Alamosa Elementary visual art and music teacher
Leanna Brazel, Alamosa Elementary kindergarten teacher
Freddy Lawrence, Alamosa Elementary custodian
Joe Guenther, South Conejos School District
Katie Turner, Del Norte math teacher
Edwin Mondragon, Monte Vista High School agriculture teacher


This monthly award recognizes Adams State University School of Education alumni, prominent local teachers, and other educators working within or hailing from the San Luis Valley. In so doing, Adams State University hopes to build familiarity with the community as a serious destination for future educators. Nominate an educator.