Happy Retirement, Mr. Williams!


Left Image: 1994 Right Image: 2023

Clarissa Suryapranata, Staff Writer

After 30 years of teaching at Arcadia High School (AHS), Mr. Sam Williams has announced that he will be retiring this school year. Mr. Williams has been teaching in the AHS Science Department since 1993, specifically Chemistry; regular, Honors, AP Biology; and Human Anatomy and Physiology. Though this is his final year at AHS, he will be remembered for all his hard work and passion for teaching.

Prior to teaching at AHS, Mr. Williams also taught Biology at San Marino High School, and Servite High School in Anaheim. Mr. Williams stated that he “had numerous high school teachers and coaches who inspired [him] to go into teaching.”

“I decided to become a teacher after trying various jobs after college, including substitute teaching and working as a Junior Lifeguard Instructor,” said Mr. Williams. “I was an Ocean Lifeguard for the city of Newport Beach for 15 years.” 

One of Mr. Williams’ greatest accomplishments as a teacher at AHS was getting a high percentage of his students to pass the AP Biology exam. He also added that “seeing struggling students achieve success in [his] classes with encouragement and motivation has been inspiring.”

AHS sophomore Siming Lui, who had Mr. Williams as her Biology teacher in the 2021-2022 school year, highlighted his devotion to biology as well as his thoughtfulness toward his students.

“While I was struggling with my mental health, Mr. Williams was always patient and supportive of me,” said Lui.

Mr. Williams shared that during his years of teaching at AHS, teaching through the pandemic was the most difficult. Learning to teach remotely was especially challenging as students often got distracted and always had to be reminded to put their phones away. Mr. Williams believes that one of the most important things to ensure that his students get the best education possible is to “eliminate distractions and give their undivided attention to learning, and to apply critical thinking.”

After all the efforts that Mr. Williams has given to teaching his students, he plans on spending his well-deserved break going to Yellowstone National Park with his family, as well as the Netherlands. His goal after retirement is to stay active, volunteer, and work part-time.

“I will miss mostly teaching highly motivated students and working with such dedicated colleagues here at Arcadia High School,” said Mr. Williams. “My advice for high school students is to try many things, focus on your passions, and don’t stress about grades. You will be successful if you stay motivated and believe in yourself. It has been a pleasure teaching at Arcadia High School for the past 30 years.” 

Throughout all his years of teaching at AHS, Mr. Williams has made a great impact on the school and his students, educating them with the beauty of science. Congratulations on your retirement, Mr. Williams, and a big thank you for all your hard work and dedication. We wish you the best in all of your future pursuits. 


Photos courtesy of AHS Yearbook