Preston Williams, Jr., Ed. D.

Williams, Jr. Ed. D., Preston

Dr. Preston Williams. Jr. came to Urbana from Kankakee. He developed an interest in education at an early age. He began tutoring as a junior in high school as he enjoyed helping younger children. He continued to tutor elementary school children through his high school the summer of his senior year and continued to enjoy his experiences.

Preston completed his undergraduate degree at Indiana State University, with a double major in Social Science Education and African American Studies with an emphasis on political science and U.S. History. His teaching experiences first began at Kankakee East Ridge High School as a permanent substitute for sixth months. He then began teaching in the special education area at an alternative education center, while receiving his S.E.D. (Social and Emotionally Disturbed) certification in night classes through Illinois State University and the National College of Education. Then, he received a job offer from Champaign Centennial High School to teach U.S. History and consumer education.

Preston and his wife, Ivy, were married in 1983 and have two children: Jacquelyn and Preston III. He moved onto District 116, first to teach at UHS and then as an assistant principal at UMS. The next step in his career was a move over to Central Office as the Director of Human Resources, and finally to the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction in 1998.

Preston received his Ed.D. in May 2000 and was made the Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for Urbana School District #116 before becoming Superintendent of Schools for the District. In 2015, Prairie Elementary School in Urbana was renamed Dr. Preston L. Williams Jr. Elementary School in his honor. 

Preston’s hobbies include: reading, chess, backgammon, walking, traveling, coaching, and spending time with his family. He enjoys working for Urbana School District #116 and living in the community of Champaign-Urbana. "My favorite part of living in this community is the people, because Champaign-Urbana has such a diverse population, racially and culturally. Living in a university town has many positives. My family has the opportunity to be a part of many different cultures in a small area. I think that is great!"