Linda Williams helps students who yearn to learn

Published 9:10 am Monday, August 6, 2012

Yearn to Learn instructor Linda Williams helps Isja Cracraft with her reading skills. (contributed)

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

When 9-year-old Linda Lyles ran errands for her elementary school teacher, she noticed some children didn’t have opportunities others did. That was in the 50s in Hartsville, S.C.. Today, she’s Linda Williams, a retired special education teacher who now tutors students needing remediation.

“When I saw some children separated from others it bothered me,” Williams said. “I went home and told my mother I wanted to change that.”

Williams attended Columbia College in South Carolina. She graduated in May 1970 with a degree in special education and married her high school sweetheart, David, in June. Her first teaching position was preparing children to enter public school at Epworth Children’s Home in Columbia. A year later, she taught special education in Richland County.

In August 1974, David accepted a position with Ray Taylor & Associates in Birmingham. Williams found a second grade teaching position at Vestavia Hills Episcopal School, but resigned four months later due to pregnancy complications. It wasn’t until their children, Christopher and Caroline, were in college that she returned to education.

“We lived in Florence in 1997 and I decided to enroll in the graduate program at UNA,” she said. “I worked at their lab school, Kilby Laboratory, to pay for my tuition, then worked in several schools after receiving my masters. I worked for A Plus Education tutoring service in Phenix City when David relocated there.”

The Williams moved to Timberline in May 2011 to be near their children. When Williams helped a neighbor’s son with school work, it spurred her to follow a dream.

“I’ve always wanted my own tutoring service,” she said. “I talked to some of the principals in our area and Gail Blankenship, with the Calera chamber, encouraged me to do it. I named the business Yearn to Learn and am now accepting students.”

Williams works with students’ strengths to improve their educational weaknesses. Areas of focus are: Math reasoning and computation, reading and decoding with comprehension skills, literacy with language/English and writing composition and handwriting content study skills that includes text or subject such as history and science.

Call Williams at 668-0100 for session scheduling.


Mollie Brown can be reached at