Wild Card winners at Williams Intermediate School

Sixth-grade language arts teachers Amy Smartt and Wes Brooks transformed their classrooms into coffee shops to teach poetry. The teachers made hot chocolate and coffee for students and had pastries for them to enjoy during the lesson.


PELL CITY -- Williams Intermediate School teachers won Hope and Wade King’s National Wild Card Challenge.

Hope and Wade King are instructors at The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, where teachers have received professional development.

“Most of our teachers have been to the Ron Clark Academy,” said Holly Costello, Williams principal.

She said teachers at Williams decided to participate in the National Wild Card Challenge after completing a study of the Kings’ book, “The Wild Card,” last summer.  

Costello said Williams teachers went through the 21-day challenge by completing daily tasks during January.

Costello said the tasks included writing positive notes to students and/or faculty members; playing games with students at recess; or doing something unexpected for fellow teachers or students.

She said the tasks varied from day-to-day, but the focus was becoming a “Wild Card,” which provides knowledge and confidence with bringing creative teaching strategies into the classroom and/or inspiring students, so students want to learn.

Some teachers transformed their classrooms into coffee shops or a boot camp, motivating and sparking student interests with learning topics.

Costello said as part of the challenge, teachers submitted videos about why Williams Intermediate School should be a Wild Card.

“There were thousands of videos submitted,” Costello said.

She said more than 15 Williams teachers submitted videos.

For winning the competition, Costello said, Williams teachers will receive two full days of professional development, as well as a teachers’ lounge makeover.

“We don’t have a teachers’ lounge,” Costello said. “We have a teachers’ room.”

Costello doesn’t know what the teachers’ room makeover will entail.

She said Williams teachers will receive their two days of professional development and the teachers’ room makeover during the summer months.