Howard Williamson was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted Sept. 21 into the Hall of Fame of the Ritenour School District in suburban St. Louis. He was hired in 1963 as a high school guidance counselor and a year later was named director of the guidance department for the school, then the largest three-year high school in Missouri.
Recognizing that a significant number of junior high students dropped out before reaching high school, Williamson was part of a committee that designed and established the first school in the United States to offer pre-vocational education to younger students who showed a probability of becoming dropouts. The program began in 1971, and Williamson served as assistant principal and counselor at the school from 1985 to 1987. Until his retirement in 1997, Williamson worked with all phases of the school district’s adult and community education programs, including the GED program that leads to a high school equivalency certificate.
He was elected president of both the St. Louis Suburban and Missouri Guidance associations. He was named St. Louis Suburban Counselor of the Year and Missouri Counselor of the Year and, in 1987, was Missouri’s nominee for National Counselor of the Year.
Williamson and his wife, Patty, have been spring/summer/fall residents on Kangaroo Lake since 1992. He enjoys subbing at Gibraltar School, heads the church council at Zion United Methodist Church, is an honorary member of the Door County North Rotary Club and volunteers at Northern Sky Theater and Door Shakespeare.