We have such a great story on the WIDA blog today! It’s our first Senior to Senior Spotlight! We are recognizing Pottawattamie County high school seniors and senior citizens! Today’s set just happens to be related!
Meet Taten Earl Williams and Earl Edward Williams.
Taten Earl Williams
Riverside High School Class of 2020
Parents: Todd and Shelly Williams
Yes, Taten was named after his grandpa! He proclaimed the best advice he’s ever gotten was from that very same grandpa who told him, “Good Way to live is to Work Hard and Play Hard.” And just like his grandpa, there’s agriculture in his future! Taten plans to major in Agriculture Studies and minor in Business as he plans to be a seed salesman. Someday, he hopes he gets to see the Pyramids in Egypt, too. What legacy does he want to leave behind someday? Well, he said he wants them to remember him as “just a good guy that was truly humble and worked hard to make others better themselves.”
Funny part is that Taten has very little to be humble about! His high school career includes a varsity letter for Football, Basketball, Soccer, and Golf all four years! His list of awards is second to none: All District 1st Team Defensive Linemen, All District 2nd Team Offensive Linemen, FFA Academic Achievement Award, Riverside FFA Member of the Year Award, Western Iowa Conference Academic Award, Riverside Boys Basketball Best Teammate Award, Riverside FFA Vice President, FFA Chapter Leadership Award, Western Iowa Conference Honorable Mention Award for Soccer, State FFA Bronze Medal for Experience the Action, Chapter FFA Degree, All District Honorable Mention, All District Academic Team Football, All District Academic Team Basketball, State FFA Degree, and District Golf Team. However, his highlights from high school were ending the TC-losing-streak in football at TC and his once-in-a-lifetime trip to China with 3 fellow FFA’ers and his Ag Instructor, Tyler Johannsen.
Other favorites he mentioned:
Favorite teacher: Mrs. Jennifer Elliott (Kindergarten)
Favorite Drive-thru food: Snickers Blizzard from DQ
Favorite Ear Bud Sounds: Garth Brooks or Mr. Johannsen’s Workout Playlist
Taten has plenty ahead of him, so he wanted to share a little advice: “If you're upset that you haven’t figured out what you want to do in life, it's fine, in fact, it's great. Go out and try anything that you want or think you will like. If it works out, then it works out, if not, keep moving forward. Don’t let others' decisions make you feel forced on what you need to do with your life. Be you….”
We agree, Taten – Be you. It seems to be working!
Earl Edward Williams
Oakland High School Class of 1948
Home: Hancock, Iowa
Earl has quite the personality, as well. He says if he could go back and do it all over again, he’d play football! He misses the days of left end on defense and right end on offense. He also fondly remembers walking to country school every day. He says the most impressive advancement he’s seen in his lifetime is that in farm machinery. Hard to believe you can run a combine via your phone nowadays. Of course, these days he enjoys spending his time telling his grandkids what to do and painting instead. You might also find him listening to “When the Saints Go Marching In” by Bruce Springsteen.
Earl’s a big believer in keeping busy and helping others out. That’s his advice to the younger generation – “Stay busy and work hard. Keep your mind occupied. Try to think about what you want to accomplish in life and go out and do it!” Earl, himself, has done plenty from farming, insurance, real estate, and his love – painting! What a role model for his grandson!
Earl and Taten – we are honored to have both of you be our first Senior to Senior interview! Thanks for making Pottawattamie proud!