Interviewer George Markert decided to ask Mr. Hornet nominee Iyan Smith Williams a few questions about what it feels like to be nominated as well as how this has affected him as a person. He also answered questions concerning his future and how he wants to give back to the school.
George Markert: Why is being nominated Mr. Hornet important to you?
Iyan Smith Williams: Since I was little, I had always wanted to go to Booker T. It’s like there was no other option. So when I got that acceptance letter, it meant the world to me. To be able to represent this school means a lot to me: to be able to be Mr. Hornet and an embodiment of Booker T.
G: So what are your plans after you leave Booker T?
I: I want to go into education, probably math or Spanish, and I’ve always had this little dream that I’d want to come back and teach at Booker T. A lot of people have told me not to because of the state of teaching in Oklahoma, but I might just go against what they say and do it anyways.
G: How has Booker T. helped you grow as a person?
I: When I was little, my primary reason for coming to Booker T. was that I knew there were a lot of academic opportunities, like AP and IB. But, I feel that, through the people I’ve met at Booker T. and through relationships I’ve had with students and teachers, I’ve really come to know my own leadership skills and to be able to work better with others. I’ve learned to recognize their strengths and my weaknesses.
G: What is your favorite part of the Booker T. community?
I: For me, I would say it’s how inclusive the Booker T. community is. As a magnet school we have a very diverse community racially, ethnically, religiously, and with sexual orientation. But, it seems like everybody finds a spot here and that nobody feels ostracized; everybody is included.
G: What is your favorite subject in school?
I: I love Spanish. I’ve always loved Spanish and it’s probably what I want to teach.
G: What do you like to do in your free time?
I: When I’m not doing homework or with a club or organization, I usually spend time with my family. We like to cook a lot in the kitchen, so a lot of my happiest memories outside of school are with my family in the kitchen.
G: What is one goal you’d like to achieve in the future?
I: Coming to Booker T, I’ve always felt really included and felt like this was my second home. As a teacher, I’d love to be at Booker T, I’d have the goal of making somebody else or other students feel included or at home.
G: What is one way you’d like to give back to the school?
I: As an alumnus, I’d love to help out with things like Homecoming, but I would also like to come back and teach and be a part of the faculty.
G: Do you have any advice you would give to lowerclassmen?
I: The trite old advice of “It passes by.” My time at Booker T. has really passed by. It’s important to get involved early on and to not take for granted all of the time that you spend with people at Booker T. It sounds like a really big cliche, but it’s said a lot for a reason.
G: Do you want to give a fun fact about yourself?
I: Something a lot of people don’t know about me is that my mom’s family is Brazilian. [Iyan later notified me that a much more fun fact is that he wrote a 10-minute speech on bread.]
G: Well, thank you for contributing to this effort.
I: Thank you for interviewing me, farewell.