Westhampton Beach Teacher Named NY VFW Teacher of Year 2023

For his unwavering patriotism and dedication to the goals of the VFW, Westhampton Beach High School social studies teacher Korey Williams has been named the 2023 VFW New York State Teacher of the Year.

This is the second time Williams has earned the honor. He was previously named in 2018.

Williams earned the award after receiving a nomination from local VFW Post 5350, the Dayton-Soehike-Ohlhorst Post at 101 Old Riverhead Road in Westhampton Beach.

He is known for supporting the post’s annual Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy student essay contests, as well as inviting post members to tell their stories to students every November — the month of Veterans Day and, officially, National Veterans and Military Families Month.

According to an announcement about the award, Williams, who has been teaching in the Westhampton Beach School District for the past 28 years, said he is honored by the recognition.

In addition to teaching, Williams coaches the Westhampton Beach junior varsity boys and girls tennis teams. He is a Navy veteran, a 24-year member of VFW Post 5350, a retired 25-year member of the Westhampton Beach Fire Department, and he sits as president of the trustees at the Westhampton Beach Presbyterian Church.

With the state recognition, Williams is now in the running to become the national VFW Teacher of the Year.

Awarded annually, the VFW selects one teacher among state winners from the elementary (K–5), middle (6–8) and high school (9–12) levels to receive a $1,000 award for professional development, and $1,000 for their school.

The annual Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award contest was established in 1999 and named after former VFW National Commander John Smart and retired VFW Quartermaster General Larry Maher. It recognizes the country’s top teachers for their exceptional commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students by promoting civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism in the classroom.

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