Luthern Williams, Developing Student Voices Before Their College Aspirations

The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices. Listen to gain their insights and apply them to your own college and career readiness practices.



In this episode, we speak with Luthern Williams, Head of School at New Roads School. Luthern talks about some important considerations to keep in mind when trying to remain student-centered. By emphasizing the importance of self-reflection, New Roads encourages its students to have a sense of wonder and the freedom to make choices in their education. By beginning this journey of giving its students passion projects starting in Kindergarten, New Roads is positioning its students from a very early age to learn over time how to use their voices for good.



About Luthern Williams


Luthern Williams is the Head of School at New Roads School in Santa Monica, California. He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an Ed.M. in School Leadership from Harvard University. Previously, Luthern was the Assistant Head of School for Program and Middle School Director at New Roads School. Luthern has over twenty years of experience as an administrator and English teacher in independent schools in New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles. He served as the Director of College Preparation and College Admissions at College Launch, an educational consulting company; the Director of Studies at the Oakwood School in North Hollywood, California; and the Upper School Director at Beaver Country Day School in Boston, Massachusetts; and the Director of Diversity at the Winsor School in Boston, Massachusetts.


He has done presentations and workshops throughout the country, consulted nationally on education, and created professional development processes in many independent schools. Luthern has contributed to the development of one of the premier teacher induction programs for independent school teachers. In addition, Luthern has trained teachers to devise strategies and assessments for students with various learning styles as well as culturally sensitive teaching methods and curricula.



About New Roads School


New Roads School provides an inspired college preparatory program from which an authentically diverse student population, mirroring the rich diversity of Los Angeles, develops a personal dedication to learning, a respect for independent thinking, and an expanding curiosity about the world and its people. The schools believes that education must not be a race for the accumulation of facts, but a joint venture among students, parents, and teachers to develop habits of mind, habits of character, an ever expanding awareness of the human situation, and the tools needed for social, political and moral participation as well as personal fulfillment. To be truly supportive of young people, teachers and parents must themselves continue to learn so that they may perceive the young accurately and treat them wisely.


New Roads is Committed to:

  • the liberation of each student’s curiosity and the development of each student’s full human potential

  • academic excellence

  • excellence in the arts and in athletics

  • the development of a student population of social, economic, ethnic and racial diversity

  • behaving responsibly and honorably as individuals and as an institution, and serving the larger ecological and social community

  • helping students develop a portable set of skills that can be translated and applied across a variety of contexts

New Roads Considers Certain Skills to be Essential for All Graduates:

  • to read well and write clearly

  • to express oneself effectively

  • to reason and to question thoughtfully, soundly, critically, and ethically

  • to approach and solve problems creatively as an individual and as a member of a team

  • to evaluate and synthesize information in order to advance understanding and innovate responsibly

  • to study with purpose and perseverance

  • to demonstrate the flexibility and nimbleness of mind to respond to the demands of a rapidly evolving world

  • to develop respect for the humanity and ecology of the earth and the sensitivity to appreciate life’s deep joys and mysteries.

  • to listen and understand empathetically

Mindful of the ever-changing world, New Road School acknowledges a continuing need to evaluate these essential skills.



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