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NLMUSD Mourns Loss of ‘Teacher of the Year’ Rob Williams


By Randy Economy


Rob Williams, one of the most beloved and well respected teachers in the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District is being remembered as a “teacher who lived a life full of lessons.”

The 50 year old educator and teacher at Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Norwalk died on March 21st after a very brief illness, and his passing has left a huge hole in the hearts of teachers, administrators and for the thousands of children he instructed during his tenure with the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District.

Williams was the musical director and an ubber-popular instructor at Chavez Elementary School in Norwalk  and according to his long time friend and Principal Bob Rayburn his sudden passing “has left a huge hole in all of our hearts.”

Williams was a “homegrown” product who lived in La Mirada and attended Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District campuses as a child.  He was a graduate of La Mirada High School in 1980 and was married to the Kathy Williams, whom he called the “love of his life.”  He was also an accomplished professional musician and played in several symphonies.

Williams was one of the “best of the best” teachers in all of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District according to his many colleagues.

He was recognized as the district’s official “Teacher of the Year” in 2010-11.

“Rob’s passing has hit all of us hard, “Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Ruth Perez told Los Cerritos Community Newspaper last week.

“He was the best of the best and dedicated his life to our children and to this community,” Perez said.

The school district placed the information about the death of Williams on the school district’s website.  “When a loved one dies, it can be difficult to know how to help your child cope with his or her loss,” a statement read.

Students were sent home information to help “deal with grief.”

“Rob was bigger than life,” Williams said.

When asked about a memorial service or funeral plans, Williams said that “Rob didn’t want a formal funeral where everyone would be sad.”

“He was full of life and wanted to be remembered that way.”

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