top of page


Ilza B. Williams


Ilza Louise Berry Williams January 10 1915 – October 18, 2002


Ilza Louise Berry Williams, 87, New York City Educator and mother of three boys was born on January 10, 1915 in the Bronx, New York. She grew up in New York and graduated from Hunter College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1935 and  a Master of Arts in Education in 1950. Ilza Williams was a long time resident of the Bronx, Mt. Vernon and New Rochelle, New York before relocating to Oakland, California in December, 1995.


She started her long-time affiliation with the New York City School System as third grade teacher in 1945 at Public School 68 in the Bronx, New York. This was the same school where her mother worked as a teacher’s clerk. She became a remedial reading specialist in 1948 for District 12 in the Bronx. She taught English as a Second language to Spanish-speaking students and tutored children with special learning needs and hearing impairment. She later became an Assistant Principal of Public School 50 and then worked starting in 1960 as Assistant Administrative Director to the New York City Superintendent of Schools. She served under Superintendent Nathan Brown, Chancellor Harold Schribner and Chancellor Irving Anker before retiring from the Board of Education in 1979.


She then started her second career in retirement as Assistant to Robert Schaffner, City Councilman for the City of New Rochelle. She remained very active in her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, and in New York State politics.Ilza Williams received numerous major professional and community award during her lifetime. She was a charter member and Basileus of the local Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Zeta Nu Omega Chapter. She received the Golden Sorority Award for over 50 years of service. She also received the Drum major of the Year award from the local chapter of the NAACP, as well as awards from the Black Women’s Political Caucus of New Rochelle.


According to Ilza Williams, her major accomplishments were raising three sons, tutoring many students and meeting Bishop Desmond Tutu. She loved everyone she encountered and everything she did in life. She loved reading, traveling and her family most of all. 

bottom of page