Willia Wooten, Ed.D.

Position on Board: Secretary

Counties represented: Houston

Willia Wooten, Ed.D., retired school administrator, represents Houston County. Mrs. Wooten is a local, she was born and raised in Houston County and went to elementary school in a two-room school house. She graduated from Williams High School in Crocket and graduated from Prairie View A&M. She taught for many years, mostly in Crockett, and was also a school principal. She retired in 1998 and now lives on a farm in Lovelady with her husband, Burtis Wooten.

Serving on Burke’s Board isn’t the only way Wooten gives back to her community. She also works with the youth Bible study and outreach ministry at her church and provides tutoring and mentoring to improve social skills among low-income children.

How did you first get involved with Burke?

The Houston County Judge knew I worked with special education students and helped parents access services, so he asked me to serve and be the Houston County representative.

What was your first impression of Burke?

I was really impressed by the organization’s professionalism. Its structure and system was designed very thoughtfully to provide quality service to as many people as possible. Burke is also very good at communicating how to access services.

What do you wish other people knew about Burke?

I wish they knew and understood our services better. We always want more people to know about how we can help them or their families. As a board member, I want community leaders and members of other boards to understand the critical role Burke plays in our community.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I am a homebody. I’m not flashy and am just fine spending time on the farm with my husband. I like to reach out to people and enjoy spending time working with young people. I also like to help people get jobs.

What do you think will change about Burke (or the MH/IDD service realm) over the next five years?

I think technology will have a remarkable impact on Burke’s services. It will offer us new ways to serve people and will expand our reach, make it easier to receive benefits and reduce costs.

How would someone describe you?

I’m a helper. I want to make my community better, and I’m willing to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty.

 What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?

When I am not volunteering, I like to sing gospel music at my church. I like to relax on the farm – we have cattle and a few horses that keep us busy.

I’m also working on documenting our family history. Since I have retired, I look at things differently. I think more about prioritizing my time, staying healthy and not complaining.