Real PeopleReal People

William Librera
William Librera
Education: East Paterson High School, University of Vermont
HomeTown: Paterson
Occupation: Executive Director, Institute for Improving Student Achievement, Rutgers University

William Librera

"I enjoyed all the jobs I had in my youth. I had a job working in construction for one of the most unusual people I ever met, the owner of a small company from whom I learned so much about how you work is your signature and you can't ever compromise quality. I was purely an unskilled laborer. It was wonderful to watch the highly skilled laborers do their jobs."

"I knew I would eventually be a teacher because of the amount of time I watched my father, who was a great teacher. After I saw how much he enjoyed what he was doing and how much people connected to him, and how interesting and stimulating it was, nothing else could come close in terms of what I would do with my life."

"Whatever you do, do it well. There is dignity in all work. Look carefully at people who are excellent at whatever they do and model their commitment to their work and to their ever-present desire to get better at what they're doing. Look around and think about what you could see yourself doing enthusiastically and doing well. Then know that because the world now changes so rapidly, it's likely that you will change careers a couple of times. The one ingredient running across all those changes is that you need to be an educated person capable of further education. You must be ever the learner, ever curious, ever seeking new and better ideas and ways of thinking about and doing things."