Connie Williams (on right) and guest speaker, author Reyna Grande

Petaluma High School’s librarian Connie Williams spent a portion of her summer in a select team of educators invited to participate in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute in Washington, D.C.

The five-day program had teachers working on effective practices using primary sources in the classroom while also exploring digitized historical artifacts and documents available on the Library’s website ( Teaching with primary resources is a powerful way to help students engage, ask probing questions adn develop critical thinking skills, organizers said.

Petaluma High Principal David Stirrat called Williams a “school change agent” and said her work is “remarkable.”

“She is a critical connector to Common Core standards and the need to rely on primary resources for authentic research,” he said in an email.