(Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series on former White Castle mayor Gerald “Jermarr” Williams, who decided not to run for reelection last year and stepped aside from the office. John Morris III was elected in 2018 and began serving Jan. 1.)

Gerald “Jermarr” Williams was the valedictorian of his class when he graduated from White Castle High School in his hometown and said he “was the president of almost all of the clubs in school.”

He earned a master’s degree in public administration and started his professional career as a teacher. It didn’t take long, though, before the young Williams decided politics was a good fit for him.

Williams served one term on the town council before deciding he would run for mayor in 2014. When he won, he became the youngest mayor in the state of Louisiana at the age of 30.

The White Castle native—the son of Margaret Oliver Williams and Gerald Williams—Williams feels good about his accomplishments while serving on the council and as mayor.

“I did everything I possibly could to make White Castle a better place,” he said.

Now out of politics—at least for the time being—Williams said he’s not sure what the future holds for him.

“I don’t know what’s next,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s education or more in the political arena. I Just don’t know what it’s going to be.”

Williams is confident that whatever his next career move is, he’ll be successful. In addition to the master’s degree he has in public administration, he also has a master’s degree in business administration.

“So the sky is the limit,” he said. “At least, some people have said the sky is the limit, but I think the sky is just in the way for me.”

The toughest question for Williams to answer seems to have been what accomplishment of the many he did while he was mayor made him the proudest.

“That’s a hard question to answer, but I’ll give you two because I can’t just narrow it to just one,” he said.

Those two things are “the things we did to improve the lives of children in White Castle and the lighting project,” Williams said. “White Castle was in the dark before the lighting project.”

His popularity with the people of White Castle was obvious in the Farewell Gala held two weeks ago. At least 500 people were in attendance to show their appreciation for their former mayor.