IXL Employee Spotlight: William Smalls

The Basics

Name and title: 

William Smalls, Lead Account Manager

Has been at IXL for:

4 years

Hometown and current city: 

Originally from Bluefield, West Virginia and currently based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. 


Life at IXL

Why did you join IXL? 

Before joining IXL, I worked as a classroom teacher where I had the opportunity to teach IXL’s trainer model. I enjoyed attending sessions and then teaching fellow educators. Presenting has always been my strong suit, and I live for those lightbulb moments when you can see all that knowledge really click for someone. 

My experience in teaching the training model inspired me to make the move into edtech. It was a happy coincidence that IXL was expanding their Raleigh office, and my background working as a sales representative and a brand ambassador (prior to being a teacher) was valuable experience for this position. 

What do you do at IXL? Give us a taste of what a typical workday is like for you.

A typical workday doesn’t exist—that’s an oxymoron, and part of what I love about this job. What does stay consistent is my primary focus in making sure that my team has all the resources they need to succeed. I go above and beyond to make sure that the team and our clients stay up to date on the newest releases, platform updates, pricing quotes, and renewals statuses. Our goal is to remain proactive while widening access to IXL’s personalized learning tools. 

What are the 2-3 skills you use most in your job?

  1. Communication: I’m a big believer in the power of conversation. It doesn’t matter who you’re having a conversation with—it should always be genuine. That’s a principle I lead with when working with customers and my internal team. I want to make sure everyone feels genuinely cared for. 
  2. Leadership: I lead by example. I also encourage people to do things that push the envelope and help them reach their full potential. I don’t have to be the loudest person in the room, but I can be if needed, and I use that skill to empower people to be their best selves. 

Who do you look up to most at IXL and why? 

Terri Coats, our Vice President of Customer Success. The impact of her leadership is immeasurable, and she’s able to manage people in an effortless way, and with such grace. Her wealth of confidence and patience is truly inspiring. 

If you had to describe the ethos of IXL in one sentence, what would it be? 

IXL is personalized learning that makes education better for everyone, which means every team member at IXL is working to reach as many students and teachers as possible. 


Life beyond IXL

What do you like to do in your free time? 

I am a bit of a fitness junkie and a competition nut. I love playing and watching sports, especially basketball, and finding ways to sweat. I also enjoy being around family and friends!

What’s your guilty pleasure? 

Reality TV shows, especially competition shows like Hello, Survivor, and Big Brother. I’ve been watching MTV’s The Challenge for 15 years. Our whole team is pretty invested in reality TV, so it’s fun to relive the latest episode with everyone. 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

Who said I wanted to grow up? I think there were a lot of things I wanted to be. I’ve done most of them: I wanted to be a teacher and coach, to train others, to work in a sales-based role. I’d still love to be a sports announcer as well. Getting paid to debate sports would be cool; I do it for free anyway!  

How would your friends describe you? 

Reliable, humble, patient, driven.