Thursday, October 19, 2017

John Williams - CHCCS Principal of the Year

Phoenix Academy High School Principal John Williams was named the 2017-2018 Principal of the Year by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.  The announcement was made today by Superintendent Pam Baldwin in the presence of students and staff.

Williams was selected for the honor by his peers for the numerous accomplishments he has made during his tenure at Phoenix.  He will go on to represent CHCCS at the state level.

“John Williams is a hero at his school, in our community, and, most importantly, in the lives of his students,” said Superintendent Pam Baldwin. “John is the principal who comes to work early on Monday mornings and picks up trash in the parking lot because he believes his students deserve a clean campus. His students tell stories of him showing up at their homes to take them to school on days when they decided not to attend. He laughs with them, he cries with them, and he is always there for them. John is a very worthy choice for Principal of the Year.”

Williams has been the principal of Phoenix since 2012.  Previously, he served as a principal and assistant principal with Durham Public Schools.  He began his teaching career in Greene County. Prior to his work as an educator, Williams served in the United States Air Force for 20 years. He retired as a Senior Master Sergeant. Upon retiring from the Air Force, Williams operated a private mental health counseling practice.

While his background is not the traditional path for a high school principal, Williams emphasizes the role his distinct experience has played in preparing him for his current position.

“My own high school experience was not positive, and returning to work in a school was never something that crossed my mind,” said Williams. “However, I realized that my background in both the military and in the mental health field provided a unique set of life experiences that could work for the benefit of young people. I’m so very thankful for the opportunity to genuinely help students every day.”

Williams holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, and master's degrees from Troy State University and East Carolina University.