Meet Principal Williams!

Principal John Williams, Apex High’s new leader for the 2018-2019 school year, has had an accomplished career working in the Wake County Public Schools system. Read ahead to learn a little more about Principal Williams.

Q: What did you do before coming to Apex?

After getting my degree in English at NC State, I immediately began teaching that subject before I became an assistant principal and principal at the school where I graduated from, Garner Senior High School. I stayed there for about eleven or twelve years. After that we went and opened Middle Creek High School in 2002, where I stayed for about a decade again. I ended my official career at the Central Services Department for the school system in a role called the Senior Director for High School Programs. After I retired, my mind got idle, and someone told me that Apex High School was looking for a principal. I knew I couldn’t turn that down, and I am happy to be here.

Q: Why did you become a principal?

I became a principal because I love to teach. To me, a principal’s job is to be the very first teacher of the largest classroom in the school, so I think that whatever I do, whether it’s working with teachers or working with young people, it’s always about teaching.

Q: What’s your favorite movie? Book?

My favorite movie is one called Citizen Kane; it’s a movie that broke many established traditions for filmmaking. I’m a big movie buff, so I find its innovative techniques very interesting. My favorite book is 1984 by George Orwell because it always seems to work for the time and warns everybody about the abuse of political power.

Q: What are your thoughts about Apex so far?

Apex is an awesome school. I’ve been very impressed with the students as they are very focused and very talented. The lightness and cooperation, or, in other words meeting “The Cougar Code”, that you’ve heard me say before, has been great. The teachers are very dedicated and hard-working in many ways. Apex High School is traditional School that brings in a lot of good traditions from the past. I’m also very impressed with the many parents who have been very supportive of the work we’re doing here.

Q: What are your hobbies?

Reading and watching movies. Period.

Q: What were you like as a student?

I was a good student who did what I needed to do to get prepared for college. I also was very engaged with whatever a programs I could into, whether it be student government or other clubs that I can’t even remember all the names. I was involved with the choir, tried a bit of theater, and even tried a little bit of football but I was never good at any of them, but at least I tried.

Q: If you weren’t a principal, what would you be doing?

Farming. For me, one of the greatest global challenges right now is finding fresh and sustainable food sources for the large number of people around the globe, and I would think that I’d like to work in something like organic farming, making sure we had fresh and fertile food supplies for the world.

Q: What was your most memorable moment as a principal?

There’s only one answer to that, and it happens every year. It’s not one moment, but the many moments that go into the graduation ceremony. There is nothing like watching thirteen and fourteen-year-old people make it all the way to seventeen and eighteen, and then level up, graduate, and go on to something else.


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