Doug Williams joined our School in 2005 as a member of our Junior High teaching team. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and a Montessori teaching credential in Secondary I (12 to 15 years old). Prior to joining GMS, he worked as a full-time mathematics tutor.
Doug partners with Emily Daniels (humanities faculty) and Tim Goetz (science faculty) in our Junior High program guiding students in seventh, eighth, and ninth grades. In addition to teaching mathematics, he guides the financial and eCommerce functions of the Junior High microeconomy.
GMS: How did you learn about Greensboro Montessori School?
DW: I tutored a student whose sister was in eighth grade at GMS. The student's mother informed me that the school was looking for a math teacher. I met with Frank Brainard (former head of school) and the Junior High crew at the time, and came in for a formal interview. The rest is history.
GMS: We appreciate that mother! Word of mouth is our best source of referrals for new faculty and new students. After you visited, what was it about Montessori education that made you choose to work here?
DW: The Montessori philosophy aligns with my belief that education should be student centered. I am also inspired by teachers as guides and the prepared environment. To quote Betsy Coe, "If your instruction is more than seven minutes, you are doing the work for them!"
GMS: It's no surprise that the child-centered approach is what speaks to you ... it's shared core value for most Montessorians. You've been working with adolescent students since your first day at GMS. What excites you most about our seventh, eighth, and ninth graders?
DW: The sassy kids. Middle school ("Junior High" at GMS) is a great age to work with. Kids are learning what it means to be an adult, yet they are still kids.
GMS: What do you enjoy sharing most with your students?
SS: I enjoy giving them independence and letting them learn from the prepared environment and their peers.
GMS: It's time to get personal. Where did you grow up, and do you mind sharing a favorite memory from childhood?
DW: I grew up in Halifax County, NC in a very small town called Scotland Neck, close to Rocky Mount, NC. My mom has six brothers and five sisters. I enjoyed visiting them as a child. There was always some place to go.
GMS: We know your mom means a lot to you. Is there anything you want to share about her?
DW: My mom is the epitome of sacrifice, selflessness, and love. She was the primary care giver for my grandmother for almost 20 years.
GMS: The apple doesn't fall from the tree. You embody the same qualities; we can't recall a time you've said "no" to any request, job, or favor here on campus. Thank you for your servant leadership. Outside of everything you do for GMS, what do you enjoy doing for yourself?
DW: I hit the gym six days a week. I bowl once a week.
GMS: If your craving a post-workout snack, what do you reach for, salty or sweet?
DW: Both! Kettle corn is my favorite snack.
GMS: What is something you don’t get to do often but it still feeds your soul?
DW: Read books by Orson Scott Card.
GMS: What have we forgotten to ask about, and what would you like to share?
DW: In 2022 I became the resident caretaker at the retreat center (the house) at The Land. The retreat center is a bunk house with four wings. One of those wings is my apartment, with the other three wings featuring bunk rooms for students. In addition to living there, I spend about 10 hours a week caring for the inside of the house and the property immediately surrounding the house. I absolutely love it!