Where Are They Now: CATA grad Darius Williams brings love of musical theater to HSA at Monroe Middle
Six years ago, Darius Williams found his love and passion for performing arts as a high school student at the Central Academy of Technology and Arts (CATA). That passion only grew during his time at Western Carolina University and in subsequent years of teaching performing arts throughout the state.
But it wasn’t until Darius made the decision to return to his hometown to teach musical theater at Health Sciences Academy at Monroe Middle that he truly found his purpose.
Check out what this first-year teacher said about his own time at CATA, how it prepared him for the future and why he’s so excited to join #TeamUCPS:
On his time at CATA: Going to CATA was the best decision that I've ever made. You really develop great relationships with your classmates, and everyone is really passionate about why they’re at CATA. Being in that environment makes you want to do better, grow and learn everything you can -- not just for yourself but for the people next to you. I learned so much from the moment that I got there. Once you leave CATA, you’ll know whether this field is what you want to pursue. I can honestly say that I truly found my love for theater at CATA.
On why he wants to teach: I’ve been a theater instructor for quite some time now, and I really have found that I love working with children. I’m such a big advocate for youth, and it’s so important to bring art and culture into schools. A lot of students in middle school may not know this is something they could do or that this is something they could be passionate about. I want to be an inspiration, mentor and guide for students.
On what he’s looking forward to the most this school year: I’m really excited to start molding and shaping a musical theater program at the Health Sciences Academy at Monroe Middle. I know there are children who have so much talent in them, and I’m excited to see what these kids can do. I look forward to giving these students a safe space to create and explore.
On what he hopes students take away from his class: I want them to learn how to accept each other’s differences because differences are what make each of us unique. I also want them to know that if there is something they want in life, they have to persevere and not stop until they reach that goal. I want them to know how to create, explore, try and fail – and I say fail because life is not always about successes. You’re not always going to hear a yes or get what you want in life, but I want them to know how to bounce back and not let failure define them. Whether you want to go into theater, be a doctor or be a lawyer, you have to know how to persevere and work hard.
On finding his purpose: I’ve always heard, “You have a purpose in this world.” Now, I really feel like I’m coming into my purpose. This is something that I’m truly passionate and super excited about. I can’t get wait to work with these amazing children – because they really are amazing – and I can’t wait to tell them they can achieve anything they put their mind to.