Substitute teacher leads fledgling choir to greatness

When Starlic Williams initially came to McGowen Elementary School, he was only supposed to be serving as a substitute teacher for a few days, filling in for a band instructor who was out sick.

“[But] I saw a piano in the corner that wasn’t being used, so I pulled it out and started teaching the kids to sing,” explained Williams. “The principal saw us and asked me to come back for the remainder of the school year and start a choir. I was excited and accepted the challenge.”

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Since then, Williams has been nothing short of inspirational to his choir students. He composed the music and wrote the lyrics for a brand new school song, then took the children on a field trip to a real studio to record it. He also shot a music video on campus on May 16 featuring the students performing (above).

Under Williams’ direction, the fledgling McGowen Honeybees choir even won first place in its division this year at Sutton Elementary School’s annual music competition.

“Our goal this year was to fill the school with positive energy and create a culture of excellence,” said Principal Dana Arreola. “This song and the video helped instill in our scholars the importance of education and of succeeding at every level. They walked through the halls singing almost daily.”

3 thoughts on “Substitute teacher leads fledgling choir to greatness

  1. Cassandra Cooper

    Mr. Williams is an amazing person with an amazing gift. I’m honored to have worked with him at McGowen. I look forward to this coming school year, because I am confident that he will continue to bring out greatness in our scholars.

  2. Rennette Lucien

    Congratulations to my fellow Jones Falcon, Starlic Williams! Very proud of your work that you have done with the choir!!!! Thanks for sharing the journal with us!!!! 🙂

  3. Elaine Gordon

    Fantastic! I am so inspired and motivated to read about your story and to hear the voices of these children through the hallways of McGowen Elementary. It’s one thing to talk about a matter, but to do it, requires courage, GRIT, and determination from this entire school community, and I’m proud of you!
    Mr. Williams, you didn’t sit back and just look to implement the regular routines as an associate teacher, you decided to impact and change the lives of these children, which will have a lasting effect on so many people.
    This choir could be the next voices we hear sing at a presidential inauguration or the Star Spangled Banner during an NBA or NFL game!
    Don’t limit yourselves – God is with you!
    Mrs. G

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