Letter: Support for John Avoli in 20th House District race

john avoliI was excited when I saw the sign in a front yard that John Avoli was running for the 20th District State Delegate. As a career educator, I am writing this letter to try to put the word out about some of my observations during my 16 years of teaching at Valley Vocational Technical Center under his leadership.

During his time as VVTC Director, John Avoli made sure all students and staff felt a part of the school. He gave us a feeling of security and caring from the top. Mr. Avoli knew all my students and classroom assistants by name, and he made it a point to come by on a daily basis to ‘hang out’ with us just for fun! He knew firsthand what was going on in my classroom and I appreciated that. Examples of this were the times he came to my classroom and took students for walks around the compound just for personal time with them. Now, this may not seem like such a big deal, but I was the teacher of students with quite severe physical, cognitive, and behavior challenges. I often told Mr. Avoli if he ever left as principal at VVTC I would be right behind him.

Being an intelligent man, he also possesses ‘common sense’ so when issues arose that he needed to address, he knew what needed to be done and acted with good judgment, kindness, and support. The staff at VVTC knew he valued our opinions and he treated me and everyone in our school with respect.

During my nearly 30 years of teaching, I have worked for dozens of administrators. I have enjoyed all of the schools I have had the opportunity to be a part of and have enjoyed the administrators with which I worked. I had, however, no better administrator than John Avoli. I feel blessed to have spent my early years teaching and learning under his guidance.

Just this week Mr. Avoli visited with the director of The Arc of Augusta to discuss the needs of our citizens with special needs. All citizens of Virginia’s 20th district will be well represented in Richmond if John Avoli is elected Representative.

Tammy Johnston is a retired Augusta County teacher and vice president of The Arc of Augusta board of directors.

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