ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS
Charlie AyotteThe stars must have been aligned in perfect symmetry in 1967 when Charlie Ayotte, fresh out of Providence College with a BA in Languages, was assigned to student teach at North Attleboro High School. Thirty-five years later, Charlie retired as a teacher, coach, advisor, mentor and friend, roles he played humbly and professionally throughout his career.
Excellence in Education
Mr. Ayotte was originally hired to teach German, but he also taught French and English. One of his first NAHS students was current veteran English teacher Elaine Bedard, who was a student in Charlie’s first homeroom. Five years later, Miss Bedard joined the High School faculty and became Charlie’s valued colleague for over thirty years. Consequently, Charlie refers to Elaine as his “alpha and omega”.
In the classroom, Mr. Ayotte challenged his students with high expectations supported by excellent teaching and a little bit of fun. What he asked for in return was a positive attitude and honest effort. Throughout the years, Charlie made a lot of good friends with students in and outside of the classroom because students knew he cared about them as people. In 1995 and again in 1998, Charlie and Rus Benson chaperoned 17-20 students on summer trips to Paris, France, further establishing his reputation as a teacher interested in the total education of his students.
Coach Ayotte brought his high expectations, excellent teaching skills and desire for a little bit of fun to the Athletic Department as well. From 1972 through 1986, Charlie influenced several hundred athletes while coaching Cross Country, Indoor and Spring Track. Coach Ayotte was always willing to stay late for some extra one-on-one training if an athlete asked, and he generously helped young coaches plan practices and master techniques.
Charlie Ayotte credits former principal Wilson Whitty and assistant principal Ken Pickering with establishing a tone of high expectations that filtered from their offices through the faculty to the students. For thirty-five years Charlie met these high expectations seven periods a day, but he remains humble and refuses to bask in his accomplishments. Instead, he says, “I’m a simple guy; I came to work every day, had some fun and made some friends along the way.” From this we could create a wonderful lesson on “understatement.” Tonight, we congratulate Charlie Ayotte on his tremendous contribution to NAHS and recognize him with the North Attleboro Alumni Association Excellence in Education Award.
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