ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS
David VitoThe sign on the classroom wall read “I Love Biology,” but it was more than just a decoration or a gimmick. “I Love Biology” was Mr. Vito’s personal philosophy and a sentiment that pervaded every lesson he taught from Science to Science Fair. By the end of the course, the majority of his students would agree—“I Love Biology” too. North Attleboro High School has seen few teachers more passionate about their subject than David Vito.
Excellence in Education
After two years at the Junior High, Mr. Vito joined the High School faculty in 1977. He quickly became a protégé of veteran science teacher Clint Johnson, who impressed David as “a hard working, ‘old school’ teacher who loved people and loved education.” It was Mr. Johnson who taught David “to work hard, do your job and don’t take any days out.” Mr. Vito practiced this philosophy seven periods a day, five days a week as he taught Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Health and Research in Science.
In 1986, Mr. Vito expanded his influence on the study of Science at NAHS by establishing a Science Fair program that would allow motivated students to conduct original research and compete against science students across the state. The program became instantly popular and immensely successful, and today is the model Science Fair program in Massachusetts. Under Mr. Vito’s direction, NAHS won the Bristol County Regional Science Fair for 14 consecutive years. In addition, over a 17-year span, Mr. Vito’s program sent 19 students to the International Science and Engineering Fair, and in 2004 NAHS students posted the three highest scoring projects in the competition. Most schools in the country are lucky to send one student to this prestigious competition in this time frame.
Mr. Vito’s Science Fair career achieved the pinnacle of its success with this class of 2004, as senior Mason Hedberg was named the top science student in the United States. At the Intel Awards Ceremony held in Washington D.C., Hedberg acknowledged that his success would not have been possible without the deep compassion, dedication and support he received from Mr. Vito. Upon David Vito’s retirement in 2006, the NAHS Science Fair was renamed the David Vito Science Fair.
David Vito clearly took Clint Johnson’s advice to heart and became “a hard working, ‘old school’ teacher who loved people and loved education,” just like his mentor. David’s commitment to teaching fostered a love for Science among his students and enhanced the academic reputation of our entire school.
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