AVON LAKE — A group of former and current Avon Lake High School students is dead set on helping a substitute teacher achieve full-time employment.
“Students for Schofield” consists of about 80 alumni who graduated in the past year and current students who want to see substitute teacher and assistant cross country coach Robert Schofield promoted to the classroom full time.
Tim Villari, a 2014 graduate who spearheads the initiative, said getting Schofield into the classroom full time is all about applying the principles he learned in school to the real world.
“When I graduated we were told to go out and effect the change we want to see in the world,” he said. “I’m a strong supporter of the schools, and I want to see them bring in the best people.”
Molly McNamara, Avon Lake High School’s current class president, said she has known Schofield since she was in middle school and he was sometimes her substitute teacher.
“Unlike many other subs, he actually enjoys what he does and he makes it fun,” she said. “Students pick up on that, and it helps him to connect with us.”
Villari met with Avon Lake Superintendent Robert Scott on Tuesday to discuss why his group believes Schofield should be hired above other candidates, and to present the district with 130 signatures the group has gathered so far through an online petition in support of their objective.
Scott said the district is looking to fill a high school social studies position, but officials have to consider all applicants and follow proper procedures. He added that Schofield is well-known and well-respected, and he’s impressed with the students’ concern.
“It’s good to see the students taking an active role in something that’s positive,” he said.
Schofield, a 2005 Avon Lake High School graduate, declined to comment about the hiring process. However, he did say he is humbled by the students’ support.
“I’m very grateful and appreciative for their efforts and impressed by what they’ve been able to put together,” he said. “That’s what struck me the most is how well organized they are, how hard they are working and I truly appreciate everything they are trying to do to help out.”
Villari admitted it is unusual to see students rally behind someone they want hired, but he said the effort is about the district and students as a whole.
“Avon Lake students want to take an active role in their education,” he said.