To the editor:
I am writing about the articles and opinion pieces that have run in the Alexandria Times about changing the name of T.C. Williams High School. A number of different names have been proposed, but I am surprised that no one has suggested naming the school after John Porter – better known to many as “Mr. Porter.”
Porter was the school’s principal for 22 years, from 1984 to 2006, the longest-tenured principal since T.C. became the sole senior high school in Alexandria in 1971. Porter is an Alexandria Living Legend (https://alexandrialegends.org/johnporter/) who gave 40 years to our school system and the children in it.
I personally interacted with him two or three times briefly in the hallways, the last being the year after he retired from being principal of T.C. I remember leaving those interactions astounded. Each time he knew my name without introduction and would ask me how I was, along with a few questions about art and art class.
I never understood how he knew my name or interests, but it made me realize how much he cared about each of the students walking those hallways.
I would find it interesting to see an article or something that puts his name out there as a possible replacement to that of T.C. Williams on the school. Although I can’t speak for all Alexandrians, I am sure many former students and parents are familiar with him and his time as principal at T.C.
I believe renaming T.C. Williams High School as the John Porter High School would be a great way to honor him and his service to this city.
-Andrew Williams, Alexandria