Around Bosco: Bosco Alumnus Mr. Fernando Avila Steps Into New Role As Dean of Students

by Pedro Ochoa

Bosco is a home, a school, a church and a playground.  One person who embodies all those elements on our campus is Bosco alumnus, Mr. Fernando Avila, who will be stepping into a new role for the rest of the 2020-2021 academic school year.

Mr. Avila, from the Bosco class of 2013, became the new interim Dean of Students last month for the rest of the academic school year. After graduating from St. John Bosco High School, Mr. Avila chose to come back to his Alma Mater to teach. Mr. Avila has had multiple roles in the short amount of time that he has been at Bosco. He has been an AP teacher multiple times, the Activities Director, an ASB moderator and now Dean of Students. After accumulating a ton of experience in just a short time, Mr. Avila stepped into the new role seamlessly.

With so many obstacles being thrown at St. John Bosco High School, Mr. Avila and the administration have found ways to get through it. One challenge beyond COVID-19 this school year has been the shifting of leadership within the school’s administration. 

With the easing of L.A. County Public Health restrictions, Bosco was able to offer all students a chance to come back on campus. With the shift of leaderships positions, such as Mrs. Elizabeth Hunt’s new role as Bosco’s Dean of Academics and Mr. Adan Jaramillo as interim Principal, Mr. Avila stepped into Mrs. Hunt’s previous role of Dean of Students, while also maintaining his teaching status. 

When one graduates from Bosco, it really isn’t a goodbye, but a “see you later.” Mr. Avila graduated from Bosco and came back to work right after high school in the summer program. He then came back to teach four years later after graduating from Cal State Long Beach.

The St. John Bosco High School administration has gone through multiple obstacles that called for specific measures. The global pandemic and the departure of former Principal, Dr. Christian De Larkin, left some pieces to be filled within the school. Mr. Avila took this new step in his career because he has always been open to trying to help the school to the best of his ability. Whenever there is a need, Mr. Avila is one to put himself out there to help Bosco be the best it can be. 

“This isn’t just a job. I want to be here everyday. A part of this vocation is putting myself in a position to help the Bosco boys out,” said Mr. Avila.

Despite already dealing with enough of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Avila took on his new responsibilities as Dean of Students. One of Mr. Avila’s main goals is to promote school conduct and show the Bosco Braves that it really is not a punishment to go to the Deans, but advice for the future. 

“The whole perception of a Dean is a little mixed up. We want guys to uphold the student handbook. If there is an issue that gets brought up multiple times, maybe the policy that is enacted needs to get a further review,” said Mr. Avila. 

The transition from Activities Director to Dean of Students is a very big change for not only the administration, but for the students. 

“I am really happy for him,” said senior Hector Andrade. “It just seems weird seeing him with the new title of Dean of Students. I am used to seeing him as [Activities Director].”

Mr. Avila is still the same Mr. Avila that everyone knows and loves, there is just a different title in front of his name now. 

“I’m a pretty laid back person. The change in position is all about the approach. It is not about coming down on guys and getting them in trouble, but about life lessons and growth,” said Mr. Avila.

Mr. Avila knows exactly what the dean’s office feels like, especially at St. John Bosco High School. During his four years at Bosco, Mr. Avila actually went to the dean’s office because he thought a small prank would be funny. He did not get a punishment, but a life lesson as to why he should become a better man. He definitely listened to his former dean, current assistant football coach and math teacher Jacob Negro.

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