ALEXANDRIA, VA – John Porter, the former principal of T.C. Williams High School and the former executive director of ACT for Alexandria, was a guest on Z-TV LIVE!’s “The Virginia Amos Show” Sept. 10. During the interview, Porter discussed a number of topics, including the development of ACT, the creation of the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, and how Alexandria residents have come together during the coronavirus pandemic.
The discussion, however, began with his recollection of 9/11. Porter, who served as principal from 1984-2006, shared how he heard about the attacks, his immediate thoughts, and how T.C. went into lockdown.
“It was a[n] interesting time, and I say interesting from the standpoint of trying to manage a school of about 2,000 kids, a staff of 250, and trying to figure out what’s the right thing to do,” Porter said. “At the same time, it was scary. We did not know what this meant. We didn’t know if the entire country was under attack and there was more to come or not.”
After a career as a dedicated educator, Porter became executive director of ACT for Alexandria. He held the position until 2018.
The community organization began as a way to remember 9/11 victim Norma Steuerle. According to Porter, her family contributed one million dollars from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
Under his leadership, ACT became a beacon in the community, with the goal of making Alexandria a better place for all. It is now known for its fundraising efforts, especially the annual Spring2ACTion event.
“We’re a very caring community, a very concerned community if you will, and a very giving community in so many ways,” Porter said. “Not just financially, but [through] volunteerism…trying to help others in our community that are in need.”
He was named an Alexandria Living Legend in 2010.
Watch the entire interview below.