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KENLY —The Johnston County Board of Education has named Tol Avery as principal at North Johnston High School.
Avery comes to North Johnston following three years as principal at Four Oaks Middle School and replaces Ben Williams, North Johnston’s principal since 2017, who has been named director of academic innovation for Johnston County Public Schools.
Avery’s first day on the job at North Johnston will be July 1, where he inherits a student body expected to number 814 students.
Avery, who is originally from Four Oaks, graduated from South Johnston High School in 1979. He attended North Carolina State University on a football scholarship and was there from 1979 until 1982.
In 1983, he signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League and later played with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Avery joined the U.S. Army in 1984 to begin a 20-year military career that included serving with the 7th Armored Division. While in the Army, he was assigned to the University of Houston as a military science instructor and taught as a teaching fellow in the health and human services program.
During his assignment at the University of Houston, Avery received a bachelor’s degree from Texas Southern University. He earned his master’s degree in physical education from the University of Houston in 2004 and added a license in administration from East Carolina University in 2009.
Avery took a job at Clayton High School in 2009 where he taught physical education along with coaching football and basketball. While at Clayton, he was named Johnston County’s first-year Teacher of the Year.
He began a six-year stint in 2010 serving as assistant principal at South Johnston High School before being assigned to Four Oaks Middle. While at South Johnston, he was named Johnston County Assistant Principal of the Year.
Avery is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Fayetteville State University.
Avery, who lives in Clayton, has three grown daughters including Tanita Avery, 28, and 21-year-old twins Aaliyah and Alysha Avery.
“I am excited to join the NoJo Family where every student counts and every moment matters,” said Avery. “The support in this community is awesome. I look forward to being a part of the continued success in helping students to be competitive in the 21st century.”