Return to Headlines

Dr. Valente celebrated during Hispanic Heritage Month

RELEASE DATE: October 1O, 2023

ValenteDr. Evandro Valente is the eighth-grade assistant principal at Thomas C. Cario Middle School. As a young man, he never considered a career in education. Looking back on his life, he sees now that he always was a teacher in some form or fashion.

Originally from Brazil, Valente spent three of his middle school summers on a missionary farm teaching the workers’ children how to read and write. He tutored his fellow classmates and helped them with their homework during the school year.

Valente grew up very poor in Brazil.

Despite my young age, I knew I couldn’t make a living in Brazil as a teacher and I wanted out of my situation,” said Valente. “I decided in fourth grade that I wanted to be an electrical engineer.”

With the help of Rev. Charles Alexander, an American missionary to his hometown of Fortaleza, Valente moved to the U.S. to finish high school at a boarding school in Kingsville, TX. He attended King University in Bristol, TN, then transferred to the Georgia Institute of Technology to earn a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering.

After graduation, Valente spent three years in Brazil and returned to the U.S. in 1989 to live and work in Bristol, TN. 

“I never thought of being a teacher when I got to the U.S.,” said Valente. “I just wasn’t happy as an engineer. I read something about a teacher shortage and I decided to apply to Vanderbilt University’s Peabody Teachers College. I was awarded a scholarship and he earned a Masters in Education from Vanderbilt in 1995. I had to commute 350 miles every week to attend classes and back to Bristol to take care of our three children while my wife worked as a nurse on the weekends. Teaching was my calling and I should have been doing it all my life.”

Valente taught math, computer science, and coached boys’ and girls’ soccer at Tennessee High School in Bristol, TN from 1995 until 2014. He earned his Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from East Tennessee State University in 2013. He joined Charleston County School District as an assistant principal at Cario Middle School in December of 2014.

Valente said it is important to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month so that students can learn about other people and their numerous contributions to the United States. 

“It is important for our Latino and Hispanic students and leaders to share their heritage with others as well,” said Valente. “Some of our students may have come from difficult situations in South America and when they see someone that looks like them, in a position of leadership, they are inspired. They see that with hard work they too can succeed and make something for themselves.”

Valente loves his Cario family and the students there. 

“I was so excited to get started this year that I could not sleep the night before,” Valente said. “I love education and learning. The kids here are very focused. They’re just fantastic and they are our school’s biggest assets.” 

Valente acknowledges that middle school can be a hard time for kids but he considers himself blessed to be a part of their journey.

“I get to help them process things and make good decisions,” said Valente. “I work with some very great teachers and they make my job easy. There is definitely a lot on an assistant principal’s plate, but what I enjoy the most is being with the kids. I enjoy the day-to-day interactions.”