Someone told Alvin White a long time ago that if he saw something he didn’t like and wanted to change it, he shouldn’t complain; he should get involved. Since then the longtime community resident has done just that, serving on a variety of local boards, committees and task forces and volunteering with many organizations.
The NAACP’s Huntington branch recently presented Mr. White with the organization’s Freedom Fund Award during a well-attended dinner at the Thatched Cottage in Centerport.
Born in Harlem, Mr. White has been an integral member of the Huntington community since 1971, attending Huntington High School, raising a family here and sending his children through the public school system.
“My motto has always been ‘If there is injustice anywhere, there is a threat to justice everywhere,’” Mr. White said. “I try my best to do what I see as right for the entire community. I have had a lot of support along the way from my family, colleagues in the Huntington School District and the people that live and work here.”
Mr. White devotes an enormous number of hours to advocating for families and working to get them the resources they need for a dignified quality of life. He is deeply involved in community and civic organizations, including the Porter-Trejo Action Network, Take Back the Block Advisory Board, Huntington Enrichment Center/Kids Café Board of Directors, NAACP – Huntington chapter executive board, Loyal Order of Moose Lodge No. 318 in Greenlawn, as well as numerous other local groups. He has served on the Huntington Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee and Lowndes Avenue Task Force.
“When there is work to be done, no one that cares about their community can sit on their hands,” Mr. White said. “We all have to work together to make this a better place to live for people of all ages and all colors and creeds.”
Mr. White’s family and many of his friends attended the dinner at the Thatched College. Huntington School Board President Emily Rogan, Trustee Xavier Palacios and Superintendent James W. Polansky were also in attendance, along with many others from the district.
Minister Timothy Flythe, Suffolk Police Officer Andrew Fiorillo, Suffolk Legislator William Spencer, Eileen Knauer, Lehiti Ramos, Roxane S. Rapelyea, Terrance W. Smith and Ronald Wilson were also honored at the dinner.
Mr. White’s volunteer service included a stint as president of the Gateway Gardens Resident Civic Association and time with the Huntington School District’s Drug Free Zone coalition.
The director of facilities in the Huntington School District since August 1, 2011, Mr. White previously served as the district’s operations supervisor since 1999.
Prior to coming to the district, Mr. White worked for the Internal Revenue Service at its Holtsville complex. He began his career here on a part-time basis at Robert L. Simpson Junior High School in 1974. He moved into a full-time position in 1979.
The father of seven Huntington High School graduates, Mr. White lost his beloved wife Francine in 1988 and raised his children as a young, widowed father. Crystal, Antonio, Tania, Yendelia, Alvin, Jr., Samantha and Andrew have made their father very proud and have given him seven grandchildren in Brianna, Adrian, Matthew, Max, Arianna, Alijah and Azavier.
The NAACP’s Man of the Year in 1985, Mr. White has also been honored by the Family Service League, Tri-CYA, the Huntington Station Young Development Association and Suffolk County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission.
Mr. White has completed specialized training in the areas of plumbing, oil burners and sports floor refinishing and maintenance and has a renovator’s certificate from the Accredited Lead Inspection, Inc. In 2007, he took on additional responsibilities as the Huntington School District’s asset control manager, logging in new equipment and maintaining inventory records.
Known as a perfectionist with high standards, Mr. White endeavors to exceed the community’s expectations. He frequently interacts with principals and faculty members to insure their facilities related needs are met.
A familiar figure around the school district, Mr. White is often the first person on the scene during emergency situations, regardless of the day or hour. He is also an active fan of the Blue Devil athletic program and has mentored and encouraged many community members through the years.