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In Memory

John (Teacher) Petitto


John Garfield Petitto, age 69, passed away peacefully on July 31, 2022, with his family by his side. He was born October 28, 1952, in Highland Park, Michigan. John is survived by his loving wife of 38 years, Patricia Ann Petitto, daughter Sandra Lynn Szczechura (Paul), and son Matthew John Petitto. He is also the cherished grandfather of Tyler John Szczechura, and survived by sisters Mary Hopkins (Bill), and Jeannie Hauser (Rick) and many wonderful nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sam and Thelma Petitto.

John graduated from Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Preparatory High School and Oakland University. He majored in Social Studies and minored in Communications. He also had a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling. He retired in 2008 from Avondale School District where he had worked for 34 years as an Alternative Education Teacher/Coordinator, Social Studies Teacher and Assistant Principal.

After his retirement he founded NexStep & Associates, LLC specializing in shared time agreements between public and private schools. His clients included: Avondale Schools, Bloomfield Hills Schools, Clarkston Schools, Goodrich Schools, Lutheran High School Association, Lutheran Northwest High School, Lutheran Westland High School, Oakland Christian Schools, Oakland Steiner School, Romeo Schools, Saginaw Valley Lutheran School, and Trinity Lutheran School.

John served as the 2000-2001 President of the Michigan Pupil Accounting & Attendance Association (MPAAA), and as an Executive Board Member from 2001-2014. He was a past Chairperson for Oakland Activities Association Assistant Principal Leadership Group, a Mentor for Oakland Intermediate School District Leadership Academy, and as a Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) Boot Camp Coordinator.

Through his hard work and leadership, John was honored to receive many awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Morning Optimist Club of Auburn Hills, Three Time Recipient of the MPAAA Outstanding Service Award, and MASSP’s Michigan Assistant Principal of the Year.

John loved sports and enjoyed coaching Avondale Junior High School Track, Avondale Baseball, Rochester Area Recreation Authority Baseball, Rochester Area Recreation Authority Basketball, Auburn Hills Boys and Girls’ Club Baseball and Rochester YMCA Baseball. He also enjoyed watching Curb your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld, playing poker, traveling with Pat, planning activities, and most of all telling stories.

The memorial service will take place on Saturday, August 27, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. at Shrine Chapel of Our Lady of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 3535 Commerce Rd., Orchard Lake, Michigan immediately followed by a Celebration of Life and opportunity to share “John stories” at St. Mary’s Athletic Complex Banquet Center.

Memorial donations are welcomed to:
Orchard Lake Schools, 3535 Commerce Rd., Orchard Lake, MI 48324 Attn: Wendy Mosella

Avondale Education Foundation, 2940 Waukegan Street, Auburn Hills, MI 48326 Attn: Annette McAvoy; Michigan

Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Neurology, University of Michigan – Office of Development, 777 E. Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 650, Ann Arbor, MI 48108-3273 online or by making check payable to Regents of the University of Michigan and writing