Coach John Winton is a true trail blazer in the annals of AB athletics. As a young teacher/coach in 1950, John pioneered Acton's first soccer team. A program that now boasts over 1,500 participants and 6 high school teams owes a debt of gratitude to this visionary. Coach Winton taught at Acton High School from 1950 though 1956, taking 18 months off for military service during the Korean Conflict. This three sport coach, John was busy in the fall with soccer, winter with basketball and the spring on the baseball diamond. The 1951 Boys Basketball Team, whom we honor here this evening, was piloted to the Tech Tourney at The Boston Garden by Coach Winton.
In what is now the Towne School, the population of 2500 Acton residents supported in Hoosieristic fanaticism often times wiping off the fog from the inside of the first floor windows so that overflow crowds could view from an outside perch. The hardwood pioneers had put Acton on the Athletic Map, serving notice that Acton athletics were here to stay and earned the name of "Winton's Winners." Coach Winton's educational career could enter him into a National Educators Hall of Fame. At various times he has served as Vice Principal in the Concord Carlisle School System, and for 23 years, Principal at the Shelburne Middle School, Shelburne, Vermont (Vermont's first middle school). In 1988, John received the GRUHN/LONG Award for Distinguished Service in Middle Education for the National Association of Secondary School Principals. In 1989, John was selected as the Vermont Secondary School Principal of the Year. Also in 1989, The Vermont Headmasters Association established an Annual Award for the Middle School Principal of the Year named The John Winton Award for Middle School Principals. John Winton Coach One of John's greatest memories is the town raising money and sending the team to New York City with an appearance on the Bump Hadley Radio Show and attending the ticker-tape parade for General Douglas MacArthur upon his return form Asia. He will be forever grateful for the Town's limitless support. John and his late wife Ruth have three children - Dawn, Anne and Jack. John is retired and resides in Charlotte, Vermont.