Dr. John R. Vannoni was appointed as the founding principal of The Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts in December, 1977. The establishment of the school was made possible by a Federal Grant specifically for the purpose of creating a magnet high school in the arts to improve desegregation in Philadelphia. Dr. John was an very active in the Jay Speck Endowment for the Musical Arts, along with Southern graduates Marco Farnese, Jay Meyers, Frank DeFlavia and others. John was an original member of the SPHS for Boys Varsity Club in ‘42 and ‘43, having earned varsity letters for track and cross-country. John was Director of Communications Magnet, William Penn H.S., Head of the English Dept. at Benjamin Franklin H.S., Teacher of English at Thomas Jr. High, Belvidere H.S.,
Miami Beach H.S. and on District of Philadelphia Channel 6 Television.
His graduates include Boyz To Men, Joey DeFrancesco, Chris McBride, Clayton Prince, Chi Muoi Lo and Kelly Neale.