Skip to content

In memoriam: John Modest Jr. (1947-2016) 

2016 February 29
by HISD Communications
John Modest, Jr.

John Modest, Jr.

John Modest Jr., a lifelong educator and former principal of Worthing High School, passed away Feb. 25, 2016, at the age of 69.

Modest served as Worthing principal from 2013 to 2015, when health complications forced him to retire, even though he wasn’t ready to give up his job.

While at Worthing, he helped oversee the beginning of new construction at the high school as a part of the 2012 bond program. He gave tours of the facility to middle school students in the area to show them how a 21st-century building would transform the way they learn in high school. 

It was just one way Modest went out of his way to show the Worthing community what they could accomplish with a good education.

“I had the privilege to work with John for several years during his tenure as principal at Worthing High School,” said Chief Academic Officer Andrew Houlihan. “He was a true servant-leader and cared so much about the students and staff at Worthing. During his time there, he brought in several community partners to provide academic, social, and emotional supports. He had high expectations for his students and staff, and was a true champion for public education. He will be missed, not just in the HISD community, but throughout many parts of this nation where he served as an educational leader.”

Modest began his career in education as a history teacher in Cambridge, Mass., and served as a school principal and a regional superintendent in North Carolina. Modest graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Northeastern University and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from North Carolina Central University.

John is survived by his wife, Annetta, and two children, daughters Bryce and Naja. He also has two grandchildren, Laila and Langston Harvey.

Services are at 1 p.m., Wednesday, March 2, at Greater Grace Outreach Church, 10800 Scott St.

7 Responses leave one →
  1. Sherian Scott permalink
    February 29, 2016


  2. Sheila Pope, PhD permalink
    February 29, 2016

    I will never forget how honest Mr. Modest was during my interview with the team last November. He was very clear about his intentions to hire me, and he was very clear about what to expect once I became a member of Worthing’s family. He made me feel like I played a major role in his vision to turn Worthing around. Although he retired, he was still responding to my emails and sending me words of encouragement. It was easy to see he loved God, and he loved his team at Worthing.

  3. Martha Fontenot Lewis permalink
    March 1, 2016

    My condolences to the family and friends. May God grant you peace during your time of bereavement.

    Be blessed.

  4. March 1, 2016


  5. March 1, 2016

    My prayers go out to the family. (Jeremiah 29:11). God has plans for each of us.

    God Bless the family.

  6. Majorie Vaval permalink
    March 1, 2016

    Mr. Modest was truly a very caring man. He strived to bring the positive changes we are seeing at Worthing that we continue to see today. My prayers and condolences to the family and friends he touched during his lifetime.

  7. Elyse Rouzan permalink
    March 4, 2016

    Deepest condolences and prayers for the family for their loss.

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS