Former top Vt. educator takes on new mission in Cuba - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Former top Vt. educator takes on new mission in Cuba

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A former top Vermont educator is switching gears. He's hitting the ground in Cuba and hoping to make a difference as the nation says goodbye to longtime leader Fidel Castro.

Armando Villaseca was a familiar face on Channel 3 when he served as Vermont's Education Secretary.

The onetime teacher, principal and school superintendent is taking on a new mission.

He's running the Cuban American Friendship Society. The Burlington-based group makes regular trips to the island-nation to try and improve life for people there by bringing groups of professionals to the country to share their knowledge on things like education, architecture, health and music. 

Villaseca was born in Cuba and was in the country when Fidel Castro died. He says while the news may have come as a shock it was not a surprise and that it is time for U.S. - Cuba relations to move forward,"What happened in 1959, What happened in 1960 , What happened in 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985 is water under the table, water under the bridge, we need to move forward and support the Cuban people who are dying to have a better life, improve their life." 

Post Castro, the Cuban American Friendship Society is continuing to push forward with Burlington's "Kids on the Ball" and the Cuban National Tennis Federation to rebuild tennis courts in Havana.  

Villaseca left Cuba when he was 8 but he still has family there.

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