Mary Virginia Carson was a member of the Class of 1943. Her yearbook states she earned “many A’s” and the respect of her fellow students. By her own revelation, she was not encouraged to pursue her interest in science while a student at Handley as were male students at that time. However, she did not let that deter her from enrolling in science classes. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education at Madison College in 1947.
After college graduation, she returned to Winchester and became a faculty member at Handley. As there were no openings in the science department, she accepted a position as an elementary teacher instructing fifth grade students. She was able to move from there to teach chemistry and physics. She became head of the science department, co-sponsor of the Science Club, and an advisor to the student government.
Mary Virginia Carson received the National State Teacher of the Year award in 1978.
Mary Virginia served on the Board of Directors of the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society following her retirement from teaching. She was a docent at Abram’s Delight and she edited the diary of Mary Hollingsworth. She became the editor of the Society’s annual journal and contributed several articles. She was named Historian of the Year in 1996 and received the Nancy Melton award for her work.
Anne Locke Drury had Miss Carson as a teacher in both her 5 th grade and her senior years. She remembered Miss Carson doing a significant amount of extra work to help her students and described her as “the epitome of what a good teacher, citizen, neighbor and friend should be.”
Her tombstone is inscribed with the word “Teacher. “