Vernon Douglas Joyner '78 | Handley 100th Notable
Vernon Douglas Joyner ’78

The Joyner family has had a significant impact on Winchester Public Schools. At the same time, the schools have had a significant impact on three generations of the family.

Mary Ruth Whitten Joyner (Handley Class of 1956) was a teacher, Principal of Garland Quarles Elementary School and Director of Instruction. Vernon Joyner was a teacher and a music supervisor.  Both retired from Winchester Public Schools. Their daughter, Martha Gay Joyner (Handley Class of 1983), was the school nurse at Frederick Douglass Elementary School and their daughter in law, Bobbie, was a teacher for forty years.

However, it is Doug Joyner who has had the widest experience with the school system. He has served as teacher and lead teacher. He has served as coach and sponsor. He has served as Principal of both Daniel Morgan Middle School and John Handley High School. He has served as Director of Student Services and is currently the Director of Human Resources for Winchester Public Schools. 

Doug was the youngest principal in Virginia when he accepted the position at Warren County High School. He later served at Culpeper County High School before returning to Winchester. Activities during his 12 years at Handley included the completion of the largest major renovation of the school building between 2005 and 2009.  

Doug recently stated that his fondest memory from his time as Principal is the joy and exuberance of students when handing them their diplomas. Both of Doug’s children, Amanda (Class of 2006) and David (Class of 2009) graduated while he was Principal.

 “John Handley had a vision but more importantly he acted upon that vision.  The lesson for us now and in the future is that the people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards.  They are the ones that care for others and act upon that sentiment.

“John Handley High School is a place where teaching and learning happen every day, where character is developed and nurtured, where promises are kept between the generations, and where the achievement of excellence, and a heritage of commitment to these ideals are the true legacy of our community.

“It has been the greatest personal and professional privilege, and blessing, to be affiliated with Handley.”

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