Described as creative in his instruction, focused, intellectual, fun, and a faithful teacher, David Pleacher taught math at Handley for 33 years. Beginning in 1973, he taught calculus and later taught the first computer programming class at Handley using two TRS-80 computers for 15 students. He chaired the mathematics department from 1983 - 1995.
Angela Cutshaw, a former student and currently a teacher in Winchester Public Schools, stated, “Mr. Pleacher challenged me to study and pursue scholarly ideas. He held students to a high standard, applauded our achievements, and encouraged us when we failed to understand. He was not content to teach the same each year. He evolved, contributed, researched, wrote, and tried new things.”
David enjoyed sponsoring the Games Club, the math competitions, and Intramural Bowling. He created the Handley Math Page, his math website that he continues to maintain.
David’s work was recognized outside of the halls of Handley. He received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching from President Ronald Reagan and was selected to participate in the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Math Institute at Princeton University.
He received the William C. Lowry Outstanding Mathematics Teacher Award from Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Tandy Corporation’s Technology Scholars Award, and the Winchester Rotary Club’s Teacher of Influence Award.
After retiring from Handley, David and his wife Carol moved to Colorado where they volunteered with various organizations and visited 55 of the 63 national parks.
David recently wrote: “Throughout my 33 years at Handley, I had the distinct pleasure of working with an exceptional faculty who was dedicated to educating the young people of Winchester. During most of my years, there was very little turnover among the faculty, which speaks well of the learning environment, the support of the administration, and the quality of our students. Many of the teachers in the math department taught together for 25 years or more. “I am indebted to my students, whose curiosity, enthusiasm, and work ethic fueled my own love for teaching. Handley pride is real, and I am proud to call myself a Handley teacher. I have countless memories of my days at Handley, including the opportunity to teach all three of my own children and the children of many colleagues and church members. Handley was a source of pride for the entire community and you don't find that in most locations around the country.”