Mary Jane Shumate Shiflet '69 | Handley 100th Notable
Mary Jane Shumate Shiflet ’69

Mary Jane was a stenography student at Handley. She started performing secretarial duties in the guidance department during her senior year through the business department’s cooperative education program. She was hired by the school upon graduation and remained in her role as the administrative assistant in the Counseling Office until she retired in June 2020.

Mary Jane’s 51 years of service at Handley makes her one of the longest serving staff members in the history of Winchester Public Schools.

Multiple generations of students and families have known her. She answered phones, helped students with their schedules, filled requests for transcripts, and hand-rolled thousands of diplomas. She provided supervision to study hall and co-op students, trained co-workers, provided a caring ear to students who came to see the counselors, and other duties too numerous to mention.

She received the Citizen Support Award from the Tri-County Virginia OIC for Outstanding Service and Support of the GED Program in 1988. In 2003, she received the “Quiet Hero Award” for her dedication and support to the Winchester Public Schools and in 2015 she was awarded a plaque with an attached gavel during a Black History Month program with "Thanks For Your Dedicated Service from 1969-2015.”

Her daughter Erika (Class of 1995) described Mary Jane as “physically small in stature, but big in heart and faith.” She continued stating that Mary Jane is always supportive of her children and grandchildren attending all sporting events, band competitions, and other activities. She is a member of Winchester Church of God where she actively volunteers in the office. Her faith is strong and she is a great role model.

Mary Jane recently wrote, “Thanks for choosing me as one of the "One Hundred Handley Notables." It is truly a great honor. I am proud of my dedication and service as the administrative assistant in the Counseling Office, and to the students, teachers, and staff at Handley, and to the Winchester Public Schools for 51 years.” 

© OneHandley 2023