Mary McKenzie Henkel ’27

Mary McKenzie graduated from John Handley High School in 1927. She continued her education at Penn Hall and later at the Parsons School of Interior Design in New York.

Mary and her husband, Carroll Henkel, started a modest furniture company in their basement with the help of a friend, John Harris, in 1946. The business moved to a larger facility on North Loudoun Street after a few years. The company employed 22 skilled woodworkers and produced furniture from cherry, mahogany and walnut woods when Mr. Harris sold his interests in the business in 1954. The Henkels built a new factory south of Winchester in 1963.

Many people encouraged Mary to sell the business after Carroll Henkel died in 1969. Instead, she took over operations. She took her employees to Colonial Williamsburg to study furniture manufacturing from master crafters and subsequently expanded the business to become one of the premier reproduction furniture companies in the United States.
Mary became the Chairman of the Board of Henkel-Harris in 1982. She was the first woman named to the board of directors of the Southern Furniture Manufacturers Association and the second woman named to the American Furniture Hall of Fame. She was the first woman named to the board of directors of Farmer and Merchants National Bank. She was named Boss of the Year by the Winchester-Frederick County Jaycees in 1974 and Woman of the Year in 1989 by the Winchester Business and Professional Women’s Organization.

With her business established, Mary Henkel devoted her time, talents, and money to many community activities. Locally, she supported the Shelter for Abused Women, Big Brothers /Big Sisters, Shalom et Benedictus, The Handley Library, the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association.

Mary served on the Board of Trustees of Shenandoah University. She endowed scholarships for area students and established scholarships for students interested in careers in the furniture industry including the Carroll H. Henkel Memorial Scholarship Fund at North Carolina State University.

One of her favorite activities was the annual presentation of a gift of furniture to the queen of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. Her wit and graciousness added significantly to the festival’s Queen’s Dinner.


Elizabeth Halvosa Hart ’49

Elizabeth (Lizz) Halvosa Hart attended Handley from 4th through 12th grade. She was the head cheerleader her senior year. She earned her degree in Recreation at Richmond Professional Institute, now Virginia Commonwealth University.

She and her husband Howard (Buzz), Handley Class of 1946, settled in Berryville where she taught 4th grade. She ran the city pool during the summer while teaching swimming and lifesaving.

Mrs. Hart returned to her beloved Handley High School in the early 1960’s as a substitute teacher and soon became a guidance counselor, a position she held until her retirement.  As a counselor, she worked tirelessly to encourage her students to reach their full potential and make the most of every opportunity.  She affectionately referred to her students as “one of mine” when she would see them at any time.

She served as class sponsor for the class of 1973, Handley’s 50th graduating class. Charlie Miller, a member of the class stated: “Mrs. Hart was our guidance counselor and class sponsor, a mentor and a friend. Her enthusiasm for all things Handley was legendary. Frankly, it is people such as she who make Handley a special place in our hearts.”

One of her greatest joys was seeing her daughter and granddaughters Anne Walker and Kassie graduate from Handley High School. 

Her daughter Robyn recently stated: “Her loyalty to Handley filled her heart with joy and her devotion to Handley was unwavering.  A sunny Saturday sitting in the stands at the Handley Bowl was probably one of her happiest times and she rarely missed an athletic event where she could continue to cheer on her Judges.” Numerous former students have stated they knew where she sat at the Handley Bowl and would always stop to say hello to Mrs. Hart.

Mrs. Hart filled her retirement days working as a Winchester Medical Center Auxiliary volunteer in the gift shop where she was recognized as a Volunteer of the Year for her service.  She served as President of the Winchester Retired Teachers, was an active member of the Virginia Retired Teachers Association, and was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an International Society whose members are outstanding Women Educators.

The counseling suite at John Handley High School is named in her honor today.

Activity Program Series

Handley Alumni Veterans Recognition Program

On Wednesday, November 8, 2023, the Handley 100th Anniversary celebration continued. As part of the Handley 100th Program Series, the community enjoyed the Handley Alumni Veterans Recognition Program. If you were unable to attended the event, enjoy.


Nicole Haston ’02

Valedictorian, National Honor Society member, Handley Scholar and Winchester Star Leadership Award winner, Nicole Haston graduated with an earned 4.0 grade point average. She qualified for the American Invitational Math Exam working with her father, Dennis, a renowned Handley math teacher.

Nicole was a member of the Key and Booster Clubs, and held leadership positions in the Anchor and Spanish Clubs. She enjoyed service with her church and tutoring Spanish-speaking younger students.

Nicole was part of the district championship track team and competed in regionals as a freshman. In 2000, her 4x200m relay team advanced to the national competition. She earned an individual state medal for the 200m dash as a senior.

Her sister Renee recently stated that Nicole is as proud of her high school athletic accomplishments as she is of her academic math ones, recognizing lessons learned through diligence in both.

Nicole graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Spanish and a certificate in African-American Studies. Her love of theater blossomed at Princeton where she worked in the fully student-run Theatre Intime, rising to the role of Production Manager.

In 2006, she put her degree to immediate use with New York City Teaching Fellows at the Community School for Social Justice in the Bronx. Simultaneously, she obtained her Masters in Spanish Education.

Nicole now teaches in the Prince William County Schools system as the World Languages Department Chair at Woodbridge Senior High School. She teaches Spanish and contributes to curriculum edits, common exam creation, and professional development for peers. She mentors new teachers and is taking graduate coursework toward a future certification as a school librarian.

Nicole is dedicated to consistent improvement of her craft. She often travels abroad immersing herself in the Spanish language and culture including a volunteer trip to Chiapas, Mexico to empower and educate rural indigenous women through theater.

In her personal life, she has two sons, Parker and Malcolm, and loves bringing them to Winchester to the beautiful school where she discovered much of who she is now.


Jerry A. Headley ’56

Major Jerry A. Headley (US Army, Retired) is a past president of the Judges Athletic Association, a recipient of the JAA Eddie Manuel and Ancil Gray Awards and a member of the Hunter Maddex Hall of Fame. He is also Handley’s most highly decorated veteran.

Major Headley began his military career as a junior in high school when he enlisted in the Virginia Army National Guard as a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps upon graduation. Following his discharge from the Marine Corps, he reentered the Virginia Army National Guard and was commissioned through the Officer Candidate School program as a Second Lieutenant, Armor.

On 18 January 1968, 1st Lieutenant Headley volunteered and reentered active duty with an assignment to Fort Knox, Kentucky. He volunteered and deployed to Vietnam in May 1968 and was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry Division. He served as a Platoon Leader and Troop Commander of B Troop.

He graduated with honors from The University of Tampa in 1970 under the U.S. Army’s Bootstrap Program. He retired from active service in August 1984.

After military retirement, Major Headley was employed as the Deputy Chief, Readiness Division, National Guard Bureau, Pentagon. His office was directly responsible for coordinating the mobilization of over 62,000 Army National Guard members and 398 units in support of Operation Desert Storm.  He retired from the National Guard Bureau in July 1995.

Major Headley’s military awards include 5 Silver Stars, our nation’s third highest award for valor; 3 Bronze Stars, 2 for Valor; the Legion of Merit; 3 Purple Hearts; 3 Meritorious Service Medals; Air Medal; Army Commendation Medal; USMC Good Conduct Medal; the Army General Staff Badge and numerous other Service Medals. His civilian awards include the Department of the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, National Guard Bureau Civilian and Eagle Service Awards.

He was invested as a Distinguished Member of the 4th Cavalry Regiment in June 1992. Major Headley received the U.S. Cavalry and Armor Association Gold Medal of the Order of Saint George in May 2008 for his service to the Armor and Cavalry community.

Major Headley remains active at Handley. He currently heads the school’s archives committee and is responsible for the placement of the centennial markers along the walkways on the lower campus.


Benjamin Grove ’10

Benjamin Grove was an outstanding student athlete at Handley. He earned membership in the National Honor Society while competing on the swim team in each of his four years. He was the individual state champion in the 100 meter breaststroke in his junior and senior years setting state records both times.

He continued his education at the United States Naval Academy where he was named to the Commandant’s List for academic achievement. He earned Second Team All Patriot League honors in 2012 and First Team accolades in 2013.

Ben was a member of the swim team at the Naval Academy for four years. He helped Navy win the 400 meter medley relay at the 2010-11 East Coast Athletic Conference Championship. He qualified in the 100 meter breaststroke for the US Olympic Trials in 2012.

Competing in the 2012-13 Patriot League meet, he won the 100 meter breaststroke with a Naval Academy record time of 54.45. He also set career-best times of 1:59.43 in placing third in the 200m breaststroke and 1:50.75 in the 200 IM.

Ben served eight years active duty as a Naval Flight Officer following his graduation from the Academy. He flew on the P-8 Poseidon, the U.S. Navy’s multi-mission maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft conducting long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). He was an Instructor/Tactical Coordinator/ Mission Commander with multiple deployments to Europe, Asia, and Central/South America.

Ben left the Navy in 2022 and is now working with his family in their construction business.


Boyd F. “Bodie” Grim ’46

Bodie Grim worked as a truck driver for the Rosenberger Lumber Company. He was a member of the Braddock Street United Methodist Church and a volunteer firefighter with the South End Fire Company. The late Adrian O’Connor wrote a column in which he stated: “Boyd Francis Grim was one of the finest fast-pitch softball players the northern Valley ever produced.”

Jimmy Dix, a batboy for the fast-pitch teams, remembered Bodie: “He was very friendly, down to earth, and would always talk to you.”

Large crowds would go the Winchester Recreation Park to watch church league and business league games in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Among the favorite “big hitters” was Bodie Grim, known to hit a softball beyond the light poles in straight away center field.

Outstanding at second base, Bodie played for Rosenberger Lumber Company in 1948 and 1949.  He played for the J. V. Arthur Insurance team in 1950 and helped the team place second in the state tournament by hitting what was reported to have been the longest home run recorded at Byrd Field in Richmond.

Bodie was inducted into the U. S. Army on October 17, 1950 and received basic training at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. He deployed from Seattle in late March 1951 and spent 2 days in Japan before being sent as a replacement to Korea during the first week in April. He was killed in action at the age of 22 on April 24, 1951 while serving with the 7th Infantry Regiment.

The home field of the Handley baseball team in Jim Barnett Park is named in his honor.

The Trail Blazer

October 31, 1923

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George Glossner – Faculty

George Glossner was nominated for the “One Hundred Handley Notables” by three of his students who are now teachers in Winchester Public Schools. Two described him as a legend among his students and peers.

Students remember his classroom as stimulating, fun, loud, smart, and one of their favorites. Faculty and administrators remember him as a great mentor.

Behind his gruff exterior was a teacher who was passionate about his subject and who cared deeply for his students. When individuals ask if Mr. Glossner still works at Handley, the question is usually followed by a story of George’s work as a teacher, a lecturer, an academic team coach, or just a guy students remember.

George recently stated that Team Glossner was adopted into the Handley family in 1984.  He and Stacy immediately realized that they wanted to be part of the mystical notion known as Handley Pride.  “We did not realize it at the time, but we were blessed to be part of the Golden Age of JHHS.” 

George expressed his gratitude for the academic freedom and instructional support that afforded him the opportunity to develop his teaching and coaching style. His innovative style was  recognized through the awarding of the Stewart Bell Teaching Award and the Golden Gavel award at Handley. It was also recognized with the Kids Voting Award, LFCC Dual Enrollment Teaching Award, Walmart Teaching Award, the McDonalds Award, and awards from the Daughters of American Revolution and Sons of American Revolution.

“The recognition by the Handley 100 Celebration is certainty a highlight of my teaching career.” 

“Being remembered by past students and colleagues makes me so proud of the work we did while at JHHS.  Although Stacy and I are no longer part of the Handley family, we will always have a special place in our hearts for the students, teachers, and support staff at JHHS. 

“Thank you to the citizens of Winchester for giving us the opportunity to be a part of Winchester Public Schools.”


Sheryl Chris Garber ’75

Winning the 1975 Girls AA Tennis Championship, Chris Garber became the first female state champion at John Handley High School. She was a three sport athlete participating in basketball and gymnastics as well as tennis.

Chris earned her Bachelors degree in Health and Physical Education at Radford College in 1979. She played #1 on the Radford tennis team for three years. She earned her Masters Degree in Sports Administration from Eastern Kentucky University and her Masters Degree in Educational Administration from Shenandoah University.

She had a 34 year career in Education as a teacher and administrator. She taught Physical Education for 19 years at Radford Intermediate School, Quarles Elementary School and John Handley High School. She then had 15 years as a High School Athletic Director with 8 years at Broadway High School in Rockingham County followed by 7 years at Millbrook High School in Frederick County. She was the first female Athletic Director in both Rockingham County and Frederick County.

Chris coached high school tennis and basketball for 8 years at Radford and 11 years at Handley. Her tennis teams won 13 Girls District Championships, 10 Girls Regional Championships and 3 AA Girls State Championships. Her Radford High School basketball teams won 3 Girls District Championships, 3 Regional Championships and 1 AA Girls State Championship.

Chris was the first female athlete inducted into the Hunter Maddex Hall of Fame. She was inducted into the Radford High School Athletic Hall of Fame as a coach.

Chris recently stated, “John Handley High School afforded me the opportunity to strive and to achieve my professional aspirations with great mentors in Jimmy Omps and Nikki Isherwood. Two other individuals that have been huge influences in my career were Norman Lineburg, Radford HS and my brother, Chip Garber.”