Activity Speaker Series

A Fireside Chat with Jimmy Wilkins (’63)

On Wednesday, October 4, 2023, the Handley 100th Anniversary celebration continued. As part of the Alumni Speaker Series, the community joined Barry Lee an James R. Wilkins Jr. for a “fireside” chat.

If you were unable to attended the event, enjoy.

Video credit: Birchfields

Photo credit: The Winchester Star


Clark Andrew Dixon, Jr. ’67

Clark Dixon, Jr. came to Handley from Douglas School in 1965. He was the President of the Horticulture Club and a three sport athlete. Clark was the first Black athlete to start a varsity game for Handley High School.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater and Secondary Education at Shepherd University. He served in the United States Army as a member of the military police.

Clark had a distinguished 34 year career with the National Park Service.  He was the Supervisory Park Ranger at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and for Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Visitor Services. He was Superintendent of Arkansas Post National Memorial and Superintendent of Morristown National Historical Park. He ended his career as the National Park Service Program Manager for the Southeast Region in Atlanta.

Clark was an advocate for the nation’s parks and committed to advancing equity, justice, and opportunity for all to access the parks and their natural resources. He worked to expand access to parks for underserved and under represented populations.

Clark’s passion for the outdoors, nature and conservation were clearly visible in his volunteer work. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America; a member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club; a member of the Shenandoah National Park Association, the Harpers Ferry Park Association and the National Parks Conservation Association; and a member of the Potomac Valley Audubon Society and the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy.

He was a Master Gardener and a Master Naturalist. In 2006, Clark, along with his wife Ora Dixon, established the Potomac Valley Master Naturalist Chapter in partnership with Potomac Valley Audubon Society. Clark served on the chapter’s coordinating committee and was its chair emeritus. He served two terms on the West Virginia Master Naturalist State Advisory Committee.

Clark’s appreciation and love of the outdoors led him to mentor younger generations and to teach Natural History workshops in campfire cooking, the use of flint and steel, and vernal pools at one of his favorite places, Cacapon State Park. He incorporated his passion for photography and art into his lessons.

Clark was a longtime member of Asbury United Methodist Church in Shepherdstown and leaned heavily on his Christian faith.


James L. “Jimmy” Dix ’59

Jimmy Dix started at Handley as a 4th grader in 1950. He developed an interest in Judge Handley at an early age and gained an appreciation for the endowment that has helped and benefited so many including his mother (`37), sister (`58), daughter (`84), and granddaughters (`2012, `2015).

Jimmy wanted to give back and help to keep the Handley legacy alive. He has now provided 60 years of volunteer service to John Handley High School.

Jimmy started volunteering at track meets in 1964. In 1967, he joined the chain crew for football games and was the lead member until 2020. He also became the clock operator at boys’ basketball games in 1967. He started operating the clock for girls’ basketball in 1978 and continues to serve as the volunteer clock operator today.

Jimmy has long had an interest in softball and baseball. He was pitching coach under Terry Shickle in 1999 when Handley won its first state baseball championship.

Jimmy was inducted into the Hunter Maddex Hall of Fame in 2003 as a contributor. He was recognized not only for his years of support to the athletic programs but also for the fact that he always donated any compensation he received back to the athletic department. He received the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Distinguished Service Award in 2016 for his service to high school athletics..

As a member of the Judges Athletic Association Board, Jimmy recommended the establishment of the Edwin Barksdale Wing of the Hall of Fame to honor athletes

from the Douglas School who would have attended Handley if not for segregation. He believed they were part of the Handley legacy and did not give up his pursuit until it was established in 2009.

Jimmy has done his best for Judge John Handley, for the Maroon and White, and for the monogram that stands for Handley Judges.


Charlotte DeHart ’25

Charlotte DeHart was a member of the Handley High School Class of 1925. She was recognized as an excellent student, an accomplished musician and a female athlete. She received her bachelor’s degree from Madison State Teacher’s College in 1929.

Miss DeHart taught elementary classes at Handley for 17 years before becoming a visiting teacher / truant officer.  She was the first full time Principal of Virginia Avenue Elementary School and held the position for 21 years until her retirement in 1970.

Miss DeHart was known as a strict disciplinarian and a demanding Principal. She was also known for her endless efforts to assist students who did not have adequate food, clothing, shelter or healthcare. She obtained the assistance of public and private agencies and often used her own money to buy shoes and medicine for students.

“Miss Dee” loved animals and often said that children and animals go together. She once stated: “All animals with good manners could come to school but they had to stay by the child’s desk.”

She had a life long commitment to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). She was a member of the board of directors for 25 years and served two terms as President. She was one of the main leaders in the efforts to reorganize the local society and build a new animal shelter in the mid-1950’s.

Miss DeHart was a talented organist and pianist. She played at Christ Episcopal Church and accompanied many Handley High School student musical groups. She played the piano for the annual Christmas concert at Handley where students from elementary to high school grades participated.

When the original Virginia Avenue School was razed in 1995, the Winchester School Board named the new facility in her honor: the Virginia Avenue Charlotte DeHart Elementary School.

Miss Charlotte DeHart is remembered as an educator, humanitarian, animal welfare activist, and community organizer.


Barry Deuel – Community Member

Barry Deuel’s parents were teachers at the West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind in Romney, West Virginia. A child of deaf adults (CODA), he graduated from West Virginia University with degrees in Education and Sports Medicine.

Barry moved to Winchester in 1983 and immediately became active in the community volunteering with area high school sports programs because of his love of sports and concern for the safety of athletes.

Barry served as the Coordinator for Sports Medicine for the US Deaf Olympics Winter and Summer teams from 1985-2017. He was responsible for staffing and compliance of United States Olympic Committee guidelines for doping and medical coverage recommendations. Athletes from 21 nations participated in the games.

He was first appointed to the Winchester School Board in 1993 and served four terms. He was the Board Chair during the renovation of Handley High School and helped to raise the approximately $34 million of private funds that were invested in the project.

He served on the Virginia State School Board Association Board of Directors 2008 and received the Association’s All Virginia School Board Award of Distinction 2002 and 2012.

Barry has received service awards from the James Wood Athletic Association, the Judges Athletic Association, and the Virginia Coaches Association. He has been inducted into the Clarke County Athletic Association Hall of Fame and the Hunter Maddex Hall of Fame. He has received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan award for service from Shenandoah University.

Barry has been an adjunct faculty member of Shenandoah University and is currently a teacher of American sign language in Loudoun County High School.


Learn About Handley’s Iconic Design

Handley High School Principal Susan Braithwaite (from left), Class of 1956 alumnus and Handley 100th anniversary steering committee member Jerry Headley and Winchester Public Schools Superintendent Jason Van Heukelum stand behind one of two new plaques installed on the school’s front campus that explain Handley’s iconic architecture and landscaping. Handley was built with proceeds from a bequest from Judge John Handley of Pennsylvania. Architect Walter R. McCornack’s design for the school was heavily influenced by Thomas Jefferson’s work at the University of Virginia and combines aspects of Neoclassical and Colonial Revival styles. The landscape was designed by the nationally known Olmstead Brothers landscape architectural firm. Handley, which opened in 1923, is on the state and national historic registers. The school is marking its 100th anniversary. Article by The Winchester Star

Photo by Emma Roark

Activity Music Series Speaker Series

American Tenor Norman Shankle

On Thursday, September 7, 2023, the Handley 100th Anniversary celebration continued. As part of the Alumni Music Series and the Alumni Speaker Series, the community listened to Norman Shankle. Shankle, a 1988 Handley graduate and former Shenandoah University student, has enjoyed worldwide renown in his classical and operatic career. He performed to piano accompaniment and discussed his life and career since his Handley days.

If you were unable to attended the event, enjoy watching below.

Handley 100th Music/Speaker Series | Norman Shankle

Norman modified his performance as he went along. His original list of pieces to perform were as follows.

Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)

Minstrel Man – Margaret Bonds (1913–1872)

Silent Noon – Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)

Ah! Leve-toi, soleil! – Charles Gounod (1818–1893)

Love Went A-Riding, H.114 – Frank Bridge (1879–1941)

Activity Speaker Series

Experiences Along the Appalachian Trail: A Father & Son Trek

On Wednesday, August 16, 2023, the Handley 100th Anniversary celebration continued. As part of the Speaker Series of the Handley 100th anniversary celebration, the community listened to Jimmy Robertson ’86 and his son Braden ’21 talk about their 2021 hike of the Appalachian Trail. Their presentation included photos, maps, gear and stories about circumstances and people they encountered during the 2,200 mile hike.

If you were unable to attended the event, enjoy watching below.

Activity Program Series

Past & Present Staff Luncheon

On Thursday, August 3, 2023, the Handley 100th Anniversary celebration continued with the Past & Present Staff Luncheon.

What a trip down memory lane!

For staff, past & present, if you were unable to attended the event, enjoy the photos and presentation below.

Activity Program Series

Handley’s Corcoran Gallery Connection: A WWII Story

On Thursday, July 13, 2023, the Handley 100th Anniversary celebration continued. As part of the Speaker/Program Series of the Handley 100th anniversary celebration, the community joined to learn more of this remarkable story and view the Wilkins Gallery featuring the painting replicas.

If you were unable to attended the event, enjoy watching below.

The presentation was given by Marisa Bourgoin, formerly a curator with the Corcoran Gallery, now with the Smithsonian Institute.

81 years ago, John Handley High School served as a safe house for more than 50 pieces of our nation’s most treasured art, at the time worth nearly $1.15 million — but only a handful of people knew that they were there.

During World War II, the Corcoran Gallery of Art desired to protect its most valuable artwork from potential bombing raids on Washington D.C. The secret concrete vault beneath Handley became the collection’s home for two years.

From paintings by Rembrandt van Rijn and Edgar Degas to John Singer Sargent and James McNeill Whistler, the pieces stored at Handley represented some of the most important works in European and American art history.

To pay tribute to this collection of renowned art, and its significance in local and Handley history, the James R. Wilkins, Sr. Gallery of History and Art, featuring the Corcoran Gallery of Art National Treasures Exhibit, was installed in Handley’s esteemed main hall in 2009.