Damon DeArment ’86

Damon was an outstanding student, athlete and leader at Handley. He excelled in football and baseball, and was a member of the school’s first state football championship team in 1984.


While attending the University of Richmond, he excelled academically while holding various leadership positions including Vice President of the Student Government Association and the Inter-Fraternity Council. He graduated at the top his class and was inducted into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

After college, Damon attended Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Dentistry where he again finished at the top of his class and was one of just 250 dentists nationally to be accepted into an orthodontic residency program at the University of Louisville.

Proud to return to his hometown to practice orthodontics, he applied his core values of service, generosity and compassion to form the mission of Shenandoah Valley Orthodontics, which has been a local leader in community volunteerism, service and philanthropy. SVO has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in support and scholarships to numerous area organizations including to Handley and its students.
SVO is a top 1% Invisalign Provider in North America and is currently the #1 provider of Invisalign treatment for children worldwide.

Dr. DeArment has served in leadership roles throughout his professional career including President of the Judges Athletic Association, President of the Virginia Association of Orthodontists, and Chairmen of the Board of Directors of the United Way NSV. He was one of the founding members of the Winchester Education Foundation and was its first chairman during the time that a majority of the private funding was raised for the renovation of Handley.

Dr. DeArment is the father of four Handley graduates and his wife, Nancy, currently serves on the Handley Board of Trustees.

He considers some of his best memories and friends made while attending Handley.


Zebulun Davenport ’85

Zebulun Davenport was Student Government Association President, an award-winning drum major in the Handley band, a state silver medalist in Wrestling and a member of Handley’s 4 x 100-meter relay regional team. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Communications/Public Relations with a minor in Human Services and a Master of Education in College Student Personnel Administration at James Madison University.

He worked in the Financial Aid office at Laurel Ridge Community College, formerly Lord Fairfax Community College, from 1993 until 1997. While in the Winchester area, Davenport mentored inner-city teens needing direction and guidance. While in Harrisonburg VA, he also mentored troubled teens within the public-school system.

While committed to education, mentoring teens, and advancing his career, he is extremely proud of his family: his wife Jerusha, his children Zebulun II and Jenaea, and his mother Dr. Helen Davenport, a teacher with Winchester Public Schools for 30 years.

Zebulun Davenport earned his Doctorate in Higher Education and Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. He and his mother worked to receive their Education Doctorates at the same time.

Dr. Zebulun Davenport is the Vice President for University Advancement and External Affairs at West Chester University. His primary goal is student success and his contributions have advanced campus culture, organizational structure, and student achievement.

Davenport is a strategist who demonstrates care and concern while maximizing opportunities for all involved. His expertise includes the areas of strategic planning, fundraising, student retention, student learning outcomes, and assessment.

He has developed strategies for assisting first generation college students. He co-authored the publication: First-Generation College Students – Understanding and Improving the Experience from Recruitment to Commencement. In addition to this publication, he also authored and or co-authored three chapters in edited volumes and co-edited two books.

He has presented at workshops for numerous public agencies; educational institutions; state, regional, and national conferences; as well as to thousands of college students and professionals throughout his thirty-one years in higher education.

He is active with the Chester County Community Foundation.


Nancy Crosby ’26

Nancy Larrick graduated with the Class of 1926 at the age of 15. She graduated from Goucher College in Baltimore at the age of 19 and returned to teach English at Handley in 1929. She earned her master’s degree from Columbia University in 1936 and her doctorate
in education from New York University in 1955.

She left Handley to work for the Treasury Department in Washington during World War II. After the war, she moved to New York City where she became an editor for a publishing company that specialized in children’s literature. She later became an editor of children’s literature at Random House and worked as a freelance writer. Nancy Larrick Crosby used her maiden name professionally.

Her most popular work, “A Parent’s Guide to Children’s Reading,” was published in 1958 and reprinted six times. She wrote twelve books for adults and wrote or edited 30 books for children that included 14 poetry anthologies.

In a 1965 Saturday Review of Literature article, she criticized the near absence of black characters in children’s books. Her criticism pushed publishers to evaluate their policies and led to several follow-up studies.

She was an adjunct professor at Lehigh University from 1964 to 1979. She also taught at N.Y.U. and Indiana University.

Dr. Larrick was a founder of the International Reading Association, a literacy group with members in about 100 countries and became a worldwide lecturer on reading and children’s literature. She continued to lecture after retiring to Winchester. She became involved with The Handley Library and was a major benefactor to the children’s reading room.

In addition to her work with The Handley Library, she served on the Shenandoah University Board of Trustees.

Dr. Larrick received honorary doctorate degrees from Goucher, Leheigh and Shenandoah University. The Commonwealth of Virginia named her a laureate of authors and educators in 1992.


Candace Davenport ’82

Candace earned an associate degree from Lord Fairfax Community College, now Laurel Ridge Community College, and graduated from the Virginia Bankers Association’s School of Bank Management at the University of Virginia. She also graduated from the Virginia Bankers Association’s Executive Leadership Institute and the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber’s Community Leadership Program.

Candace started her banking career in 1985 as a teller at First American Bank before moving to Jefferson National Bank. She joined Virginia National Bank in 2003 and served as a branch manager.

Candace is currently Vice President of First Bank. She serves as the bank’s IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Engagement, Action) officer. “I say to everybody, ‘Diversity isn’t color always. It’s diversity of thought and ideas, and also exploring how we can help understand each other.’”

Outside of banking, her community involvement and community service activities are extensive. She currently serves on the boards of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, the Fremont Street Nursery School, and the Douglas Alumna Association.

Candace is on the board of Reaching Out Now, an organization that supports under resourced youth and their families in need of support in the school system through engaged community partners and a volunteer network. She is active with the United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley and the Family Services Committee for Habitat for Humanity Winchester/Fredrick County.

She previously served on the boards of The Free Medical Clinic and Habitat for Humanity. She was a Special Olympics as a coach and a member of the LFCC Naming Task Force.

Candace is extremely proud of her son Ian who graduated with his PhD in physics from Harvard University in May 2023. He is the 3rd generation in the Davenport family to earn a PhD.

“I believe my purpose is to serve – I’m so grateful for the experiences that stretch me beyond my comfort zone. I have learned and grown in ways I couldn’t have imagined. “


Kevin Covert ’88

Kevin Covert is an Associate Professor of Theatre, Director of Musical Theatre and Co-Chair of the Theatre Division at Shenandoah University, where the Musical Theater program is regarded as one of the Top 10 programs in the US. His students appear regularly on Broadway, National Tours, and in TV/Film.


Kevin is a graduate of Florida State University. He is a proud member of the Actors Equity Association.

As an Actor, he was in the original Broadway casts of “Monty Python’s Spamalot”, “Memphis” in which he was a Fred Astaire Nominee, and the most recent hit revival of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” starring Daniel Radcliffe, Darren Criss and Nick Jonas. Kevin can be heard on the original cast recordings of all three Tony Award winning musicals.

Kevin garnered critical acclaim off Broadway for his work in “The Pirates of Penzance” starring Broadway’s Colin Hanlon and Tony Award Nominee Montego Glover. He toured the country in “CATS”, “Grand Hotel”, the 50th Anniversary production of “Oklahoma!” and “South Pacific” with Robert Goulet.

His regional credits at Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut include “Call Me Madam”, “Red, Hot and Blue”, and originating the role of Mayor Fox in the World Premiere of “Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas.” His credits also include “Les Miserables”, “Hello Dolly!” and “1776” at the Sacramento Music

In addition to being a Broadway actor/singer/dancer, Kevin serves as one of Tony Award Winner Christopher Gattelli’s Associates working with him on the Broadway revival of “South Pacific” at the Lincoln Center as well as on “Emmet Outer”.

Kevin has directed performances in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Tennessee and Florida.  He has had the privilege to study under Mike Nichols, Jose Quintero, and Craig Carnelia.


George Craig, Jr. ’41

George Craig, Jr. served with the 5th Marine Division at Iwo Jima during WWII. He returned home and used his veterans’ benefits to advance his education to become a teacher and eventually a principal.

George started teaching agriculture at Handley in 1957 before teaching college prep biology for 8 years. Superintendent Jacob Johnson promoted George to be Principal of the new Winchester Intermediate School when Winchester Public Schools were fully integrated in 1966. He was named Principal at John Handley High School in

Principal of Handley from 1968-1985, George Craig, Jr. was Handley’s second longest serving principal.  He led the school with integrity, vision, and purpose for 17 years.  He acted as a stabilizing force in the school and community, leading them to harmony during the heightened racial tensions of the early and mid-1970’s.  He built bridges in the community and sought diversity in his hiring to ensure Handley became an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.  From 1978-1981, he guided Handley’s 3-year interior renovation, taking pride in completing this project without students missing school and disrupting their education.

With a deep understanding that a school is the heart of a community, he and Jimmy Omps created a vision to establish the “Handley Pride” we still experience today.  He instituted block scheduling that allowed students to take more classes and introduced interdisciplinary, team-taught classes.  He and Nikki Isherwood earned national recognition for re-shaping Handley’s PE program to include activities that were inclusive to all.

Former Senator Russ Potts often spoke of George’s profound influence on his life.  Most notably, Potts claimed George’s words of encouragement when Handley’s football team felt too small to take on Fort Hill not only fueled their surprising win, but his own future and career.

George’s work at Handley brought him great pride and joy.  His family says it is nearly impossible to walk down the street in Winchester and not be stopped by someone remembering the impact he had on their life.


Elizabeth Comstock ’78

Beth Comstock earned her degree in Biology at The College of William and Mary. Realizing she “wanted to tell stories about science”, Comstock interned at a public radio station before transitioning to local television reporting in Virginia and public access television in Washington, D.C.


She moved to NBC as a publicity coordinator in the mid-1980s. Her work was recognized and she was promoted to higher level roles inside General Electric, the corporation that owned NBC at the time. She spent nearly three decades at GE. As Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer and then Vice Chair of Innovation, she led efforts to accelerate new growth, develop digital and clean-energy futures, seed new businesses, and enhance brand value. As President of Integrated Media at NBC Universal, she oversaw TV ad revenue and digital media efforts, including the early development of

Forbes named Beth Comstock one of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” in 2015.

She stepped down from her position as Vice Chair of General Electric to focus on new opportunities in 2017. In 2018, she released her first book “Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity and the Power of Change”.

“I’m driven to understand what’s next, navigate change and help others do the same. By cultivating a habit of seeking out new ideas, people and places, I built a career path that took me from storyteller to chief marketer to corporate Vice Chair and author.”

She is currently focused on nature conservation and continues to work as a writer and advisor. She is a director at Nike, Inc., a trustee of The National Geographic Society, and former board president of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Museum.


Wayne Coffman ’76

John Handley High School provided an unexpected opportunity that led Wayne Coffman to an exceptional career. After asking if he could join the distance runners in order to stay in shape for football, he found himself on the 1975 cross country team with Coach Gary Brown. During the next year, he finished 3rd in the state cross country meet and won two state championships in track.

He became the National Junior College Champion in the marathon while running for Allegheny Junior College in 1977. He completed his undergraduate studies at Clemson University where he joined three Handley teammates (Scott Haack, Tim Frye, and Bill Stewart) to win the school’s first ACC Cross Country championship. He went on to win All ACC Indoor and Outdoor Track honors three times.

Wayne continued his education at Clemson while a graduate assistant, and in 1985, was named the head coach for the Women’s Cross Country and Track teams. Holding a master’s degree in educational counseling, he stressed the importance of the educational side of college life with his athletes. He set high classroom standards and strict performance guidelines for those he supervised.

He served as Clemson’s Women’s head coach until 1998 and was named ACC Coach of the Year five times. He became an athletic academic advisor after coaching and worked with students from almost every sport on campus. He worked to ensure that all of them stayed on a path to graduation.

Wayne ended his career at Clemson in 2015 as the Director of Football Academics. His program graduation success rate ranked within the top 10% nationally. The South Carolina House of Representatives adopted a resolution that year recognizing his 30 years of service to the citizens of South Carolina through his Leadership at Clemson University.

Wayne’s experience as a Handley runner provided a path to success that altered his life. He sought to instill in his athletes as their coach, and eventually as their advisor, the desire to live up to one’s full potential and to appreciate and act upon the smallest of opportunities.


Gary Chrisman ’69

Gary participated in track and field at Handley and was a member of Coach Ron Rice’s undefeated 1967 football team. He continued his athletic career at Shepherd College where he graduated in 1974.

He began working in sales for Xerox in 1979. In 1984, he was selected to begin a Xerox agency and Apple Valley Office Products was formed in Winchester. Over the next 34 years, Apple Valley Office Products served the Shenandoah Valley and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

Gary was a member of the Winchester City Council for 10 years. He was Mayor of Winchester from 1992-1996.

He was a founder of the Virginia Flag Football Association in 1976. He was Treasurer of the association and ran a statewide tournament for 40 years.

An Eagle Scout, he has provided adult leadership to the Boy Scouts of America for over 45 years. He has served on the Executive Board of Shenandoah Area Council BSA and has held the position of Council Training Chairman. He has taken scouts to Philmont Scout Ranch and to the National Jamboree.

Gary has held multiple leadership positions in the Rotary Club of Winchester including President, Area Governor, and Club Foundation Chair. He has received Rotary’s Distinguished Service Award and the Rotary Avenues of Service Award for his work on club, community, vocational, and international service projects.

Gary has served on the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce, the Alcohol Safety Action Project, the Frederick-Winchester Service Authority, and the Winchester Parks and Recreation. A member of Fellowship Bible Church, he has served on the finance and building committees. He was President of the Judges Athletic Association and a member of the Senior Board.


Mifflin Clowe ’37

Mifflin Clowe graduated with the Class of 1937. He was President of the Boys Monogram Club his senior year and he has been credited with designing the “JH” monogram.

Mifflin enlisted in the Virginia National Guard in 1935. He was Captain of Company I, 116th Infantry when it landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day. He received a Bronze Star with an Oak Leaf Cluster and a Purple Heart for his service in Europe during the war. He remained in the Virginia National Guard and retired with the rank of Colonel.

Following the war, he returned to work at the family’s jewelry business on North Loudoun Street. He was elected to City Council and served as mayor from 1948 until 1956.

In 1950, all water supplied to the city came from area springs that, during dry periods, could only produce approximately three quarters of the city’s projected needs. While Miff Clowe was mayor, the city council approved the plans and started the construction of the current water supply line that runs from the North Fork of the Shenandoah River to Winchester.

When a delegation from Spartanburg, S.C. arrived at Mt. Hebron Cemetery prepared to remove the body of Revolutionary War General Daniel Morgan, Mayor Clowe was part of the Winchester defense of the general’s grave. The incident was covered by Life magazine on September 3, 1951.

After meeting with Black community leaders, Mayor Clowe’s city council unanimously backed a resolution requesting the Handley Board of Trustees to open The Handley Library to all citizens of Winchester. The library was integrated in December 1953.

Colonel Clowe was called back to active duty in 1963 as America’s involvement in the Vietnam War was escalating. He served until 1968.

Mifflin returned to Winchester following his final military service and the closing of the jewelry store. He finished his career as the Purchasing Manager, Personnel Director and Civil Defense Coordinator for the City of Winchester.