Sarah A. Gray

Behind the scenes of the article titled, “Sarah A. Gray: Principal of Hallowell School.”

Sarah A. Gray was one of two people that Parker-Gray School was named after. She was a remarkable woman who was educated as well as a talented pianist and an organist.

Sarah A. Gray

Due to the death of her father, William Gray and two lawsuits, Sarah started experiencing health issues. Her father, William Gray died in 1891.

Sarah filed two lawsuits against Reverend Robert H. Robinson’s son, Reverend Robert B. Robinson, for slander. The other lawsuit was against her stepmother and relative, Alfred Peters concerning her father’s estate. Due to these heavy burdens, Sarah died in 1893 – just two years after her father.

A detailed article is available in the Alexandria Times dated, September 9, 2021 on, “Sarah A. Gray: Principal of Hallowell School on pages 17 and 18 at

https://alextimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/September-9-2021.pdf. A small correction in the article is that Sarah’s father died in 1891 not 1892. In addition, the above article incorrectly had Sarah teaching at the public school in 1871. She started in the 1870 school year.

His Name Lives On – Charles Hamilton Houston

Charles Hamilton Huston, Esq.

Over 70 years ago, Charles Hamilton Houston died from a heart attack. He was the godfather of the Civil Rights Movement. Attorney Houston knocked down one segregation case after another. He and a team of lawyers, which included his former student, Thurgood Marshall, worked on the Brown vs. Board of Education case. This case was based on segregation in the public school system.

Charles was the lead lawyer who took the case all the way to the Supreme Court; but he did not live to see the final Supreme Court decision. Charles Hamilton Houston died in 1950 and the Supreme Court decision on Brown vs. Board of Education was made in 1954 disbanding segregation in the school system.

You can read more about Charles Hamilton Houston in how he affected Alexandria, Virginia in the article, “His Name Lives On – Charles Hamilton Houston” in the Alexandria Gazette Packet on page 8 at http://www.alexandriagazette.com/news/2021/mar/06/other-alexandria-his-name-lives-charles-hamilton-h/.

Behind the Scene – “Giving Back to the Youth: Joyce Casey Sanchez”

Mrs. Joyce Sanchez was born to a very strong and independent mother, Ada Virginia Casey. Joyce’s father died when she was young. Ada raised her four children in the close knitted community in the West End of Alexandria known as Seminary area.

Ada Virginia Casey raised her children to be strong, independent and leaders. Joyce took her mother’s teachings to heart and became a strong advocate for the youth. She not only prepared herself for the challenge, she exceeded in all her studies in high school as well as college. By getting her education, she prepared herself for the challenge of educating the youth in Alexandria. What she could not accomplish as a teacher, she accomplished through the many organizations that she was a member.

She always had her eyes on making the Alexandria youth the best they could be with the right educational tools.

You can read more about Joyce Casey Sanchez in the Alexandria Gazette newspaper dated October 14, 2020 on page 7 at http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2020/101420/Alexandria.pdf.

First Principal of Parker-Gray School

Mr. Henry T. White is on the right third roll.

Mr. Henry T. White was the first Principal of Parker-Gray School. His tenure as school principal was from 1920 – 1927. Then he stayed at Parker-Gray as a teacher from 1927 – 1934. The requirements had changed in Alexandria, Virginia for principals. Principals were required to have a Bachelor’s degree. Mr. White had a three-year teacher certificate from the Wayland Seminary in Washington, DC.

When Parker-Gray School first open in 1920, the school went from primary to eighth grade. Mr. White had a double role in Parker-Gray. He was the principal and he taught the seven and eight grades. His 1920-1921 students were:

Bell, Thomas age 13 – seventh grade
Bell, Margaret age 15 – eighth grade
Butler, Llewellyn age 13 – seventh grade
Byrd, Corrine age 13 – eighth grade
Carter, Ellen age 12 – seventh grade
Colbert, Ida age 15 – seventh grade
Contee, Elizabeth age 12 – seventh grade
Dixon, Rosena age 13 – seventh grade
Ellis, William age 13 – seventh grade
Gaddis, Rosier age 13 – seventh grade
Gaines, Anna age 15 – seventh grade
Gilliam, Ruth age 12 – seventh grade
Hill, Eva age 15 – seventh grade
Hopkins, Norris age 13 – seventh grade
Jones, Marie age 14 – seventh grade
Lewis, Gladys age 15 – eighth grade
Lucas, Charles age 12 – seventh grade
Lumpkins, Patrick H. Jr age 13 – eighth grade
Majors, Lucille age 15 – seventh grade
Martin, Willrowe age 15 – eighth grade
McGee, Edgar age 12 – seventh grade
Norton, Elbert age 15 – eighth grade
Parker, Nannie age 14 – seventh grade
Redd, James age 13 – seventh grade
Russell, Mildred age 14 – seventh grade
Shanklin, Samuel age 15 – seventh grade
Speaks, Esther age 12 – seventh grade
Stewart, Florence age 15 – eighth grade
Strange, Richard age 15 – seventh grade
Strange, Wallace age 12 – seventh grade
Turner, Ernest age 15 – seventh grade
Washington, Edmonia age 15 – seventh grade
White, Kathleen V age 13 – seventh grade
Whitmore, Eliza age 15 – seventh grade

You can read more about Mr. Henry T. White in the Alexandria Gazette newspaper dated July 29, 2020 at http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2020/072920/Alexandria.pdf.

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