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 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.

Memories of Long Ago: Margaret V. Campbell Council

Margaret V. Campbell Council – High School Graduating Picture in 1930s

I was privilege in having a conversation with the 78 year-old Leroy Council of Philadelphia who revealed his deep love for his mother, Margaret and the history she shared with him about her life in Alexandria.

His mother, Margaret was born in Alexandria on April 19, 1917. Margaret’s mother came to Alexandria from Orange, Virginia to have her. After she was born, her mother returned to Orange County with her daughter, Margaret.

Margaret’s grandparents, Phillip and Alice Perry Campbell raised her. Out of their great love for their grandchild, Phillip and Alice moved to Alexandria in 1922 so that Margaret could get a better education.

Margaret left Alexandria after the death of her grandparents. She moved to Philadelphia to be with her mother. She came back to Alexandria to get married. She raised her children in Philadelphia but kept her close ties with friends and family in Alexandria. She never missed an opportunity to return to Alexandria to be with family and her childhood friends.

You can read Margaret’s story in the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper that was published on March 30th at:

Parker-Gray School’s One-Hundred-Year Anniversary

On August 15, 2020, the Parker-Gray Alumni Association will be celebrating the 100-year Anniversary of Parker-Gray School. If you want to assist the Parker-Gray Alumni in planning this celebration or you want to attend this celebration, please contact Mrs. Alice Thompson at 703-549-8178.

You can read a recent article titled, We Were the “Bull Dogs: Parker-Gray School” at

Reaching for Success: Judge Joseph C. Waddy

Behind the scenes of the Alexandria Gazette Packet’s article on, “Reaching for Success: Judge Joseph C. Waddy” – dated October 10 – 16, 2019.

Judge Joseph C. Waddy

Joseph C. Waddy was one of the success stories that came out of Parker-Gray School in Alexandria, VA during the early 1920s. He became a Judge in Washington, DC. While he was a Judge, he was instrumental in improving the District of Columbia’s education system. His ruling on education against the District of Columbia for excluding publicly funded education for disable children still stands today.

The Judge’s Summary Judgement of the plaintiffs on August 1, 1972, Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia, 348 F.Supp. 866,871 (D.C. Cir. 1972) changed the way that the District of Columbia provided funding to their disable children. The ruling was coined as the “Waddy Decree.”

Check out the article on “Reaching for Success: Judge Joseph C. Waddy” October 10-16, 2019 in the Alexandria Gazette Packet on page 8 at

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