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

Principal Henry T. White’s 1920 Parker-Gray Class

First Faculty of PG
1920 Principal Henry T. White and First Faculty

Prior to 1920, the colored boys and girls of Alexandria were taught separately in two buildings.  The boys were in Snowden School, on the west side of South Pitt Street near Gibbon Street.  Mr. John F. Parker was principal of Snowden School.  The girls were in Hallowell School on, the east side of North Alfred Street between Princess and Oronoco Streets.  Mr. Henry T. White was their principal.

Mr. Henry T. White was selected to be the first principal of the combined schools of Snowden and Hallowell for black boys and black girls.  The school was named Parker-Gray School after Mr. John F. Parker and Miss Sarah A. Gray.  Ironically, Mr. John F. Parker’s declining health might have prevented the School Board for selecting him as the principal of the school that was named after him.

Mr. Henry T. White was born in 1862 in Pittsylvania, Virginia.  He was married to Marcella Mayhew.  He and his wife migrated to Alexandria in the late 1880s.  Though he was principal at Parker-Gray, he taught classes.  He taught 7th and 8th grades in 1920 – 1921 school year.  The students were:

Margaret Bell, age 15, grade 8th

Thomas Bell, age 13, grade 7th

Llewellyn Butler, age 14, grade 7th

Corinne Byrd, age 13, grade 8th

Ellen Carter, age 12, grade 7th

Ida Colbert, age 15, grade 7th

Elizabeth Contee, age 12, grade 7th

Rosena Dixon, age 13, grade 7th

William Ellis, age 13, grade 7th

Rosier Gaddis, age 13, grade 7th

Anna Gaines, age 15, grade 7th

Ruth Gilliam, age 12, grade 7th

Eva Hill, age 15, grade 7th

Norris Hopkins, age 12, grade 7th

Gladys Lewis, age 15, grade 8th

Charles Lucas, age 12, grade 7th

Patrick H. Lumpkins Jr., age 13, grade 8th

Lucille Majors, age 15, grade 7th

Wibrow Martin, age 15, grade 8th

Edgar McGee, age 12, grade 7th

Elbert Norton, age 15, grade 8th

Nannie Parker, age 14, grade 7th

James Redd, age 13, grade 7th

Mildred Russell, age 14, grade 7th

Samuel Shanklin, age 15, grade 7th

Esther Speaks, age 12, grade 7th

Florence Stewart, age 15, grade 8th

Richard Strange, age 15, grade 7th

Wallace Strange, age 12, grade 7th

Ernest Turner, age 15, grade 7th

Edmonia Washington, age 15, grade 7th

Kathleen V. White, age 13, grade 7th

Eliza Whitmore, age 15, grade 7th

Marie Jones, age 14, grade 7th

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