In 2016, the Winchester Education Foundation, which raises funds to support the students and teachers of the Winchester Public Schools, learned that it was one of several community beneficiaries of the Mindy J. Loy Trust. The testamentary trust was established by Mindy Loy, a member of the Handley Class of 1974 who had passed earlier that year. Terms of the trust specified that the funds had to be used for scholarships for graduates of Handley High School.
To help with challenges in recruiting and retaining quality teachers, the idea of the Loy “Come Back” Scholarships was born. Scholarships are awarded to Handley graduates who have earned degrees in education and who decide to “come back” to teach in Winchester Public Schools.
Scholarships funds can be used for tuition reimbursement, student debt retirement, and tuition for obtaining advanced degrees. Applicants must agree to remain with WPS for two years from the time the grant is awarded. Recipients must be teachers or hold other professionally-certificated positions within WPS.
The first two scholarships under this program were awarded at the system’s convocation in 2018. Recently, scholarships were awarded to:
Type 1 Applications (New Hires in 2020): $5,000 each to (L-R) Chyanna Jones (JHHS) and Carissa Knupp (DMIS)
Type 2 Applications (Returning Faculty in 2020): $2,500 each to (L-R) Stephanie Bucey (VACDES), Samantha Gates (VACDES), Melissa Nelms (JKES), and Brian Tavenner (DMMS)
The mission of the Winchester Education Foundation is to continue the legacy of school system benefactor Judge John Handley by encouraging private investment by individuals and businesses in the Winchester Public Schools.