William W. Perry
Waynesboro's first new school built in twenty years is named in honor of William W. Perry. Mr. Perry's name was selected from dozens of names submitted to the Waynesboro School Board for consideration. However, his name was the only person's name submitted to the Board by the committee commissioned to study name possibilities. The decision by the Board to name the new school in honor of Mr. Perry was unanimous.
A native of Waynesboro, William W. Perry started his career in Waynesboro as a teacher at Rosenwald School. Mr. Perry taught at the school with his mother, Julia E. Perry, one of the first black educators in Waynesboro. Mr. Perry even had his mother as a teacher in grades 4 and 5. Mr. Perry graduated from Rosenwald himself when it was unaccredited with the state. He then attended The Agricultural and Technical College in Greensboro, North Carolina and graduated from there in 1946 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He then obtained a master's degree from Ohio State University.
Upon completion of his studies, Mr. Perry taught at Rosenwald for five years...the first time. He left Waynesboro in 1951 and worked in Stamford, Connecticut and Harrisonburg, Virginia before returning to Rosenwald School as the principal in 1957. During his first three years, the school was torn down and rebuilt. Mr. Perry worked hard to see the new Rosenwald School accredited by the Virginia Department of Education and did so five years before it closed and the students were sent into the newly-desegregated schools throughout the City.
In the fall of 1965, the schools in Waynesboro were integrated. Mr. Perry's work for integration of city schools is cited as one of the main reasons the process went as smoothly as it did in Waynesboro. Mr. Perry left Rosenwald to become an assistant principal at Kate Collins Junior High School. He remained there until his retirement in 1987.
Mr. Perry and his wife, Lois, still reside in Waynesboro and remain very active in civic and church activities, in addition to their steadfast volunteer service to Waynesboro Public Schools. They have one son, Wesley, who is an electronic engineer in Baltimore, Maryland.
Saturday, May 18, 2013