The Legacy

Upon his death in 1895, Judge John Handley of Scranton, PA bequeathed most of his fortune to the City of Winchester, Virginia for a public library and “the creation of school houses for the education of the poor.”  Although he never lived in Winchester, Judge Handley visited frequently and established strong ties to the community.  Pursuant to the terms of his will, a trust fund was created and the income from the investment of his estate was used for the construction of schools and a library.

Continuing the Legacy

Authorized by the Virginia General Assembly following the bequest of Judge John Handley, the Handley Trust has continued the legacy of Judge Handley by providing funds to assist with capital improvement projects as well as programs for students, teachers, visiting scholars and artists, and parents.  While the possibilities for enhancing the educational experience of our schoolchildren and equipping them to be the leaders of tomorrow are infinite, the resources of the Handley Trust are finite and diminishing.  Therefore, Winchester community leaders have recognized the need to develop a fundraising body to directly support the growth of the Handley Trust as well as other organizations with similar goals within the Winchester Public School system.

Winchester Education Foundation

Established to facilitate a public-private partnership between the Winchester Public Schools and private citizens and businesses who recognize the value of public education in general and the Winchester Public Schools in particular, the Winchester Education Foundation provides an opportunity to continue the legacy of Judge Handley.  The WEF seeks to raise funds, through various means, for the Handley Board of Trustees, the Winchester Public Schools,  the Judges Athletic Association, and the Handley High School Museum and Archives.

Funds donated to WEF can be undesignated or designated for one of the member organizations.  These funds enhance educational opportunities for all schoolchildren of the Winchester Public Schools and also assist foundation member organizations in fulfilling their individual missions as described in this brochure.

The WEF is proud to provide a vehicle for individuals and businesses to become partners in the continuing pursuit of excellence in education for Winchester’s students.