“Always sing, always make music – it will hold you in the hardest times, in the best of times.” – Mary McBride 1944-2014.
Mary McBride died suddenly and unexpectedly on Memorial Day, 2014, just weeks from her planned retirement. She had served Woodlawn since 1972, one of the original cohort of teachers.
H-B Woodlawn held a memorial service for Mary McBride on Thursday, May 29 at 3:15 in the auditorium.
Contributions to a H-B Woodlawn memorial fund can be directed to:
Mary McBride Scholarship Fund,
c/o H-B Woodlawn School, 4100 Vacation Lane, Arlington, VA 22207.
Frank Haltinger writes:
As many of you may know, this is an immense loss for our HB community, and for the Arlington Public School’s community as well. Mary was a person who was essentially there for us all, and for communities beyond HB. She was an extraordinary HEART who combined with her wonderful stories, laughter and leadership made so many of us feel better everyday.
A obituary from Mary’s hometown of Milwaukee:
Mary C. McBride 1944 – 2014 “We shall not look upon her like again.” – Published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on June 1, 2014
Dr. Mary C. McBride, recently honored by administrators of the Arlington County Public Schools and her colleagues at the Hoffman-Boston Woodlawn Secondary Program for 45 years of distinguished service as a teacher – administrator, died suddenly on May 26, 2014.
The daughter of John (Jack) McBride, a Wisconsin state legislator and federal magistrate and Claire Bannen, a homemaker, Mary was born February 14, 1944 in Milwaukee. She attended St. Robert School and Dominican High School, Trinity College in Washington, DC, and Santa Clara University in California where she earned a BA degree in 1966. While teaching at Shaw Junior high school in the District of Columbia, she studied for an MA degree in American history at Georgetown University. When she applied for a history teacher opening in Arlington, the interviewer worried about her small stature, but she assured him that she was a veteran of Shaw and ready (he regretted his question for years).
Mary began her professional career as head-teacher at H-B Woodlawn in its first years and helped shape its development into a special alternative public high school program, providing quality education in a setting that encouraged student creativity and initiative. Her dissertation for her doctorate in Education Administration at the University of Maryland explored the programs of alternative public schools in the Eastern states. Mary served on important Arlington School committees on diversity, curricula, and standards.
In the community she volunteered at the Arlington Food Assistance program and often appeared with a casserole on the doorstep of an ailing colleague or new parent. A highly skilled tennis player (Wisconsin Girls Doubles Champion in her teens), she moved on to golf and swimming more recently. A successful administrator despite her deep sense of humor, Mary McBride was above all a master teacher. Her ability to make history live, her concern and respect for her students, and her ability to remember them years later have made her a legend in Arlington. Indeed, many old students remember her jokes and kindnesses as well as the New Deal.
Her brothers John, Dennis, and sister-in-law Tracy, and niece, Kathryn Taubert predeceased her. She is survived by her sister, Anne Taubert , brother-in-law Bruce , sister-in-law Colleen, Othello McBride, and several generations of nieces and nephews. She will be missed by her close friends from grade and grad school, her friends in the Safeway checkout lines, and by her colleagues and students.
In celebration of Mary’s life, family and friends should gather at Holy Cross Cemetery in the West Chapel (7301 W. Nash St., Milwaukee) on Thursday, June 5, from 10:30 AM until the time of a Catholic Prayer Service at 11:00 AM. Interment at the cemetery will follow. In loving memory of Mary, contributions appreciated to the Mary McBride Scholarship Fund, c/o H-B Woodlawn School, 4100 Vacation Lane, Arlington, VA 22207. Shakespeare wrote not of Hamlet but of Mary McBride when he said “She was a woman, take her for all in all. I shall not look upon her like again.”
A short film, a collage of image and song, created for Mary’s retirement by her colleagues.
A sample reactions to the news of Mary’s sudden passing on FB:
Lisa Moscatiello writes: Still trying to process this news. Feeling so sad this morning and I’m sure for a long time to come. She was a great teacher and a kind, humane person. I just saw her last week & she was full of energy & did not look like someone about to retire.
Ester Brittian writes: Such sad news. I think of the ripple effect of all the lives she touched, a great teacher’s legacy goes on and on.
Drew McCoy writes: Without a doubt, a teacher who was extremely influential in the Woodlawn community, who touched me personally like very few others. She had a gift, and was generous in sharing it with all of us. She prepared me for college in a way no others did–she treated students as equals and challenged us to think way beyond the text. We are all enriched to have known her and I am saddened by this loss to society.
Brian Price writes: Mary sent a lot of us out on lifelong independent studies. I always appreciated that.
Nancy Foster Benedict writes: She really challenged your thinking. Such a dynamo!
Jimmy Overholt writes: So committed to HBW, and was so instrumental in all our successes. We will miss her dearly. She may have literally given her life to HB, since she never quite made it to retirement...
Corrie Drennan writes: Stunned. The halls of HB will never be the same.
Peter Tao writes: The HB family is a bit emptier tonight….what a great loss.
Margaret Harbaugh writes: Rest in peace, Mary. I think Arlington County School kids in general and we HB grads in particular are so unbelievably lucky and (yes!) blessed to have had such a dedicated, inspirational, colorful group of teachers and staff to learn from. I wonder if HB teachers know just how often we look back with appreciation and gratitude. Thank you to Mary, and so many others, for changing so many of our lives for the better.
Kathy McFarland Evans writes: She appreciated her students and always found them entertaining. She prodded us into becoming better versions of ourselves.
Ben Towers writes: So very, very sad, but Mary gave so much to so many that her legacy will live on for generations. I am sometimes in awe of the influence so many of my HBW teachers had on me that I never realized until far later in life…..
Linda Printzenhoff writes: Oh my….she had just the right parts of spunk and sass..
Lauren Beltz writes: Mary McBride was my teacher, my sister Linda and Lisa Beltz’s teacher, and Lisa’s son Brendan’s teacher. She was strongly influential on all of us. She was friends with my father, and part of our extended family since 1976. I have spoken to my family, and we are all standing with the McBride family, as well as with our beloved H-B Woodlawn community. May her Memory be for a Blessing: Z”L.
William F. Sweeney writes: ” ……. Without her interest in me, I’d never have graduated high school. It’s not an exaggeration. Mary was exceptional. Our community has suffered a terrible loss. I will never, ever forget her and her influence on my life.
Tracy Ann Essoglou writes: ouch. Rest in peace Mary. a great great teacher.
Anna Golden writes: She was a wonderful teacher and person. Her Russian History class was my favorite.
Lisanne Schloss writes: Such sad news, but happy memories of a very special person who made an indelible impression on my young life.
Katie Haritos-Shea writes: She was a very fine person and dedicated educator. She made a positive influence in my life. I am glad she was a part of it for me long ago.
Annie Lynn writes: I remember what I learned from her to this day. Extraordinary teacher, friend, woman, person.
Caroline Goell writes: Think of all the people she influenced and all the lives she touched. Holy cow. That’s a life well lived. I’ll raise a glass to ya tonight, Mary. Join me, friends.
Chip White writes: Mary was an extraordinary person who deeply affected me, and I suspect, just about every person she came in contact with. I remember that she pretty much never said no to a request for a college recommendation, and was generous and thoughtful in many, many ways. I’ll also always remember her wonderful sense of humor. She will be deeply missed.
Ray Sarracino writes: The world’s a little darker today. My condolences to her family and friends. She made a difference in the world.
Hannah Moore writes: I think of so many I want to talk about Mary ……. How when I showed up at HB 30 years after graduating to put my daughter’s name in the lottery, she knew who I was.
Jenny Chambers writes: Thank you, Mary, for your impact on HB & the lives of your students. We will miss you. RIP. Jenny ’95 & John ’99 ChambersYouTube video of the speech Mary McBride gave at her retirement dinner in May 17th, 2014