About Mrs. Lucy V. Barnsley

Lucy Lucy Virginia Hughes was born on September 30, 1881, in Travilah, Maryland (Travilah is now called Potomac). She was one of six children. She attended elementary school in Travilah and upon completion of the tenth grade, received a three year scholarship to Towson State Normal School.

She graduated from Towson in 1901 and started teaching grades one through seven in a one-room schoolhouse on Avery Road. After teaching for five years she married Thomas T. Barnsley, stopped teaching and moved to a dairy farm on Avery. Mr. and Mrs. Barnsley had three children, Theodore, J. Cullum and Virginia.

Miss Barnsley started teaching in a one-room school again in 1921 when her youngest child, Virginia, was ready for school. All of her children attended that school.

The Barnsleys sold their farm in 1927 because of Tom's ill health. He died in 1935. They moved into the City of Rockville and Miss Lucy started teaching sixth grade in Rockville Elementary School, later named Park Street School. There she specialized in teaching "slow learners and problem boys", and she started the first summer session to help them. She was a patient and understanding teacher. The children especially enjoyed her imagination and storytelling. During her career of approximately 35 years, she sometimes taught three generations of the same family. She even taught her own granddaughter, Cynthia.

After her retirement in 1951, Miss Lucy helped organize the Retired Teachers Association. Through her efforts retired teachers were permitted to become substitute teachers. Miss Lucy was able to continue working with children as a substitute for the next six years.

During her lifetime, Miss Lucy was an active member of many organizations, including the Methodist Church, 4-H, Girl Scouts of Rockville, Inquiry Club of Rockville (the club donated the first 100 books to start the first library in Rockville), PTA Retired Teachers of Montgomery County, Federation of Women's Clubs and was the founder of Young at Heart. In 1957 she was chosen as Maryland's Mother of the Year. In 1961 she was chosen as the Outstanding Graduate of Maryland State Teacher's College over a 60-year period.

Miss Lucy's motto was "Never too old to learn". Miss Lucy died in 1962 at the age of 81. Many of her former students wrote to the Barnsley family to tell them how much they appreciated having had Miss Lucy as their teacher. A dedication ceremony was held on May 19, 1966, naming this school in her honor, making Barnsley the first school in Montgomery County to be named for a woman.