Mary Clarie McBride '66, Feb. 14, 1944 - May 26, 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 Feb. 14, 1944 in Milwaukee. She attended St. Robert School and Dominican High School, Trinity College in Washington, D.C., and Santa Clara University in California where she earned a B.A. degree in 1966. While teaching at Shaw Junior high school in the District of Columbia, she studied for an M.A. 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.
submitted Jun. 6, 2014 4:10P