Architectural Digest names John Handley most beautiful public high school in Virginia | WDVM News

WINCHESTER, Va. – In a recent magazine article, a public high school in Winchester was recognized for its good looks.  John Handley High School is receiving some national attention after being named the most beautiful public school in Virginia by Architectural Digest Magazine.

“Absolutely, we have the most beautiful high school in Virginia. I think we have the most beautiful high school in the country,” said Principal Mike Dufrene.

The writer of the article said she looked at hundreds of public high schools across the country, methodically going through statewide school rankings making sure she saw as many as possible. She then selected ones that were architecturally significant, typically historic buildings, then narrowed down her selection to one high school per state.

See the original article and all the award winners in Architectural Digest.

“We’re honored to be recognized, but it doesn’t surprise me. We do have a beautiful facility. When you go through the article, there are some pretty impressive places, but I think we have the best,” said Dufrene.

Local historians said that John Handley High School is named after Judge John Handley, who left $250,000 dollars to Winchester after his death in 1895. The funds were later used build to the high school in 1923.

Officials said that a five-year $72 million renovation and expansion of the high school kicked off in 2009, and there’s no doubt the students and staff take pride in their school.

Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc. served as the construction manager on the project, and VMDO architects did the design work.

“For the people in this community, there’s a lot more to it than what’s on the outside; John Handley is beautiful inside,” said Dufrene.

Source: Sierra Fox on Nova News / WDVM News here.