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History of Carlisle School

Celebrating 51 Years of Excellence in Education

Carlisle School was founded in 1968 by business leaders, educators, and professionals in the Martinsville, Virginia area who were interested in providing a community-based school, which combined superior academics with high personal standards. Carlisle embraced the philosophy of offering a rigorous college-preparatory program and encouraging intellectual discipline and creativity, while also fostering the development of character and individual responsibility.

The school opened its doors to 81 students in grades one through seven. Today, Carlisle School continues to provide a first-class academic education for more than 340 students in Pre-K through grade 12 from southwestern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.

Accredited in 1974, Carlisle School is a member of the Southern Association of Independent Schools. During our VAIS and SAIS accreditation visit in October 2014, Carlisle was again fully accredited. This achievement reflects the outstanding quality of the education available at Carlisle School.

Over the years, Carlisle School has kept pace with the most rigorous independent schools by continually examining curriculum issues and by seeking talented faculty with advanced degrees from diverse backgrounds. 

Carlisle Heads of School

Gabrielle Roy                                     1968-1969
Charles Cumiskey                             1969-1980
James Lipke                                       1980-1983
Anne Vipperman, Interim             1983-1984
Dick Hensley                                      1984-1992
Colin Ferguson                                   1992-2004
Simon Owen-Williams                      2004-2012
Dr. Barry Dorsey, Interim                 2012-2013
Tommy Hudgins                                2013-2018
Gracie Agnew                                     2018-Present