History of Carlisle School

Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence in Education

Carlisle School was founded in 1968 by business leaders, educators and professional people 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 Colleges and Schools, Virginia Association of Independent Schools and 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