Wenger, Virginia Voigt 2004
Educator, business owner and writer Virginia Voigt Wenger, OCW class of 1946, was named to the Alumni Hall of Fame at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma on Oct. 16, 2004.
Her list of achievements is simply a list of firsts: first woman in the 150 year history of the Baltimore City Public Schools named Deputy Superintendent; first woman Assistant Superintendent of Vocational Education; first woman director of the Board of Directors, Carrollton Bank of Baltimore, for 13 years; and first women president of the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals.
Virginia grew up in the Tuttle community. “Her youthful brilliance showing through at an early age and she was the valedictorian of her 1943 graduating class of Tuttle High School,” writes Joan Hughes Rawlings, OCW 1945 class, and Valda Dowdy Kester, Hall of Fame 1986.
“The Voigt family were pioneer farmers of northern Grady County who also served as community leaders while raising two children from that area. Virginia’s mother, also a graduate of OCW, was a prominent teacher at many of the rural schools and strived to tutor her daughter while teaching the basic to generations of Oklahoma country school children.”
Her education began with a B.S. from Oklahoma College for Women. She then earned M.Ed and PhD degrees from Johns Hopkins University.
Her educational career included 35 years in Baltimore City Public Schools. Her work included serving as teacher, supervisor of Home Economics, and Assistant Secondary School Principalships. She served as Principal of Herring Run Junior High School, the largest junior high school in Maryland with 3200 students and 200 staff. During her three and a half year tenure, she had 44 promotions from the teaching staff of the school to positions of leadership, including supervisors and principals.
In addition to her school work, she was a columnist for 23 years for The Baltimore Evening Sun which has a circulation of 225,000. She produced three columns weekly on food and homemaking, approximately 3,500 columns during her career. She was also a contributor to the Baltimore Sunday Sun Magazine and wrote cookbooks for The Baltimore Sun, including “Fun With Food, “Fun With Sea Food,” and “Holiday Foods.”
Now retired from education, she is a managing partner of Greenspring, Ltd., an industrial real estate firm. She is co-owner of Falls Road Travel Inc., Roland Park Travel Inc., Cruises Aweigh Inc., all in Baltimore.
She has also served as president of the Home Economics Division, American Vocational Association; on the Mayor’s Advisory Committee, Baltimore; as chairman of the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Transportation (highways, air, port, train, etc.) for Maryland; and was a member of the Board of Directors for the Baltimore Better Business Bureau.
Honors include Ford Fellowship for travel and study, Florence Bamberger Scholarship, Johns Hopkins University, Administrator of the Year, Baltimore School Secretaries Association.
A Life Member of the USAO Alumni Association, other activities include active professional membership in National Association of Secondary School Principals, Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals, American Vocational Association and American Home Economics Association.
“What I have done since my graduation from then-OCW pales besides the achievements of the bright young men and women who have followed me,” she writes. My only noteworthy work, I believe, is that I opened doors for women, doors that had been closed before and that I was responsible for training and promoting able men and women to positions of educational leadership.”
“Virginia Wenger exemplifies what all graduates dream of becoming when they finish at OCW/USAO. Beautiful, educated, productive in the use of her superior career choices and a sincere desire to serve her community through education,” states the letter of nomination.
In addition to her career, Virginia was the mother of four children. She and her husband, Dr. Alvin Wenger, are retired in Land O’ Lakes, Florida.