Hampton Middle School's matriarch Mary Jo Stoy has an unmatched memory
Posted on 09/30/2019
Mary Jo stoy with former students Holley Rupert Scheffel and Stephen Dittmer posing with yearbooks and yearbook photo

The woman many consider the matriarch of Hampton (formerly Godwin) Middle School is retiring this June after more than 40 years serving students in various roles. Mary Jo Stoy began in Prince William County Schools as a long-term substitute, then went full-time as a teaching assistant and has served as the school’s attendance secretary for nearly three decades; all her years spent under the same roof — the now Hampton Middle School.

“I did one day out of the building,” shared Stoy. “I agreed to sub at Dale City Elementary, and before that day was done, I knew that wasn’t for me. I like middle school students. And, I never went anywhere else again!”  

Stoy has strong ties to the Dale City community where she and her late husband, a Prince William County police officer, raised three children, all of whom graduated from Prince William County Schools and attended then Godwin Middle School. She’s seen thousands of students come through middle school, many of whom now have their own children and even a few grandchildren who attend Hampton. Her long history in one building means Stoy is recognized and remembered wherever she goes.

“I will run into a student in a store who’s now an adult and they will remind me how I used to chew them out for coming in late,” Stoy offered with a chuckle. “Then they will share what they are doing now and how they are always on-time for their job!”

Staff, parents and former students are often surprised at how great Stoy’s memory is when it comes to faces and names.  

“I was working summer school at Hampton and struck up a conversation with Mrs. Stoy not expecting her to remember me,” shared Holley Rupert Scheffel, a language arts teacher at Battlefield High School who attended then Godwin from 1983 to 1986.  “She knew exactly who I was, and, without prompting, she told me that I had a brother and a sister, AND a niece who attended there. This lady remembered my name and my family from the mid-80s!

Stoy has a true impact on everyone she meets. Staff tout both her work ethic and her generous heart as reasons Stoy is so beloved.  She’s seen as a surrogate or second mom to so many.

“Mrs. Stoy is a driving force behind a lot of our activities here at school that build school culture,” remarked Hampton Assistant Principal Mike Nicely who has worked with Stoy for 22 years. “Staff pot lucks, birthday celebrations and things that keep us light and happy and together as a Husky family. She’s the mama of the school and takes care of every one of us.  

Congratulations Mary Jo Stoy on your long career! Your dedication to the students and community of Hampton Middle is #PositivelyPWCS 

Positively PWCS