KENNETT SQUARE – Now in its sixth year, Unionville High School once again held its Wall of Honor celebration, recognizing graduates who have gone on to do great things in their lives. This year’s inductees included former teachers, a land preservationist and even a meteorologist.
The four new faces added to the wall are Ray and Mary McKay, Samuel Stone Wilson and Helen E. Martin.
Two of them, Mary McKay and Samuel Wilson, had passed away in previous years, but both were represented by family members.
Ray and Mary McKay
Ray McKay, class of 1960, met his future wife Mary, class of 1952, while he was still a student at Unionville and she was a teacher. Both became educators in the district and had a combined total of 70 years teaching.
“I remember at our 10th reunion, the first one we ever had, was ‘My Lord, look who Ray married,’” McKay said. “I was very happy – not sure they were.”
The McKays had such a profound impact on the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District, including helping to plan Charles F. Patton Middle and Hillendale Elementary and even allowed Pocopson Elementary to be built on the family farm.
Mary McKay had close to 40 years serving in the district and didn’t retire until 1997 – the same year as her husband.
“I literally had to drag her out,” McKay said. “’I’m not finished yet.’ ‘Yes you are.’”
Stone, represented by his children Mary Jean Wilson-Stenz and Samuel Wilson, Jr., was manager of King Ranch and a land preservationist in the area.
Stone, class of 1950, attended Unionville Consolidated School from first through 12th grade and was active in all kinds of sports, from soccer to basketball and baseball. After school, he was drafted into the Army and served in the Medical Corps before returning home.
“I just wanted to thank you all for this honor for dad,” Wilson-Stenz said. “He loved Unionville and it was a great part of his life.”
Stone’s father was manager of the King Ranch and it was only fitting to have it passed down to son. King Ranch and the name of Stone even brought him the attention of then-President Ronald Reagan and the two met when the president made a trip to the area.
Martin, class of 1963, was a meteorologist and became a science and math teacher at Unionville and was an integral part of bringing technological advances to the district.
“She and her students used satellite tracking technology to get satellite images in real time,” said Jillian Malone, who introduced Martin in the ceremony. “Then in the ‘90s, Martin and the technology club changed Unionville – they brought the internet to the school.”
Martin has had an impact in not only the district, but the entire world.
An avid follower of Sir Isaac Newton, she traveled the world and researched him and one day found Newton’s personal bible, which to that time, was lost to history.