January 12, 1941 ~ March 13, 2020
Born in: Ft. Worth, TX
Resided in: Asheville, NC
Beverly Huston Sgro, age 79, died on March 13, 2020, at her home at Deerfield in Asheville, North Carolina. Born in Fort Worth, Texas, she graduated from Amon Carter High School. She earned a BS from Texas Women’s University and a BS and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.
Dr. Sgro began her career in education as a speech pathologist in the public schools of Midland, Texas. In the late summer of 1963, Dr. Sgro accepted a research assistantship at Texas Christian University. One of the other graduate students in the lab in which she worked was dared to ask her out. He was told that she, a Texan, would never date a loud and boisterous Italian from Connecticut. She married Dr. Joseph Sgro in February of 1964 and they were married for 52 years until his death. He kept life loud and rowdy. She kept life calm and organized.
After her children were born, Dr. Sgro spent twelve years rearing her children. She was a teaching tennis professional at Blacksburg (VA) Country Club from 1977-1981. In 1981, she accepted the position of Coordinator for Greek Life and later Assistant Director of Student Activities at Virginia Tech. She loved these positions in that she was able to interact with students throughout her day. She was elevated to Dean of Students at Virginia Tech in 1989. She also held a teaching appointment at the University.
Dr. Sgro was appointed Secretary of Education of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1994 by Governor George Allen. In that position, she oversaw the Commonwealth’s public school system, higher education system, state library and archives and the state museums. She was a member of the Governor’s Cabinet. She loved the position and took great pride in her role in reshaping the quality of public education at that time.
At the completion of her tenure as Secretary of Education in 1998, she returned to education and served as Interim Head of School at Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia. In 1999, she accepted the Head of School position at Carolina Day School in Asheville, North Carolina. She was proud to serve the school until her retirement in 2010. She had a passion for the students, faculty, parents and alumni of the School. She loved following the life paths of her former students.
Dr. Sgro was a member of numerous academic honor societies including Omicron Delta Kappa (leadership honorary), Phi Kappa Phi (academic), Phi Upsilon Omicron (academic honors), Pi Lambda Theta, Sigma Alpha Eta (speech language), and Zeta Phi Eta (communications). She was a sister in Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority. She held an honorary doctorate from Averett University and was a member of the Headmistress Association of the East. She was awarded the 2017 Chancellor’s Alumni Award for Achievement at Texas Woman’s University.
She was active in many professional associations and served on numerous boards. She was a trustee and chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia. She was Vice-President and President of the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools. She served on the Board of Visitors of Virginia Tech. She served on the board of directors at Habitat Humanity, Mission Health Foundation and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.
Dr. Sgro was first and foremost a mother, grandmother and friend. Despite her busy life, she was never too busy to talk out a problem, offer advice or just listen. She was especially fond of her friends in her tai chi group and her many book clubs. Her greatest achievement was the positive influence she had on so many students.
She is survived by her son, Dr. Anthony Huston Sgro and his wife, Faulkner Bagley Sgro, of Asheville, North Carolina; a daughter Jennifer Sgro Orfield and her husband, Robert Orfield, of Richmond, Virginia. She has one grandson, A. B. Bagley Sgro, and two granddaughters, Huston T.S. Sgro and Grazia F.F. Sgro. She was predeceased by her husband, Dr. Joseph Anthony Sgro, and her parents.
Memorial services will be held in Richmond, Virginia, and Asheville, North Carolina, at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Foxcroft School, 22407 Foxhound Ln, Middleburg, VA 20117.
Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the Sgro family.
The family greatly appreciates donations made to these charities in Beverly Huston Sgro's name.
22407 Foxhound Lane
Middleburg, VA 20117