HERBERT R. McVAY
the efficient superintendent of the Sidney schools, was born in Athens county, Ohio, the day that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, April 14, 1865. His parents were Wallace Webster McVay and Anna McCune McVay. His grandparents and great-grandparents on both sides came from Pennsylvania and settled in Athens county in the early part of the 19111 century. Both branches of the family were of Scotch Irish descent of the Calvinistic faith and were ever among' the social and religious leaders of their respective communities.
When fifteen years of age She subject of this sketch moved with his parents and four sisters from the farm which had been his birthplace and that of his father to Athens, the county seat as well as the seat of Ohio University. Here he and his sisters attended the public schools and in time all graduated from the university, Mr. McVay with two degrees, that of Bachelor of Philosophy and of Pedagogy. He afterward did post graduate work in the University of Chicago, and has just finished a course in pedagogy in Columbia University for he is in truth a progressive and is ambitious to keep abreast of the times.
Before taking up the supervision of schools he worked in the office of the county newspaper, read law. taught in the county schools and was a teacher in the Athens County Children's Home. His work as superintendent comprised one year at Frazeysburg, six years at Somerset and Reading townships, four years at Washington, C. H.. whence he came to Sidney in 1902.
Mr. McVay has not stagnated in the vacation times for he taught in the summer schools at Miami University in 1907 and 1908; has been a lecturer in Teachers' Institutes, an active member of the National Educational Association whose meetings he always attends, President of the Ohio Teachers' Association and of the Ohio Superintendents' Round Table. He is Past Chancellor Commander of the Knights of Pythias, member of the lodge of Elks and belongs to the Beta Theta Pi College fraternity, a prominent member of the Sidney Commercial Club and a Presbyterian in faith.
Professor McVay is a teacher by native inclination and has brought to his work an unusual amount of power. He is unceasing in his efforts to train and stimulate his teachers and his hobby is the teaching of pedagogy and the study of child nature. He has succeeded in making the Sidney schools a social center by interesting the parents in the work of the children and has been rewarded with the longest term of service of any survivor of the Sidney schools. He has seen the enrollment of the Sidney high school increase more than one hundred per cent since his coming and has largely contributed to its taking first rank among the schools of the state which means
that the school holds membership in the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and that such schools accept its graduates without examination. This rank is given by the State Commissioner of Schools for a generally accepted standard of excellence.
Mr. McVay was married at Somerset, Ohio, August 20, 1898, to Miss Dora J. Scott, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Scott,.and lives in a tasteful home on Walnut avenue. He has three children, Martin Scott, born June 2, 1900; Mary Elizabeth, May 3, 1905; and Dorothy Ann, July 18, 1907.
Mrs. McVay's grandparents came from Maryland and Pennsylvania and were among the founders of the village of Somerset and Perry county and donated four hundred acres of land on which was established the Dominican convent of St. Josephs. Her grandfather, Dettoe, erected in Somerset a building in 1817 in which he established a dry-goods store. His son-in-law. Martin Scott, took up the business in 1843 and continued it in the same room until his death in 1895. When Mr. Howe, author of Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio, made his second trips over the state revising his work in 1888, he stated that Mr. Scott's, was the most remarkable business career in the entire commonwealth. No other resident of the state could be found who had for so long a time, fifty-two years, changed neither his business nor location. It was in this store that little Phil Sheridan clerked when a boy and it was through Mr. Scott's efforts in his behalf mat he was recommended by the Congressman of that district. General Ritchie, to an appointment at West Point.
The magnificent high school building. now in course of erection, is largely due to the efforts of Mr. McVay who worked first to secure the splendid site and then to get through the $100,000 bond issue to build the school.