PPS alumna makes history

Celebrating school history with PPS alumna’s graduation from West Point
Posted on 06/13/2024
Celebrating school history with PPS alumna’s graduation from West Point

In a few days, the 830 members of the Class of 2024 will take to the stage at the Chartway Arena and graduate from Portsmouth Public Schools. Their next steps will take them to destinations across the country and toward countless new opportunities.

If they follow the path of Stevie Gary, they will even get to make history.

This May, Gary, a 2019 graduate of Wilson (now Manor) High School, became the school’s first African American female alumna to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, one of the world’s foremost leader development institutions and the nation’s first military academy.

“This is a remarkable accomplishment,” said Dr. Timothy Johnson, Gary’s former principal (and current Manor High School principal). “It not only reflects her individual dedication and hard work but also serves as an inspiration to others, breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations.”

Stevie Gary

Commissioned as a second lieutenant, Gary will now continue on to serve in the United States Army. She is headed first to Fort Moore, Ga., where she will learn more about the Army’s Armor Branch, and then will continue her service in Fort Bliss, Texas.

“The history I made at West Point is not just my history, but history for future generations of young men and women to enter into new and difficult environments with confidence and proof that success is possible,” Gary said. “Despite physical, academic, and military obstacles I persevered and succeeded against all odds.”

In speaking of those obstacles she encountered while completing her studies at West Point, Gary pointed to lessons she learned while a student in Portsmouth.

“Portsmouth Public Schools taught me the importance of community, the value of hard work, and the power of resilience,” she said. “The teachers and mentors from Portsmouth Public Schools helped me build my confidence and prepared me to face the challenges at West Point.”

As for those who know her, they remain impressed with her accomplishment and are continuing to cheer her on.

“Stevie Gary's achievements are commendable and worth celebrating,” Johnson said. “It's important to acknowledge and honor such trailblazers for their courage, perseverance, and contribution to diversity and inclusion.”

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