Dr. James Edward ‘Jay’ Manning, III, 78, Dies

Dr. James Edward ‘Jay’ Manning, III, 78, Dies

Northern Virginia mourns the loss of a leader in education, former Langley High principal.

Northern Virginia has lost a towering presence in the community – an athlete, distinguished educator, and champion of every student.

Dr. James Edward "Jay" Manning, III, 78 died on Dec. 4. Jay was born into the prominent Irish, Manning family, of builders, architects, and scholars from Boston, on Dec. 27, 1934, in Hudson, Mass. After the Great Depression, Jay and his seven siblings were faced with challenging times. The solution their indomitable mother, Helen Schofield Manning chose was, to relocate the family to Washington, D.C., after writing to President Harry S. Truman and, J. Edgar Hoover, garnering national attention for the family and, securing positions for her daughters at the FBI.

Jay and his brother Peter, both strong athletes, were encouraged by the leadership of their mother to focus on sports, with the goal of college scholarships. Jay attended both St. Paul’s Academy and Gonzaga High School. Jay was awarded a basketball scholarship to, and graduated with honors from, The George Washington University. While at GWU, he was regularly featured in the Sports section of the Washington Post, and his team won the 1954 NCAA Southern Conference Tournament Championship.

He served in the United States Army, from 1957 to 1959. After leaving the military, Jay Manning returned to Massachusetts and, was invited to training camp, as a basketball player for the world champion, Boston Celtics, with Bill Russell under coach, Red Auerbach. Teammates remember Coach Auerbach saying of Jay, "Can somebody keep this guy back? He’s relentless."

Jay then found his vocation as an educator. He relocated back to Washington, D.C., and began teaching and coaching at Our Lady of Good Counsel. He married Joanne Hyre Manning of Bethesda, Md., in 1963. Jay was also an early and purposeful advocate for desegregation. He helped accomplish the desegregation of the public basketball courts in Washington, D.C.

Jay led as the Assistant Principal of Fairfax High School and continued his leadership at Lake Braddock Secondary School, implementing the experimental "schools without walls" theory of secondary education. During this tenure, Jay earned his Doctorate in Education at GWU. He distinguished himself as a high school administrator at Fort Hunt High School and Langley High School. Throughout his career, Jay held adjunct professorships at The George Washington University, the University of Marymount, and The University of Virginia, mentoring future secondary education administrators.

As Principal of Langley High School, Dr. Manning received national recognition, for modernizing and initiating many services and procedures within the school, including the college preparatory library, publicly posting sports recognition for the school student’s achievements, and pursuing purposeful engagement with the entire student body, on school spirit and ethics codes, all of which are currently maintained by the school and, are included in the general Fairfax Country Public Schools system wide.

Dr. Manning was committed to his local neighborhood through sports coaching, fund raising, promoting local parks, providing leadership to the Indian Guides organization, and teaching Catholic Church doctrine. He never lost his love of playing basketball.

He was honored with the Citizen of the Year award in McLean for his community leadership, serving as the President of the McLean Chamber of Commerce; Member of the Board for the McLean Orchestra; Member of the Rotary Club, McLean Chapter, founding the Interact program for the Langley student body, and initiating a Rotary Club Cup for Girls Field Hockey which still continues. Dr. Manning was a founding member of both the Tower Club in McLean, and the Sporting Club of McLean (now "Sport and Health of Tysons").

Jay was known for his towering physical stature, strong moral values, and gentle nature. He had a talent to connect and draw out individual strength, potential, and a smile from everyone he met. He is credited with uplifting students, futures and careers. Former teacher and friend Anne Morton states: "Dr. Manning was loved and respected by many, and he has left a legacy in his former schools as a principal who cared for every student."

He was a loving husband and father of four children. He was also a caring and involved uncle to almost 40 nieces and nephews and a proud grandfather of 9 grandchildren.

Jay’s life was celebrated with visitation on Dec. 13, 2013 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home, 9900 Braddock Road, Fairfax. Dec. 14, a funeral Mass was held at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 3901 Woodburn Road Annandale, at 11 a.m. followed by a graveside service at Fairfax Memorial Park, 9902 Braddock Road, Fairfax.