VIA leaders moved swiftly after the organization came into existence to assure that the objectives of the VIA would be attained. No doubt, the directness and simplicity focus on this attainment. The following statement of VIA goals is excerpted here from the Handbook6 to pinpoint the immense task its leaders faced:
The object of the organization shall be to pro-mote and coordinate among public secondary schools of Virginia a broad program of worthwhile activities which contribute to the following:
(1) Broader opportunities for student participation
(2) A high standard of fellowship on interschool level
(3) A sound financial policy
(4) A functional administrative policy, thereby encouraging an improved total program.
Indeed an examination of the kinds of administrative and legislative activities occurring in the early years of the VIA relating to achieving objectives reveals that these activities were deliberate, varied, and well planned. Furthermore, it appears that to a great degree these activities were truly creative and focused on the following areas:
a. Grouping and districting of schools
b. Developing rules and regulations for control of activities
c. Implementing the basic structure and organization.
While the VIA Executive Committee and C. D. Paige, Executive Secretary, deserve high praise for the dedication, devotion, diligence, and discipline exhibited in those crucial years of the VIA, recognition should also be given to some individuals who, during this period, played key roles in getting the organization moving. One person was J. Duncan, Jr., Principal, Campbell County High School, who displayed special talents in writing the Handbook section on “Rules and Regulations” and who masterminded the first grouping and districting of VIA schools. It was he who suggested the name “Virginia Interscholastic Association.”
In addition, Mrs. Dorothy J. Harris of West End High School, and E. N. Taliaferro of East End High School performed yeoman work in bringing about the establishment of the Southern District for Group I schools and contributed much to the success of the 1959 regrouping of schools. Also C. A. Pennington of Central High School, Goochland, provided leadership for Group III schools. These persons stand out above others because of the unique manner in which they got things done. Finally, one cannot overlook the valuable part played by the high school principals in VIA schools. The plain truth is that without the cooperation and support of these’ administrators, the VIA would have never “gotten off the ground.”