Dale L. Wright

Dale L. Wright, an associate professor in the College of Education, died unexpectedly Dec. 26, 2012, while visiting her daughter in Virginia Beach. She was 61.

Wright had taught aspiring elementary teachers at Mary Washington since 2001, focusing on language and literacy. She was director of the master of science in elementary education degree program, and she supervised teaching interns.

One of her favorite courses to teach was children’s literature, which let her incorporate her background in drama and music, said Professor Marie Sheckels, chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

During her Mary Washington career, Wright traveled with students to Ghana, where they shared information and teaching techniques with elementary teachers, learning from one another, Sheckels said. Wright also had participated in the Oxford Round Table in Oxford, England.

Not only was Wright a passionate teacher, “she was the very best kind of friend,” said Associate Vice President of Human Resources Sabrina Johnson, whose friendship with Wright dated to Wright’s first days at UMW. “She cared so much about everything she did, and she did it well.”

In the classroom, she inspired her students to work through difficulties and meet challenges. “She wanted her students to be so well prepared for the world they were going to face,” Johnson said.

Wright was on the board of directors of Smart Beginnings of the Rappahannock Area. She was a past member of the board of governors of the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region. She attended St. Jude’s Catholic Church.

A native of Wilmington, N.C., Wright received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. She earned a doctorate in reading and writing instruction from the University of New Hampshire.

Survivors include her daughter and son-in-law, Trinette Herring and Jose Cano; two grandchildren, Mariana and Kieran Cano; six brothers; and many other relatives and friends.