Grace “Lyn” (Kreps) Hendry ‘41, a longtime resident of Bethesda and distinguished and highly regarded teacher who received numerous awards for excellence while teaching, died on Oct. 13. She was 89 years old and for the past 20 years resided at Heron Point in Chestertown, Md.
Hendry was the teacher whom students remembered, who inspired them to think critically and challenge themselves. She was passionate about teaching and saw public education as the cornerstone of a strong democracy. Many students stayed in touch long after they graduated. In the words of one of them, “You were the first teacher to open the wider world of ideas to me.” When Georgetown University asked students to name their most influential high school teacher, they chose Hendry; in 1979, she was awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (Hons.) by Georgetown University for excellence in the field of secondary-school teaching, and was one of the first secondary-school teachers in the country to be so recognized.
Hendry began her teaching career in Sacramento and San Francisco, Calif. In 1946, she went to Beijing to help reopen the Peking American School after the war with Japan ended. She remained there to teach until evacuated in early 1949, when Beijing was captured by communist forces. Hendry also taught in the American School in Saigon from 1957 to 1959, and was headmistress of the Dacca American School from 1963 to 1964 in what was then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. She taught in the junior high school in East Lansing, Mich. from 1960 to 1962 and again from 1964 to 1966.
She came to Montgomery County in 1966 and taught there for 20 years, first at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, and from 1970 until her retirement in 1986 at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda. Her fields of instruction were economics, history and contemporary issues. In 1986, she was recognized as a distinguished teacher under the Presidential Scholars segment of the National Merit Scholarship Program, and also received the University of Rochester’s Award for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching. Hendry was named teacher of the year at Richard Montgomery High School for the academic year 1970-1971 and best teacher at Walt Whitman High School in 1976. She served as chair of the Walt Whitman High School Faculty Council, county representative in the Maryland State Teachers Association and on various other educational committees.
Hendry was a 1941 graduate from Stanford University. She received a California General Secondary Certificate from UC-Los Angeles in 1942 and an M.A. in education from Michigan State University in 1960. Surviving family members include her devoted husband of 62 years, Dr. James Hendry of Chestertown, Md.; three daughters, Nancy Hendry of Bethesda, Khati Hendry of Summerland, B.C. and Susan Manley of Bethesda; five grandchildren, two brothers and two sisters. SOURCE: Stanford Daily