At a time when opportunities for high school education were rare in the rural South, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia established St. Margaret's School in Tappahannock. Its primary purpose was to "meet the need in Tidewater of a standard school, at the least possible cost, for girls of character and ability."

Back then, students often arrived by steamboat, as there was no bridge linking Tappahannock with the Northern Neck and there was no government road to Richmond or easy way to reach a major metropolitan area, like Washington, DC.

“St. Margaret’s instilled into us that there was a right and there was a wrong, and all our lives we would have to make that choice and our characters were built by the choices we made.” -Nancy Berry '23, St. Margaret's first graduate.

Follow the timeline below to see how far we've come since 1921.


St. Margaret's in 1921

St. Margaret's opens for business with 14 girls and 3 boys in grades K-11. Classes were held in a room above a pharmacy in Tappahannock.


St. Margaret's in 1923

St. Margaret's graduates its first student, Nancy Berry.


St. Margaret students in 1920s

$10,000 is given for the school's first gym; two new dormitories are added and Virginia builds a bridge linking Tappahannock to the Northern Neck.


St. Margaret students in 1931

Enrollment has grown to 20 day students and 70 boarders. Thirteen girls graduate in the class of 1931.


school in 1936

School is accredited by the State Board of Education.


St. Margaret's Hall in mid-1940s

St. Margaret's Hall gets an addition; first yearbook is published; Anderton House is purchased for use as dormitory.


Viola Hubbard Woolfolk

St. Margaret's gets its eighth headmistress, Viola Hubbard Woolfolk.


St. Margaret's gymnasium in 1966

New gym is dedicated; silver charms with school seal are given to graduating seniors, beginning a new tradition.


chapel in 1975

Chapel extended and renovated.


Margaret R. Broad

Margaret R. Broad becomes the tenth Head of School.


library/classroom building

Ground breaking for library/classroom building to be named after Miss Woolfolk. Board announces $1.5 million campaign.


international students at St. Margaret's

St. Margaret’s is one of the first boarding schools in the southeast to establish comprehensive program for international students.


peer leadership program

Peer leadership program established, library card catalog is computerized; three faculty apartments added to Latané Hall.


Community/Technology Center

$3.8 million Community/Technology Center opens to house riverfront dining room, computer center and math and science classrooms.


Latane Hall

Latane Hall is given a major renovation and makeover.


McCuan House

The McCuan House dorm project, started in October 2004, is ready for dedication and opening in September 2005. It houses 24 students and 3 faculty apartments in state of the art accommodations.


girls playing field hockey

St. Margaret’s dedicates a new Athletic Complex, a 42 acre property located a mile away from the main campus. It houses two playing fields, two softball diamonds, a cross-country track, and a faculty residence


St. Margaret's celebrates 90th anniversary

St. Margaret’s celebrates its 90th anniversary.


Cathy Sgroi

Cathy Sgroi P'00 is selected as the 12th Head of School. In her 40 years at St. Margaret's, Mrs. Sgroi has been a math teacher, department head, Dean of Faculty, and for the past eleven years, Assistant Head. She truly embraces the mission of St. Margaret's.