Who is Earl L. Pulley?

Earl L. Pulley

Mr. EARL L. PULLEY, SR., was born February 7, 1925, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, the only son of the late Linwood and Carrie McKisson Pulley.  Shortly after marriage, Mr. Pulley and his wife moved to the Washington, D.C. area, where they were blessed with a son and a daughter.

Mr. Pulley received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts Degrees in Education from Virginia State College and spent 30 years in the Fairfax County School system, serving as a principal and as Coordinator of Human Relations (administration).  He was twice director of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), In-School Program, and president of the Fairfax County Teachers Association. At age 29, he became the principal of Oak Grove Elementary School in Herndon, Virginia. Later, Mr. Pulley was principal of both the Drew Smith and Lillian Carey Centers for the Mentally Retarded. Then, he was able to demonstrate his superior competence as a principal and his unique and creative talents as an educator to juggle schedules, balance educational programs, and match specialized teaching skills.

Mr. Pulley had an unequivocal gift of relating to students on all scholastic levels, and had the capacity to relate to people of all ages regardless of their intellectual or socioeconomic status. He often said:
"In men whom men condemn as ill and dangerous, I find so much goodness still. In men whom men proclaim profound and good, I find so much sin and blot. I dare not draw a line between the two, when God has not."

Mr. Pulley was also member of numerous cultural, religious, civic, and fraternal organizations.  Yet, with all he achieved in the field of education, Mr. Pulley’s greatest joy and fulfillment came from the last six years of his life, where he devoted himself to his prison ministry to the Lorton Correctional Facility and their families. On November 26, 1988, shortly before his death, he and his beloved wife celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary in the prison with their ‘Lorton Sons.’ Mr. Earl Pulley died on Saturday, March 11, 1989, in a place he lovingly called, God's Mountain, the Skycroft Religious Retreat Center, Middletown. Maryland.

It is through his examples of exemplary character, leadership, and commitment to excellence that Mr. Pulley’s memory lives on in our students and in our school. The Earl L. Pulley Achievement Award for students from the Pulley Career Center has been established in honor of Mr. Pulley, the man after whom our center is named.

School History

Founded during the 1984-85 school year as the South County Vocational Center, our facility was renamed in honor of Earl L. Pulley in 1989. Learn more about our school's namesake in this video produced for Fairfax County Public Schools’ cable television channel Red Apple 21.