WINCHESTER — Samuel Bennett Crow has made a big impact during his short time at Handley High School.

Bennett, 18, was a sophomore when his family moved to Winchester from Arlington.

“I was born in Atlanta and lived there for five years, and then moved to Northern Virginia at the start of kindergarten,” the Handley senior said, explaining that his father was working with E-Trade in Arlington before he accepted a position with First Bank in Winchester.

Bennett’s parents, Sharon and Sam Crow, instilled in him the importance of education — so much so that he has never missed a day of school.

“My parents are very big on getting yourself to school every day to prepare for college and the work world, where you’ve got to show up or you don’t do well.”

Bennett’s diligence has paid off with a weighted GPA of 5.03 at Handley. There are 310 students in the senior class. Handley does not rank its students.

Bennett is a National Merit Scholarship finalist and a member of the National Honor Society; he holds a leadership role in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is captain of Handley’s varsity cross country, indoor track, debate and academic teams.

He said he will attend the University of Virginia this fall to study public policy, with an eye toward a career in government.

His commitment to public service is exemplified by relief missions he has taken with his church in Northern Virginia, The Falls Church Anglican.

“It’s typically helping people who are older, maybe disabled, down on their luck,” Bennett said about his church’s volunteer work trips to rural Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. “I’ve done a lot of painting, a lot of yard work, I’ve done some roofing. We built a porch one time, which was quite an experience.”

He also dipped his toes into politics by interning last summer with U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-10th.

“It was a fun experience, being around the office here in Winchester and seeing the inner workings actually happen,” he said.

Bennett’s accomplishments, drive and personality made him an obvious choice for a 2017 Star Leadership Award nomination.

“I have met very few others with the level of curiosity and commitment that Bennett possesses,” Handley Debate Team coach and English teacher Kelly Stallard wrote in a letter of recommendation. “He wants to learn, and he wants to give back.”

— Contact Brian Brehm at

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