Faculty and Staff

Celebrating Retiring Faculty

Bob Alley
  • Social Studies Teacher (1991–2024)
Bob Alley joined the Trinity faculty in 1991 and has taught social studies, specializing in US History and Government, for 33 years. Over that time, he has built a reputation as Trinity’s master storyteller and corny jokester, delivering lessons on civics and the constitution with trademark wit and wisdom. 
Looking back on his career, Alley takes special pride in being able to work in the Social Studies Department alongside two of his former students, Marcus Jones ’00 and Rick Hamlin ’96, both of whom trace their love of current events to lessons learned in E-Hall. 
“Bob Alley was my all-time favorite teacher,” says Hamlin. “I learned more from his AP Government class than any class I have ever taken. His love of civics, deep knowledge of American government, and unbiased moderation of class debate ingrained within me an appreciation for our government… We were expected to watch ‘Meet the Press’ each Sunday morning, a habit that I have continued to this day.”
Jones, the department chair, continues to go to Bob with questions on the workings of government. “What makes him truly special is his knack for breaking down complicated issues so they can be easily understood,” says Jones. “He makes the study of US government approachable and meets his students where they are. He encourages students to ask questions, creates a welcoming learning environment, and is always thoughtful in his response.”
Hamlin calls Alley a “model of the independent school teacher: a Renaissance person who added value to all activities that he was involved in.” Alley has been the girls volleyball coach, JV baseball coach and finally the golf coach for 15 years from 1992-2007. In addition to being, in his own words, a “salesman of numerous lunches to finance club trips to Philadelphia, Washington DC, and downtown Richmond,” Alley led groups of students in Model UN, Youth in Government Club, Model Judiciary, the Stock Market Game and Model General Assembly (MGA). In 2007, Governor Tim Kaine presented him with an award for Outstanding MGA Sponsor. His knack for spinning a good yarn has led to his selection for three commencement speeches and multiple Cabaret emcee gigs. A technological first adopter, Alley was also the first Trinity teacher to have his own class website. During the pandemic, students in the virtual Morning Meetings looked forward to Alley shaving his beard gradually each week to look like various 19th century presidents. 
Alley accounts for his longevity the fact that he began teaching shortly after the hiring of former Head of School Tom Aycock in 1990. “I think all the barely thirty teachers at Trinity when I arrived felt that, with Dr. Aycock, Trinity was embarking on a new era of growth,” he recalls. “It was an exciting time, and I’m so thankful that I was able to be there. It is when I fell in love with Trinity Episcopal School.”
In retirement, Alley says he looks forward to more time for writing, finishing projects in his wood shop, like building a wooden ship and a model of the USS Constitution.
Thank you, Bob Alley!
To wish Bob Alley a word of congratulations or to make a gift to Trinity in her honor, please click here.

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