Enrolling at Roanoke College in 1956 was just the beginning of Alyce Rodeniser Szathmary's journey in education. She would go on to become a prominent educator -- first as a teacher, then as an assistant principal and principal. At Roanoke, she majored in chemistry and biology, and participated in the Chemistry and Biology Seminar. But science was not her only interest. She was a member of Beta Beta, Xi Theta Chi, and the English Club. In addition, she reported for Brackety-Ack, Roanoke's student-operated newspaper.
After graduating from Roanoke in 1960, Alyce worked as a junior high school science teacher for Roanoke City Public Schools in Roanoke, Virginia, where she also served as Science Department Chairperson. In 1968, she started teaching algebra and geometry in Kingsport City Public Schools, in Kingsport, Tennessee until 1972 when she returned to Roanoke City Public Schools to teach algebra and geometry. Involved with her students, she also took on responsibilities as the Math Department Chairperson, yearbook sponsor and coordinator of student programs and activities.
Along the way, Alyce continued her education while teaching, graduating from Hollins College with a M.A.L.S. degree in Math Education in 1976. Her passion for learning was ignited and she pursued her education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, completing a M.A. in Educational Administration in 1978 and then her Doctorate Degree in Educational Administration in 1980 when she was also named junior high school assistant principal in Roanoke City Public Schools. She moved up through the ranks, becoming principal in 1982 and Director of Magnet Schools in Roanoke City's Public Schools in 1986. Alyce was appointed principal at William Fleming High School in 1987, a position she held until she retired in 1999.
Among Alyce's many professional accomplishments, Breckenridge Junior High School and William Fleming High School, both in Roanoke City, earned United States Department of Education Awards designating them to be among the top schools in the nation while Alyce served as principal. In 1984, she received the American Businesswomen's Associate of the Year Award and the Parent-Teacher Association Life Membership Award. She was honored by Who's Who in America in 1986 and was presented the State of Virginia Parent-Teacher Association Distinguished Service Award in 1989. In 1995, the Y.W.C.A. recognized Alyce as a Woman of Distinction and in 2000, William Fleming High School dedicated a building in honor if its former principal. Szathmary Hall houses the School of the Arts.
Alyce and her husband, Robert, reside in Roanoke, Virginia. They have one daughter, Kristie.
Alyce R. Szathmary received the Roanoke College Medal in 2002.