The community advisory committee that will conduct the naming review of Jack Jouett Middle School will include 16 members of the school’s broader community, including the school’s principal, teachers and staff members, parents, and residents of the school’s attendance zone who do not presently have children attending the school. The review was announced by school division Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas during the School Board’s April 1 meeting and will be the fifth in a series of naming reviews that eventually will encompass 14 division schools that are named for individuals.
Serving on the Jouett committee are Ashby Johnson, the school’s principal, and three teachers: Hannah Peters, who will chair the volunteer advisory group; Ashlee' Bellamy; and Natalie Wood. Two staff members, Dionna Corbin and Stephen Hendrix, were appointed to serve, as were three parents of Jouett students: Jim Cook, Nakaya Polk, and Jennifer Ortuno. Also on the committee are parents of students from four elementary schools that feed into Jouett: Dalia Flores-Amaya, Chiquita Gentry, Jaquelin Salazar, and Melissa Stevens. Members of the broader community include William Love and Mitsuko Clemmons-Nazeer. One member, Malaysia Fitch, is an Albemarle High School student who attended Jouett for her three middle school years.
“This review offers all members of our school community the opportunity to come together around what we most value in the development of our students and about our school,” said Johnson. “A school’s name should represent that shared purpose, and it’s exciting to see so many of our teachers, staff, families and students wanting to serve these interests. It’s very important to me, to our school, and to a successful outcome that there be a diversity of thought and engagement,” she said.
In directing that all schools named for individuals have their names reviewed, the school board said the purpose should be to ensure that the names of all schools represent the division’s four values of excellence, young people, community, and respect. Four school naming reviews have been completed by volunteer community advisory committees, with the school board voting to change the name of three and to retain the name of another. A complete summary of all completed and planned reviews is maintained on the school division’s School Names Under Review web page.
Peters said the new committee’s first order of business will be this evening’s organizational meeting to design an online survey for the community that will seek suggestions for new school names and also offer the option of keeping the current name. Once the results of that survey have been shared with the Jouett community, the committee will hold a public meeting to hear comments. Committee members eventually will recommend their name choice to Haas, who will consider their counsel before making his recommendation to the school board. If a new name is selected for the school, it would take effect on July 1, 2022.
“I am looking forward to hearing from as many members of our community as possible,” Peters said. “Our committee's broad range of affiliation and connections with our school provides a strong foundation for moving forward. We will be listening with great interest and thinking critically about our values and history as a school and how we can support our students, staff and families in representing our highest aspirations,” she noted.
In addition to the upcoming public meetings, Peters said the committee welcomes suggestions or questions about the review process at any time. All committee members can be reached via email at SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org.
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Strategic Communications Officer