More than 700 responses were received through an online survey conducted by the community advisory committee that is leading a naming review of Jack Jouett Middle School. Nearly 80 percent of the responses support keeping the school’s current name, although in a separate question on the survey, a plurality of responses said that a school’s location was the most important criteria for a school’s name.
Among the new school names suggested, the top three were Hope, Peace and Justice; Ivy; and Blue Ridge. Nine other options also were offered based on location, such as Rivanna; Central Albemarle; Creekside or Creekview; Rio Hill; Lambs Lane; Piedmont Valley; Pine Valley; and Union Ridge. Other candidates were Monacan, New Horizon, Sunrise, and Journey.
All of these names, including Jouett, will be the subject of a public meeting on Wednesday evening, June 2, beginning at 6:30. The advisory committee is hoping to hear from members of the school community about the survey results and their name choices. People wishing to address advisory committee members are asked to sign up ahead of time by emailing SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org.
The meeting will be online, over the Zoom platform, and can be accessed using the following link: http://streaming.k12albemarle.org/ACPS/player.htm?xml/publicmeeting.xml
“We are deeply appreciative for all of the input provided by our community members,” said Hannah Peters, a Jouett teacher and the chair of the advisory committee. “We are especially pleased that 261 of our students offered their opinions. One of our highest expectations for this entire process is that it provides an opportunity for families, staff and students to come together to focus on and celebrate the values and mission of our school. This is a wonderful beginning and we look forward to having community members join us for our public meeting on Wednesday,” she added.
Following input from community members next week, the advisory committee will select five names as semi-finalists and those choices will be the subject of a second online community meeting. The committee then will decide upon the name it will recommend to Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas. Haas will review the committee’s work and make his recommendation to the School Board, which will decide if the school’s name should change and, if so, what the new name will be effective July 1, 2022.
Jouett is the fifth school in the division to conduct a naming review. In directing that all schools in the division that are 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.
The four previous school naming reviews also were completed by volunteer community advisory committees. The School Board decided to change the name of three schools and to retain the name of another. Summaries of all completed reviews and those in progress are accessible from the school division’s School Names Under Review web page.
The school opened in 1966 and was named for Jack Jouett, a captain in the Virginia militia during the Revolutionary War. He was dubbed the “Paul Revere of the South” for his horseback ride to warn then-Governor Thomas Jefferson of a British plan to capture the future President.
If Jouett is one of the names that will be considered after the second public meeting, the advisory committee will complete as much research as possible on the life of the captain in order to determine if it is consistent with school division values. The school naming review policy also requires the advisory committee to notify any descendants of the Jouett family of the naming review. Peters has asked anyone who can be helpful in providing suggestions or assistance in identifying descendants to contact the committee.
In addition to the upcoming public meetings, Peters said public comments, counsel or questions are welcome at any time by emailing the advisory committee at SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org.
The advisory committee, which was appointed last month, has 16 members, including the school’s principal, Ashby Johnson; school staff and faculty; parents of students at the school; parents of elementary school students who attend feeder schools to Jouett; members of the broader community; and an Albemarle High School student who attended Jouett.
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Strategic Communications Officer