The volunteer community advisory committee that is reviewing the name of Jack Jouett Middle School has selected five names as semi-finalists, based upon an initial community survey and the committee’s June 2 public meeting.
The semifinalists include the school’s current name. Jack Jouett was 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. Jouett also owned a farm in the late 1700s and relied on enslaved labor for its operation. As many as 25 men, women and children were reported to have been enslaved by Jouett during his life.
Other names also under consideration are Hope, Peace and Justice, which committee members said was consistent with the division’s values of excellence, young people, community, and respect; Journey, representing the paths in life to which education leads; Monacan, in honor of the indigenous people who inhabited the Piedmont Region for thousands of years; and Katherine Johnson, one of the first Black students to integrate West Virginia State College and a long-time NASA official whose work as a mathematician supported such space missions as the moon landings. Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.
A new online survey at https://survey.k12insight.com/r/ntvQwS asks Jouett school community members to choose up to three of the five names as finalists. The advisory committee will hold a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7, to hear public comment on the survey results. The meeting can be accessed at http://streaming.k12albemarle.org/ACPS/player.htm?xml/publicmeeting.xml.
People wishing to speak at the July 7 meeting can sign up by sending an email to SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org. This same email address can be used to submit comments or questions to committee members.
In accordance with the school board’s naming review policy, the advisory committee will identify their three name finalists before recommending one name to the division’s superintendent, Dr. Matthew Haas. In turn, the superintendent will review the committee’s work and selection before making his recommendation to the school board. The school board will decide if the school’s name should be changed, and if so, they will select the new name, which will be effective on July 1, 2022.
“As we have said from our initial organizational meeting, the views of Jouett families, students, teachers and staff are essential to our deliberations,” said committee chair and Jouett teacher, Hannah Peters. “Our discussions were enriched by the more than 700 responses to our first survey last month. The more participation by community members, the more inclusive our work will be in reaching a decision that best represents our values, our mission, and our aspirations,” Peters said.
Jouett is the fifth school in the division to conduct a naming review. In directing that all schools named for individuals in the division 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 policy requires advisory committees to research the history of individuals for whom schools are named as part of their review. The research by the Jouett advisory committee to date is catalogued on the School Naming Review: Jouett Middle School web page.
The four previous school naming reviews also were conducted by volunteer community advisory committees. The school board changed the name of three schools and retained 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 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