ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A committee has selected five names as semi-finalists for Jack Jouett Middle School.
Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) announced Wednesday, June 9, that the possible names include Monacan, Katherine Johnson, as well as keeping the current name.
Jouett was a captain in the Virginia militia during the Revolutionary War, but he also owned a farm that relied on enslaved labor. As many as 25 men, women and children were reported to have been enslaved by Jouett during his life.
Meanwhile, Monacan would be in honor of the indigenous people who inhabited the area for thousands of years, and Johnson was one of the first Black students to integrate West Virginia State College. She also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.
A new online survey is asking folks to choose up to three of the five names as finalists.
The advisory committee is set to hold a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. 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.
“As we have said from our initial organizational meeting, the views of Jouett families, students, teachers and staff are essential to our deliberations,” Committee Chair Hannah Peters said in Wednesday’s release. “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.”
ACPS says the advisory committee will identify their three name finalists before recommending one name to Superintendent, Dr. Matthew Haas, who will later make his recommendation to the School Board. The board will then decide if the name should be changed, and if so, they will select the new name, which will be effective July 2022.