Private donations to support the renaming of J.E.B. Stuart High School to Justice High School have reached $43,207, including $22,900 raised in a single day. Along with the school’s new name, students have selected the “Wolves” to be their mascot when the new name is formally implemented at the start of the 2018-19 school year.
Over 100 local community members, prominent activists and political figures attended a fundraiser to benefit the renaming of Stuart High to Justice High at Alison and Shane Oleson’s residence in the Lake Barcroft neighborhood earlier this month. Stuart High principal Penny Gros, Mason district school board representative Sandy Evans, Stuart alumnus and Academy Award-winning producer Bruce Cohen (’79) and his father, George, as well as State Senator Dick Saslaw (VA-35) made an appearance alongside many parents and students at the event.
The revised total estimated cost of the implementation is $428,412, according to the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Business Case on the new name implementation plan, submitted to the school board on Dec. 11, 2017 by Superintendent Dr. Scott Brabrand. The Business Case states: “It is important to note, that most of these prices are still considered estimates and have not been competitively bid. We believe additional savings should be realized through the bid process.”
The implementation date was originally scheduled for the start of the 2019-20 school year, but was officially moved up a year in advance at the request of Brabrand at the regular school board meeting on Dec. 14, 2017.
In related news, Stuart students, including next year’s freshman class, have chosen the “Wolves” as the school’s new mascot. The Wolves will replace the silhouette of Confederate ‘raider’ J.E.B. Stuart as the former mascot, who was depicted riding on horseback and carrying a Confederate flag. School administrators oversaw several rounds of voting, gradually narrowing the student-nominated selections to their top two choices: the Justice Jayhawks and the Justice Wolves. More than 1,000 students participated in the final selection, announced by Gros.
For those interested in making a tax-deductible donation, FCPS has established an online donation portal to receive donations to help offset the costs of the name change. Friends of Justice High School plan additional fundraisers over the coming months, as well as a corporate fundraising effort, before the name change officially takes effect July 1 in time for the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.