The names that are in the running for four future Loudoun County schools were unveiled this week.
Throughout the last several months, committees of teachers, students and parents have met to brainstorm and vote on possible names for the schools now referred to as ES-28, MS-7, HS-9 and HS-11.
The top vote-getter for ES-28, the elementary school set to open in fall of 2018, was Goshen Post Elementary School. Committee members said the name would help preserve the historical legacy of the area known simply as “The Post,” after the nearby colonial-era postal stop. The alternate name choices for the school were Manahoac and Oak Hill.
Willard Middle School is the name recommended by the committee for MS-7, which is scheduled to open in fall 2018 in Dulles South. It would commemorate the unincorporated village of Willard in southeastern Loudoun. It was named after Joseph E. Willard, who served as Virginia’s lieutenant governor in the early 1900s. The village at Willard was made up of former slaves and their descendants and survived until 1958 when all 87 Willard-area landowners had their property condemned by the federal government for the development of Dulles Airport. “The name will commemorate a critical piece of Loudoun’s history,” said Kevin Lewis, assistant superintendent of Support Services.
The alternate names under consideration for MS-7 are Monroe Middle School and Willowsford Middle School.
The name recommended for HS-9 is Lightridge High School, commemorating the county’s agricultural history and the importance of the dairy industry to Loudoun in the 20th century. The school, scheduled to open in fall 2020, will be built on land off Lightridge Farm Road in the Dulles South area. Light Ridge Farm, from which the road takes its name, operated as a dairy farm for over 60 years. The alternate names are Henry Lee III High School and Independence High School.
That name—Independence High School—is the first choice of the committee for HS-11, set to open on land next to Brambletom Middle School in the fall of 2019. The committee said the name would serve as a standard for students in their academic careers, and it would strike a theme similar to that of Freedom High School and Liberty Elementary School.
The first alternate choice for HS-11 was Fred E. Drummond High School, after the longtime educator who served as principal of Banneker and Frederick Douglass elementary schools when the school system was racially segregated, and later at Broad Run High School, Leesburg Elementary and Catoctin Elementary. The second alternate choice was Edgar B. Hatrick III High School, after the school system’s 23-year superintendent who retired in 2014.
School Board member Tom Marshall (Leesburg), who sat in on some of the committee meetings, commended those who helped brainstorm the names for the new schools. He has criticized previous school names in Loudoun as having too many references to “ridges and bridges.”
Referring to the suggested names commemorating people who have contributed in big ways to the county, Marshall said, “I was pleased to see that Loudoun’s history, both early and current, were being considered.”
The School Board is scheduled to adopt the final names next month.