By Caroline Boras
Four of Loudoun County’s future schools have been named.
The school board voted 8-1 on Tuesday night to give permanent names the schools previously known as ES-28, MS-7, HS-9 and HS-11. The names were recommended by committees of teachers, students and parents who met for the last several months to brainstorm and vote on possible names.
Goshen Post Elementary School was selected for ES-28. Committee members said this name commemorates both Goshen Road and the colonial era postal stop that was located in the area. The school, being built on next to John Champe High School, is set to open in the fall of 2018.
MS-7 will be called Willard Middle School. This name commemorates the unincorporated 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 school is scheduled to open in the fall 2018.
Lightridge High School was chosen for HS-9. Committee members selected this name to commemorate the county’s agricultural history and the importance of the dairy industry to Loudoun in the 20th century. The school will be built on land along Lightridge Farm Road in the Dulles South area. Light Ridge Farm, from which the road takes its name, operated as a dairy farm for more than 60 years. The school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2020
HS-11 will be named Independence High School. 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. Independence is set to open on land next to Brambleton Middle School in the fall of 2019
School Board Chairman Jeff Morse (Dulles) praised the committees for their name recommendations and thanked Larry Roeder for his committee’s research into local history.
“I know the work you put into a lot of the research into Loudoun County and I think that is a part of what we’ve been missing in the names for the last several years,” he said. “I would like to point out that the results of this committee really demonstrate an understanding of Loudoun’s history and I appreciate the effort you put in specifically.”
School Board member Tom Marshall (Leesburg) also commended the committees for their alternate suggestions, many of which commemorated people who have contributed to the county in big ways.
“I’m glad to see the naming committee has considered not only historical figures of the past, but also relatively recent historical figures and even current people we know here,” he said.
School Board members Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge) and Beth Huck (At Large) said they would like to see the committees save their alternate suggestions for a future round of naming schools.
In the end, only Marshall voted against the approving the slate of names. He wanted Independence High School to be named Fred E. Drummond Jr. High School in honor of the longtime Loudoun educator who died last spring at age 93.