Three years ago the Prince William County Planning Commission approved the location for the unnamed “13th” High School, with plans for it to open in September of 2021.
Now, the new high school is one step closer to gaining a name, as during the May 20 school board meeting ten possible names were put forth.
The names were selected from the top 10 most frequent suggestions submitted Prince William County residents, of which there were 394. The suggestions were collected by the high school’s naming committee, comprising school board Chairman At-large Babur Lateef, Brentsville District representative Adele Jackson, and Gainesville District representative Jennifer Wall.
There were no limitations as to what types of names could be considered, but the naming committee showed a preference for identifiable existing geographic locations, historical considerations, and the names of deceased persons who have made contributions to the community and/or nation.
“Selection preference shall be given to those individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of education, especially within Prince William County,” stated a presentation from the naming committee.
The suggested names are as follows:
- Ashley Guindon High School, she was the fallen Prince William County police officer who died during her first day on the job in 2016.
- Gainesville High School, the location of the new school.
- Captain Brian S. Letendre High School, he was a marine corps officer and Prince William County Public Schools alumni who died in Iraq in 2006.
- Lillian Orlich High School, she is a retired Osbourn Park High School guidance counselor who worked for the county school division for 64 years.
- Paul Ebert High School, he served as the Commonwealth’s attorney to Prince William County for 52 years, from 1968 until his retirement last year.
- Hellen Keller High School, she was an activist for the deaf and blind as well as the first deaf-blind American to receive a Bachelor of Arts.
- Piedmont High School, the name of the region of Virginia that encompasses Prince William County.
- Cardinal High School, the name of the state bird of Virginia.
- Joyce Russell Terrell High School, she was the first black student to attend Gar-Field High School in 1961 at the age of 13.
- Old Dominion High School, the nickname for Virginia, the name was given to the state by English King Charles ll during the English Civil War.
The school board is expected to take action in regard to the names during their meeting on June 10.
“I want to thank everyone who suggested names, there are so many great names on this list, it’s going to be really difficult to pick just one,” said Gainesville District Representative Wall.