Redefining the Titans

T.C. Williams
  • T.C. Williams High School Semi-Finalist Names

    Alexandria High School

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg High School

    Chinquapin High School

    Blois Hundley High School

    Petey Jones High School

    King Street High School

    Parker-Gray High School

    Arnold J. Thurmond High School

    Titan Community High School

     

    Alexandria High School

    An excerpt from an ACPS student essay nomination.

    “Let's preserve the history of the place by naming the only high school in our city "Alexandria High School". Let's give recognition to the city where we live, work and grow. Root the identity of the school in the area it represents.”

     

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg High School

    Joan Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020) was an American lawyer and jurist who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death in September 2020.

    An excerpt from an ACPS student essay nomination.

    “Ruth Bader Ginsberg, former supreme court justice, is the perfect person for uniting our community and embodying modern ACPS values with her name on the front of our school. R.B.G. was, and still is, an important role model to the younger community. She is the definition of inclusion, diversity, and activism. She once said “the stain of generations of racial oppression is still visible in our society, and the determination to hasten its removal remains vital”, deciding to change the names of T.C. and Maury, ending the legacy of racism and confederacy in ACPS is exactly the type of action Ginsberg worked in support of. R.B.G also frequently spoke out about the importance of women in power, saying “women belong in all places where decisions are being made...it shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” It would send a message of equality and inclusion to rename T.C. after a strong woman so outspoken about racial and gender equality, and one who has done so much to inspire the younger generation.”

     

    Chinquapin High School

    The Chinquapin Park Recreation Center sits adjacent to the school and shares a rich history with the community.

    Chinquapin also refers to any of several species of trees in various genera of the beech family (Fagaceae). Notably, they include several deciduous trees of the genus Castanea and evergreen trees and shrubs of the genus Castanopsis and Chrysolepis.

     

    Blois Hundley High School

    Hundley died at age 93 in 2008. She was a cafeteria cook at Lyles-Crouch Elementary School, in Alexandria. She was the mother of eight children who attended Alexandria schools and was at the forefront of getting her children equal access to formerly all-white schools.

    An excerpt from an ACPS student essay nomination.

    “The United States has a history of erasing Black Americans history. T.C. Williams, one of the superintendents of ACPS, too has contributed to the mistreatment and erasure of African Americans. When Blois Hundley, a mother and a cafeteria worker at an ACPS school, raised her hand at a PTA meeting to try to get her children a better education at a whites-only school, she likely did not expect the attention she received. Williams fired her because he felt like her request was a slap in the face, and claimed the reasoning had nothing to do with her race. Williams received support from local government officials in his decision. Hundley joined a federal Civil Rights lawsuit, and with an impending Civil Rights investigation Williams offered Hundley her job back. Which she ended up declining. A mother’s request for access to an equal education for her children became an important part of the Civil Rights history of Alexandria.

     

    Petey Jones High School

    Petey Jones (1953-2019) was born and lived his entire life in Alexandria, Va. He was a member of the 1971 Titan football team immortalized in the Disney movie Remember the Titans. His career with ACPS – working as a security officer spanned nearly 30 years.  He will be remembered for his community activism and for being a part of the 1971 championship football team that helped bring a divided Alexandria together.

     

    King Street High School

    This name was nominated to reflect the street in which the high school is located. The core of Old Town started with 10 streets spanning 60 acres, named after royalty as people at that time were more aligned with England and the Parliament.

    At that time, the center street was Fairfax and Royal Streets, followed by King, Queen, Prince, Duke, Princess and Water Streets.

     

    Parker-Gray High School

    Parker-Gray opened as an elementary school on the site of the current Charles Houston Recreation Center on Wythe Street in 1920 and added high school classes in 1932. The first high school class graduated in 1936. Then, in 1950, the new high school was built at what is now Braddock Place. In 1965, Parker-Gray High School closed and began the transition to become a middle school during desegregation. It closed its doors for good in 1979. Read more about the History of Parker-Gray School.

     

    Arnold J. Thurmond High School

    (1923-2014) Arnold J. Thurmond, Sr. was born on August 12, 1923 to the late Arthur and Fannie Mae Thurmond, in Ethel, West Virginia. He was the youngest of nine children. He was educated in the Fayette County, West Virginia public schools, where he was an excellent student and athlete. Upon graduating from high school, he enrolled in Hampton Institute, but his education was interrupted when he was conscripted into the United States Army where he served for two and a half years and participated in the invasion of France at Normandy (D Day). On November 25, 2009, the French Embassy honored him and other African American veterans with the French Legion of Honor for courage and devotion to the great cause of freedom.  Upon his honorable discharge from the Army, he returned to Hampton Institute, where he earned a BA in education and also played football. He later earned a MA from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI.

    He came to Alexandria in 1950 and took a teaching and coaching position at Parker-Gray High School.  He made his mark as the basketball coach for the Parker-Gray Bull Dogs.  The entire community soon learned that they were precisely that; tenacious and doggedly determined to excel. The team earned a reputation for having skilled players, superior to any throughout the area. In 1957 they clearly demonstrated their athletic prowess by winning the state championship. Three additional state championships ensued. Not only did he repeatedly lead his team to victory, but he also worked with his players to maintain good academic standards, a feat that propelled his stars to pursue higher education when they graduated from Parker-Gray. Coach Thurmond’s men were courted by colleges throughout the country including Ohio State, the University of Washington, Connecticut University, Morgan State College, and St. Augustine.

    When Parker Gray High School closed, he was transferred to George Washington High School as a counselor and dean of Monroe House, a school within the school, and later became assistant principal. As a testimony to his commitment to students, the GW 1970 graduating class honored him with a tribute. After retiring in 1985, he provided administrative oversight to the TC Williams night school effort directed at helping students obtain their high school diplomas.

    As an educator, he never lost his focus on the need for his students to attain higher education. He believed that if they were to be economically independent and competitive within the larger community, education was the key and he was convinced that this should be the goal for children everywhere. During his 35 years as an Alexandria educator, he had an impact on thousands of students. In 2013, he was inducted into the Alexandria Charles Houston African American Hall of Fame for his contributions to the City. In 2018, he was inducted into the VIAHA Athletic Hall of Fame, In 2019, he was inducted into the Alexandria City Athletic Hall of Fame.

    Arnold will always be remembered for his strong faith, great humility, love of family and students, patriotism, calm temperament, and inquisitive nature.  Learn more about Thurmond.

     

    Titan Community High School

    An excerpt from an ACPS student essay nomination.

    “In Alexandria, we have one public High School with a diverse, unique and rich history...While we wish to disassociate from this person, we need to consider continuing our rich traditions. Long have we chanted “Let’s Go T.C.” at our games. We, students boast, “I go to T.C.”. Graduates are proud to say they went to T.C.  T.C., these two letters, are a part of our school’s identity. It goes deeper and beyond a person. These letters signify a community…”

     

     

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    Email: news@acps.k12.va.us

    Our History

    T.C. Williams
    History

     

    The History of ACPS
    History

     

    Brown v. Board and the Desegregation of Alexandria City Public Schools
    BvB

     

     


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